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from the book. . .

page 12, INTRODUCTION


"Because stress and anxiety during pregnancy are known to increase risks for detrimental outcomes (like preterm birth, low birth weight, and a less-than-optimal fetal environment), my colleague John Astin and I worked on developing a comprehensive mindfulness training that would address these issues directly in a way that was specific to pregnant women. Bringing together elements from several different mindfulness training programs, as well as our own newly developed material, we tested the program in two groups of women—one that received the training in pregnancy and one that did not. Though small, this pilot study showed that it was possible to learn mindful awareness during pregnancy and early motherhood (even with baby in tow!), and that women who engaged in mindfulness training during pregnancy had reduced negative emotions and anxiety during pregnancy compared with women who did not participate in the training (Vieten and Astin 2008). There were also trends toward reduced symptoms of depression and increased positive emotion. The women in our courses were from all walks of life, and most found it an enriching experience."

 

About Mindful Motherhood

A large body of evidence in both animal and human studies indicates that stress and mood disturbance experienced during pregnancy increases the risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and other pregnancy-related complications, and may adversely affect the developing fetus. Postnatal mood disturbance can interfere with attachment, quality of mother-infant interactions, healthy parenting behaviors, and child development. While a wealth of evidence supports all these facts, surprisingly little information is available to women and clinicians for reducing stress and improving mood in pregnancy and postpartum.


The book is based on a three-year intervention development project and small randomized controlled trial conducted by the author and her colleagues at California Pacific Medical Center’s Research Institute. The study showed that participating the Mindful Motherhood Program, an eight-week training modified from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy , reduced negative affect and anxiety during pregnancy and held promise for reducing depression and increasing positive emotion through pregnancy into the postpartum period (Vieten & Astin, Archives of Women's Mental Health, January 2008). Now, the information in the classes, and much more, is being made available in this book.


Please contact motherhood@noetic.org to request a copy of the Mindful Motherhood treatment manual for professionals and researchers.


Other research on mindfulness during pregnancy and early motherhood is being conducted by:

 

Sona Dimidjian, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado

 

“This book will inspire, guide, and reassure mothers in pregnancy and after childbirth. Nothing could be more important to our families, our children, and the future of the world. Dads will benefit, also.”
   —Paul Ekman, Ph.D., coauthor, with the Dalai Lama, of Emotional Awareness