Can mindfulness reduce fear of labour and postpartum depression?

Anxiety about labour – and what might come afterwards – causes stress for expectant mothers and increases risk in childbirth. But there could be a natural solution

Many women feel anxious about giving birth. Fear of the unknown and over-sharing by others (“I felt I was ripped apart,” one mother told my antenatal group) can make labour daunting. Being frightened of childbirth can prolong labour – by an average of 47 minutes, but it feels longer – increase the need for pain relief, make a caesarean section more likely and raise the risk of postpartum depression. Last month, a small, randomised controlled trial added to the evidence that teaching mindfulness to pregnant women could reduce these risks.

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Guardian Health and Wellbeing - Mon, 05 Jun 2017 07:00:46 GMT

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