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depressive symptoms, DNA methylation, pregnancy, self-management



  1. Kinser, Patricia A.
  2. Moyer, Sara
  3. Mazzeo, Suzanne
  4. York, Timothy P.
  5. Amstadter, Ananda
  6. Thacker, Leroy
  7. Starkweather, Angela


Background: Pregnant women with depressive symptoms face significant treatment challenges and are in great need of safe, effective, accessible, inexpensive, and nonpharmacological self-management therapies to enhance well-being, reduce the burden of symptoms both during their pregnancy and postpartum, and prevent chronic sequelae.


Objectives: In this article, we describe the protocol for our pilot study testing a self-management intervention entitled, "Mindful Moms," designed to foster women's ability to address current depressive symptoms and enhance resilience to prevent recurrence.


Methods: We will conduct a longitudinal pilot trial of the 12-week intervention with pregnant women with depressive symptoms (n = 40); the primary aim is to determine the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention. The secondary aim is to examine preliminary effects of the intervention on maternal psychobehavioral outcomes in pregnancy and 6 weeks postpartum. The third aim will quantify genome-wide and gene-specific DNA methylation patterns associated with depressive symptoms during pregnancy and investigate whether intervention participation influences these patterns.


Results: This study is currently ongoing.


Discussion: Findings from this study will inform future research addressing the need for nonpharmacological self-management interventions for pregnant women with depressive symptoms.