- Studies show that mindfulness programs for pregnant women improve their mental health.
- Such program-induced parental mindfulness has a positive impact on both parents and children in the long run.
Understanding Mindfulness Programs
Popularly, mindfulness is defined as a psychological process in which one’s attention is focused on “the present” internal and external experiences. It is usually achieved through meditation, yoga, and other similar practices.
In the current context, mindfulness programs for expectant mothers are directed to enhance psychological resilience and reduce stress and pain, and fear of labor.
Benefits For The Future
Mindfulness programs not only help expectant mothers but also their spouses and unborn children. Studies show that these programs help reduce parental psychopathology, with their psychological impact lasting for as long as 6 months. Experts also credit these programs for inducing psychological resilience and quick recovery (from surgery or illness) in babies. In a way, these programs positively influence genetic makeup, behavioral and emotional parameters, and environmental factors to aid a child’s mental health in the future.
Some experts and medical practitioners, however, are critical of such programs. The impact of such programs is limited to providing stability and mindfulness for mothers experiencing the apprehensions of a pregnancy. These don’t impact the spouses or induce long-term psychological benefits for the offspring.
In most cases, an offspring’s mental and physical well-being are decided by an array of factors like genetics, nutrition, labor stress, etc. Mindfulness programs don’t hold sway over these factors and, hence, these are considered ineffective in cases of retarded birth or developmental delay.