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The Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Research Project

Postpartum depression is the most common complication after childbearing and an estimated 12 % of women suffer from perinatal depression globally.

On top of the suffering of the affected mothers, there is also substantial global evidence for the negative impact of perinatal depression on a broad range of child outcomes. Thus research should prioritize investigating the effectiveness of preventative interventions.

The purpose of this study is to explore if an intervention called Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) targeting pregnant women at risk of perinatal depression is effective in:

  1. Reducing stress
  2. Preventing depression
  3. Preparing the mother for labor and
  4. Promoting positive infant-caregiver attachment

Research projects

Studies Within the Research Project

  • A qualitative study of the experience of the intervention. Published paper: ”What is learned from Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting education? – Participants’ experiences”
  • Evaluation of the changes in selfreported levels of stress and depressive symptoms from baseline to post intervention. Title of submitted manuscript: “Effects of a Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Program on Pregnant Women’s Perceived Stress and Risk of Perinatal Depression–Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • Follow-ups during the first year as parent on perceived stress and depressive symptoms
  • Effects on childbirth self-efficacy, childbirth experience and breastfeeding
  • Effects on biomarkers such as maternal heart rate variability and cytokines
  • Effects on attachment style and relation between mother and child at one year of age
  • Effects on the child-development at 3-months of age
  • Effects on prospective fathers/partners

Group members

Maria Niemi, Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator
Wibke Jonas, Assistant Professor
Eva Nissen, Professor
Richard Bränström, Associate Professor
Gunilla Lönnberg, M. PH. PhD-student


The Swedish Research Council and the Ekhaga foundation