A new study came out of the Massachusetts General Hospital looking the effects of a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in pregnant women with anxiety. The study by researchers Goodman, et al was published this month in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health.
Many women suffer from anxiety and in pregnancy; this can occur as well as exacerbate and even increase anxiety. Anxiety can have a debilitating effect on the mom and interfere with daily activities. Often during pregnancy, women who experience anxiety also experience many of the other common discomforts of pregnancy such a back pain. Anxiety can also contribute to poor health consequences to both the mom and developing baby. In addition, moms with high anxiety can have a harder time bonding with their baby.
This study is important for several reasons; it opens up the possibility of reducing anxiety in pregnancy without the use of medications. The use of some medications in pregnancy requires considering the risk, benefits, and possible effects to the baby and this can contribute to additional stress and anxiety.
The use of mindful-cognitive therapies has been studied in recent years and results have been positive in reducing anxiety and its effects.
This was only a pilot study and further research is needed but for women with anxiety in pregnancy this is a great approach to treating a serious health problem without medication and the added worry about the effects to the developing fetus.
Many of the programs studied such as this one are typically 8-week course and participants are encouraged to practice the program at home several days a week. Before you start a mindful based program, you should seek the advice of you healthcare provider.
Goodman, J. H., Guarino, A., Chenausky, K., Klein, L., Prager, J., Petersen, R., & Freeman, M. (2014). CALM Pregnancy: results of a pilot study of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for perinatal anxiety. Archives of women’s mental health, 1-15.
We found some great mindful based videos: