In the US, the risks to the mental and physical well-being of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) during the peripartum, further compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and collective racial trauma have reached crisis levels. At the same time, the peripartum has been identified as a critical period for assessing and intervening to mitigate experiences of negative body image and disordered eating, which have lasting health-related impacts (e.g., risk for postpartum depression, anxiety, Type 2 diabetes). Pregnant BIPOC individuals are at heightened risk for these adverse outcomes due to the interplay of structural (e.g., food insecurity, racism in healthcare settings), sociocultural (intersectional discrimination stress), and psychological (e.g., internalized weight bias) forces. Accordingly, leading experts in reproductive health equity have called for systems level, anti-racist, weight-neutral models of integrated care to increase access to mind-body practices such as prenatal yoga for empowering the well-being of and effective postpartum transition for under resourced BIPOC birthing people. In this context, we propose to adapt and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the innovative Eat Breathe Thrive yoga-based disordered eating prevention, mindful self-care, and compassionate embodiment promotion program among economically-diverse BIPOC obstetrical patients receiving care at local Charlotte, NC area healthcare clinics.

Jennifer Webb, PhD

University of North Carolina-Charlotte