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Mindful Motherhood: Using Mindfulness During Pregnancy

Written by Nurture Therapy, as seen here.

Pregnancy is a time of excitement, anticipation and transition. You may envision the child that you are going to have or the parent that you are going to be. You may attempt to plan and prepare. You may feel well-supported or lost and overwhelmed. Stress and perinatal mood disturbances are common and can begin any time during or after pregnancy. Pregnancy can be a time of emotional vulnerability due to the many biological and hormonal changes happening in the body. For this reason and others, many of the women that I work with experience stress and anxiety during pregnancy and following pregnancy.

Mindfulness is a powerful coping tool that can help alleviate stress and anxiety in the general population and for mothers during pregnancy. But how does mindfulness work? What evidence is there that mindfulness can be used during pregnancy?

Mindfulness and other mind-body interventions are effective in reducing stress and improving overall mood. Recently, I read a study about the positive effects of mindfulness-based interventions during pregnancy to reduce women’s stress and mood disturbances. Vieten Astin (2008) studied women in their second and third trimesters (12 to 30 weeks gestation) that reported “mood concerns” during their pregnancy. Participants were recruited through physicians’ offices, childbirth education classes, advertisements and flyers.

An intervention was