What is learned from Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Education? – Participants’ experiences
Gunilla Lönnberg, Eva Nissen, and Maria Niemi
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2018 18:466
Link to the full article: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-2098-1
© The Author(s). 2018
In the search for effective interventions aiming to prevent perinatal stress, depression and anxiety, we are evaluating a Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) Program. In this study we explore the participants’ experiences of the program.
This is a descriptive qualitative study with influences of phenomenology. The participants were expectant couples who participated in the program and the pregnant women had an increased risk of perinatal stress, anxiety and depression. Ten mothers and six fathers were interviewed in depth, at four to six months postpartum. Thematic analysis of the transcripts was conducted.
The participants’ descriptions show a variety in how motivated they were and how much value they ascribed to MBCP. Those who experienced that they benefitted from the intervention described that they did so at an intra-personal level–with deeper self-knowledge and self-compassion; and on an inter-personal level–being helpful in relationships. Furthermore, they perceived that what they had learned from MBCP was helpful during childbirth and early parenting.
Our findings demonstrate that most of the parents experienced MBCP as a valuable preparation for the challenges they met when they went through the life-changing events of becoming parents. The phenomenon of participating in the intervention, integrating the teachings and embodying mindfulness seems to develop inner resources that foster the development of wisdom.