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Mindfulness Training Improves Breast Feeding for Mother & Baby

16 Sep

Investigators from the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain, examined the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention in breast-feeding mothers.

The research team developed and tested an 8-week mindfulness-based intervention aimed at improving maternal self-efficacy, mindfulness, self-compassion, satisfaction with life, and subjective happiness, and at reducing psychological distress.
 
A randomized controlled, between-groups design was used with treatment and control groups (n = 26) and pretest and posttest measures.

ANCOVA results indicated that, compared to the control group, the mothers in the treatment group scored significantly higher on maternal self-efficacy, some dimensions of mindfulness (observing, acting with awareness, non-judging, and non-reactivity), and self-compassion (self-kindness, mindfulness, over-identification, and total self-compassion).
 
In addition, mothers who received the mindfulness intervention exhibited significantly less anxiety, stress, and psychological distress.
 
The results supported previous research findings about the benefits of mindfulness-based intervention in women from the perinatal and postpartum periods through the early parenting period.
 
Additional research is needed to validate these findings in non-breast-feeding mothers and to examine the intervention's indirect benefits in terms of family relationships and child development.

Citation:  Perez-Blasco J, Viguer P, Rodrigo MF. Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on psychological distress, well-being, and maternal self-efficacy in breast-feeding mothers: results of a pilot study. Archives of Women’s Mental Health. 2013 Jun;16(3):227-36. doi: 10.1007/s00737-013-0337-z. Epub 2013 Mar 20. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award