Postpartum women after mindfulness childbirth classes

Kantrowitz‐Gordon, I., et al. (2018). Experiences of Postpartum Women after Mindfulness Childbirth Classes: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.12734. Online ahead of publication.

From the Abstract. The postpartum period can be a challenging experience for many women as they adjust to the physical and social changes after childbirth.

Mindfulness‐based interventions have been developed for stress reduction in a variety of health contexts, including pregnancy. These interventions provide strategies that may help new mothers handle the physical, emotional, and relationship challenges of the postpartum period and increase acceptance of postpartum physical changes and body image. 

Limited research has explored whether women use skills learned in prenatal mindfulness classes for the postpartum experience and parenting. The purpose of this study was to explore women’s experience with mindfulness in the year after childbirth.

. . .  Mindfulness skills helped class participants cope with physical and emotional challenges postpartum and fostered positive meaningful relationships with partners and newborns. Findings have implications for future research on mindfulness‐based interventions and the postpartum experience.

For mothers with childbirth-related trauma

Kendall-Tackett, K. (2014). Intervention for Mothers Who Have Experienced Childbirth-Related Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Clinical Lactation, 5(2), 56-61.Full text via Open Access.

The author advocates mindfulness meditation as one of several complementary healing modalities suitable for relief from posttraumatic stress.

Abstract: Lactation consultants may be one of the first healthcare providers who see mothers following a difficult birth. As such, they can be key sources of support and information for mothers at this critical time. Several aspects of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant’s (IBCLC) scope of practice can fit within trauma-informed care, including helping mothers identify possible trauma symptoms and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addressing breastfeeding issues that may be sequelae of a traumatic birth. IBCLCs can inform mothers about their treatment options and refer them to additional sources of support.

This article describes breastfeeding issues that might arise in the wake of a traumatic birth and summarizes evidence-based treatment options for PTSD so that IBCLCs can share this information with mothers.