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The Science Behind Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Education

Results of a pilot study about MBCP in
Journal of Child and Family Studies

Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) Education is an adaptation of the pioneering Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. In this section we have summarized some of the research findings about MBSR that are relevant to our program. The program’s creator and lead teacher, Nancy Bardacke, CNM, has had extensive training in teaching MBSR.

Since its founding in 1979, more than 16,000 people have successfully completed the MBSR program at UMass Medical Center. The MBSR program is now taught in over 200 medical centers throughout the United States as well as in a growing number of places throughout the world, such as Canada, Mexico, Wales, Germany and South Africa. MBSR participants seek help for a wide range of medical diagnoses, such as chronic pain, insomnia, migraines, asthma, irritable bowel, hypertension, anxiety, depression, and job and family stress.

The overall effect of MBSR on participants after an eight week course is consistent, reliable, and reproducible. Outcomes include:

  • 35% reduction in medical symptoms
  • 40% reduction in psychological symptoms
  • Measurably enhanced immune function
  • 61% of chronic pain patients report at least a 50% reduction in symptoms
  • Pain patients who used drugs for pain relief before taking MBSR significantly reduced medication use upon completing the program: 44% report reducing their dosages and 28% report rarely or never using medication

These improvements remained stable in follow-up studies four years later. In aggregated results of all follow-up studies, 93% of respondents reported that they were still using one or more mindfulness practices at some level.

In addition to patients in hospitals and clinics, over the past 25 years MBSR has been taught worldwide to diverse groups, such as corporate employees, CEOs, educators, grammar school and high school students, Spanish-speaking community clinic patients, attorneys, judges, prison inmates, correctional staff, health care professionals, members of the clergy, and Olympic and professional athletes, including the world champion Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers basketball teams. We are happy to be able to extend the many benefits of mindfulness practice into the domain of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

For Recent and Current Research Projects and Bibliographical References please go to:http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/research/

Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Education Program

Mindful Birthing - Programs for Mindful Family Living