The role of brief mindfulness meditation instruction and practice in changing biophysical indicators in pregnant women and their babies
Clark, M. R. (2012). The role of brief mindfulness meditation instruction and practice in changing biophysical indicators in pregnant women and their babies (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6616
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6616
Pregnancy is a time of change that has the potential to be a stressful experience for some women. There is evidence from animal and human studies that longterm exposure to maternal stress can be detrimental to the unborn baby, both before and after birth. Non-pharmacological interventions that are aimed at assisting pregnant women to mediate the way they respond to stress are particularly relevant for the pregnant population, due to the potential teratogenic risks associated with drug therapy. Mindfulness-based therapies have the potential to be beneficial for pregnant women. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of a brief biofeedback-assisted mindfulness meditation procedure on the physiological responses of pregnant women and their babies. Six women in the last trimester of pregnancy completed a brief mindfulness meditation procedure. Each participant’s physiological responses (heart rate, respiration rate and galvanic skin response), and her baby’s heart rate, were measured across baseline, teaching and practice conditions. The results indicated that the procedure was associated with a physiological change in at least one of the variables for all of the participants. The procedure was not, however, associated with a change in all of the variables for any of the participants. The procedure was associated with a decrease in the mean fetal heart rate in four of the six babies. There was no clear association between maternal physiological responses and fetal responses for five of the six participants. The findings suggest that biofeedback is helpful in assisting participants to learn and practice a brief mindfulness meditation procedure.
University of Waikato
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