Social support, mindfulness improves prenatal mental health



Guo Y, et al. Abstract 325. Presented at: ACOG Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting; May 6-8, 2022; San Diego.

Disclosures: Guo reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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SAN DIEGO — Social support and mindfulness practices can improve mental health in Hispanic pregnant women, according to a small study presented at the ACOG Annual Clinical & Scientific meeting.

“Our National Science Foundation-funded study indicated that increased social support was associated with a lower level of depression symptoms and increased mindfulness was associated with a lower level of anxiety symptoms in Hispanic pregnant women,” Yuqing Guo, RN, PhD, associate professor at the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing at the University of California, Irvine, and the study’s lead author, told Healio.

Results from a small study suggested that increased social support and mindfulness were associated with reduced depression and anxiety symptoms in Hispanic pregnant women. Source: Adobe Stock

The cross-sectional study included 15 Hispanic pregnant women who completed validated surveys — specifically, the Patient Health Questionnaire-8, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory and Coping Self-Efficacy.

Prenatal depression and/or anxiety was experienced by 13.3% of women.

Higher mindfulness was significantly associated with lower anxiety levels, after controlling for maternal education, whereas greater coping self-efficacy was significantly associated with lower depression levels.

“For Hispanic pregnant women who feel anxious, clinicians can encourage them to practice mindfulness to alleviate their symptoms,” Guo said. “For pregnant women who feel depressed, clinicians can assess the sources and levels of social support they receive and then encourage them to seek support from partners, family, friends or professional help.”

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