depression, mindful, physical activity, pregnancy, yoga



  1. Kinser, Patricia A.
  2. Thacker, Leroy R.
  3. Rider, Amy
  4. Moyer, Sara
  5. Amstadter, Ananda B.
  6. Mazzeo, Suzanne E.
  7. Bodnar-Deren, Susan
  8. Starkweather, Angela


Background: Nonpharmacological and accessible therapies that engage individuals in self-management are needed to address depressive symptoms in pregnancy. The 12-week "Mindful Moms" intervention was designed to empower pregnant women with depressive symptomatology to create personal goals and engage in mindful physical activity using prenatal yoga.


Objectives: This longitudinal pilot study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of the "Mindful Moms" intervention in pregnant women with depressive symptoms.


Methods: We evaluated enrollment and retention data (feasibility) and conducted semistructured interviews (acceptability). We evaluated the intervention's effects over time on participants' depressive symptoms, anxiety, perceived stress, self-efficacy, and maternal-child attachment, and we compared findings to an archival comparison group, also assessed longitudinally.


Results: Enrollment and retention rates and positive feedback from participants support the intervention's acceptability and feasibility. "Mindful Moms" participants experienced decreases in depressive symptoms, perceived stress, anxiety, ruminations, and maternal-child attachment and no change in physical activity self-efficacy from baseline to postintervention. Comparisons of the "Mindful Moms" intervention to the comparison groups over time indicated differences in depressive symptoms between all groups and a trend in differences in perceived stress.


Discussion: Results support the feasibility and acceptability of "Mindful Moms" for pregnant women with depressive symptoms and suggest that further research is warranted to evaluate this intervention for reducing depressive and related symptoms. Lack of a concurrent control group, with equivalent attention from study staff, and no randomization limit the generalizability of this study; yet, these preliminary findings support future large-scale randomized controlled trials to further evaluate this promising intervention.