Tuesday, June 6, 2017
MINDFULNESS CAN REDUCE FEAR OF LABOUR AND POST-NATAL DEPRESSION
Teaching mindfulness to pregnant women can reduce the fear of labour, the risks of postnatal depression and the need for opiates during labour, according to a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT).
In a demographically diverse sample, this small RCT demonstrated mindfulness-based childbirth education improved women’s childbirth-related appraisals and psychological functioning in comparison to standard childbirth education.
Participants showed greater childbirth self-efficacy and mindful body awareness, lower post-course depression symptoms that were maintained through postpartum follow-up, and a trend toward a lower rate of opioid analgesia use in labor. They did not, however, retrospectively report lower perceived labor pain or use epidural less frequently than controls.
Study: Duncan, L G et al. ‘Benefits of preparing for childbirth with mindfulness training: a randomized controlled trial with active comparison.’ MC Pregnancy and Childbirth. BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 2017 17:140 DOI: 10.1186/s12884-017-1319-3.