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03-06-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2021

Mindfulness 2/2021

Mindful Parenting Interventions for the Postpartum Period: Acceptance and Preferences of Mothers with and Without Depressive Symptoms

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2021
Daniela V. Fernandes, Maria C. Canavarro, Helena Moreira
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This study aims to examine postpartum Portuguese mothers’ emotional experiences, help-seeking behaviours, and perceived barriers to seeking help. It also intends to analyze mothers’ knowledge and acceptability of mindful parenting interventions and their preferences concerning the characteristics of these interventions. Differences between mothers with positive and negative screenings for depression were explored for all variables.


Participants were recruited online and answered several questions aimed at assessing their emotional experience, help-seeking behaviours, perceived barriers to seeking help, knowledge about mindful parenting, acceptability of parenting and mindful parenting interventions during the postpartum period, and preferences concerning those interventions. They also completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The sample comprises 599 mothers with a child aged 0–12 months (Mage = 5.28 months).


Approximately 36% of mothers screened positively for depressive symptoms, and 24.2% thought about seeking help or actually sought help. Structural barriers were the most cited reasons for not seeking help. Approximately 95% of mothers felt that participating in a mindful parenting intervention during the postpartum period would be useful. Concerning mothers’ preferences, most mothers preferred a weekly frequency (85.0%) and an average of 10 sessions (48.6%) of 45–60 min in length (52.6%). Learning how to better understand the baby’s emotions and behaviours and learning new tools to better cope with parenting stress were among the intervention contents considered most useful.


Our findings support postpartum mothers’ acceptability of mindful parenting interventions and provide important insights concerning specific features to consider and content to include in those interventions.

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