Low well-being during pregnancy can have significant adverse outcomes for mother and child. The effects of mindfulness interventions on prenatal maternal well-being are increasingly examined but outcomes have yet to be systematically evaluated. The aims of the current paper are to systematically evaluate intervention effects and current research approaches with pregnant groups.
A systematic review of eight studies examining mindfulness intervention effects on prenatal well-being.
Findings indicate potential benefits of mindfulness interventions for reducing levels of depression, anxiety and negative affect during pregnancy. There is also evidence for improved self-compassion and perceived childbirth self-efficacy. Further, these effects may be more pronounced for vulnerable groups, such as women currently experiencing low prenatal well-being. Less consistent findings were observed for stress, and positive affect. Variations in research design, gestational characteristics, timing of assessments and outcome measurement may explain some inconsistencies in the extant literature.
Mindfulness interventions present a potentially useful means to improve prenatal well-being but improved methodological quality is essential to rigorously examine intervention effects.