Being mindful about mindfulness and perinatal mental health - evidence, critique, and new directions

Aigli Raouna*, Angus Macbeth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Mental health difficulties in pregnancy and the first-year post-partum affect not an insignificant proportion of mothers. Untreated mental health difficulties, including common mental health difficulties including anxiety and depression, can impact the development of the parent-infant bond, may have long-term consequences for child development, and are linked to a greater risk of adverse psychiatric outcomes. Mindfulness-based approaches delivered in pregnancy and the post-partum period offer an acceptable and effective psychological intervention for women, at relatively low cost and broad population reach. They can also be tailored to women’s and families’ individual circumstances – such as through digital delivery. The chapter reviews the literature on associations between mindfulness and perinatal psychological and emotional wellbeing. The distinctions between different types of mindfulness-informed interventions (MIIs) including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Mindfulness Informed Perinatal Yoga are highlighted. Authors address the potential mental health impacts of MIIs on maternal and child outcomes, focusing on the literature on associations between MIIs and reductions in maternal anxiety and depression in the perinatal period. Finally, they consider the likely mechanisms of change in MIIs and explore some of the key unanswered questions in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMindfulness in the Birth Sphere
Subtitle of host publicationPractice for Pre-conception to the Critical 1000 Days and Beyond
EditorsLorna Davies, Susan Crowther
PublisherTaylor and Francis Group
Pages197-210
Number of pages14
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781000804171
ISBN (Print)9780367760359
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2022

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