From the New York Times…
Many expectant mothers worry about the physical pain that accompanies labor and childbirth. New research suggests that including mindfulness skills in childbirth education can help first-time mothers cope with their fears.
The study, published in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, also indicates that mindfulness may help decrease women’s symptoms of prenatal and postpartum depression.
Mindfulness, defined as the awareness that arises from paying attention in the present moment, has been shown to help manage chronic pain, depression and anxiety. This study, although small, is one of the first to look at how these skills might benefit pregnant women.
“Fear of the unknown affects everyone, and this may be particularly true for pregnant women,” said Larissa Duncan, lead researcher in the study and an associate professor of human development and family studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.