Mindfulness: The Power of a Parent’s Intentional Influence on a Prenate

Christine McKee, Peta Berenice Stapleton, Aileen M. Pidgeon

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There is a long history of provision of pre- and perinatal (PPN) education to expecting mothers, and less so to fathers. Due to inconsistencies in both research methodologies and subsequent study findings, understanding what constitutes best practice in PPN education programs remains unclear. This research study was the second of four in a PhD program of research that examined content and logistical factors perceived to be important when designing, developing and delivering PPN parenting programs for the 21st century. In this study, 54 existing mothers and seven fathers (N=61) who had attended a PPN parenting program, completed an exploratory self-report online questionnaire that examined program content strengths, gaps and limitations. An outcome based on the utilization of Braun and Clarke’s (2006) five-step thematic analysis process, was a perceived need to understand what mindfulness-based knowledge, skills, and tools expecting parents could be taught to promote heathy pregnancies, births, couples’ relationship and transitions to parenthood. Findings from the current study were consistent with the literature on PPN psychology, mindfulness and neuroscience, which has theorized that parents’ thoughts, emotions, beliefs, moods, state of mind, as well as quality of partner relationship during the time of pregnancy influences prenates. By developing a range of PPN parenting programs that include mindfulness skills, and measuring effectiveness through pre- and post-test randomized clinical trials, utilizing large sample sizes and control groups, outcomes may result in positive parenting and bonding pre- and post-birth, as well as a positive transition for couples from being partners to parents.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Healing and Caring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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