Many mothers are diagnosed with anxiety or depression after childbirth. Child development and mother’s mental health are closely linked. Partners, too, are often distressed in these families. Relationship conflicts are a predictor of mother’s depression and negatively affect the child. Our goal is to explore the effect of including partners in a mindfulness program along with mothers with depression or anxiety. We aim to help families struggling with mental issues by including both partners, so they can support each other and cultivate mindfulness and well-being together in their everyday life. We predict improvement in mother’s mental health; and in the couple’s relationship and communication, leading to a more stable and nurturing home environment that supports both the mother and the infant. Thirty mothers with depression or anxiety after childbirth will be assigned to two groups: 1) both parents practice mindfulness; 2) only the mother practices. Validated measures will assess mother’s mental health outcomes; heart-rate variability; and couple’s relationship outcomes. This research has the potential to shape the future practice of care for families affected by depression and anxiety, both as a treatment and prevention. Moreover, it could inform family community programs in areas with low accessibility to specialist care.

Katarina Tabi, PhD

University of British Columbia (Canada)


I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. Specifically, I am affiliated with a Reproductive Mental Health Clinic and the … MORE