Designing a Mindfulness Resource for Expectant and New Mothers to Promote Maternal Mental Wellness: Parents’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Learning Preferences

  • Jennifer Abbass-DickEmail author
  • Winnie Sun
  • Wendy M. Stanyon
  • Efrosini Papaconstantinou
  • Valerie D’Paiva
  • Nilusha Jiwani-Ebrahim
  • Cindy-Lee Dennis
Original Paper



Mindfulness interventions have been found to positively impact mental health, decrease stress and increase resilience. Nevertheless, mindfulness is not commonly included in routine prenatal resources. The purpose of this study was to conduct the first step in the scaling up approach to intervention dissemination by examining parents’ knowledge and attitudes about mindfulness and learning preferences. The objective is to inform subsequent wide spread dissemination of mindfulness education for expectant women and their families through a local health department in Ontario to promote mental wellness during the transition to parenthood.


This study employed an exploratory cross-sectional design. New and expectant parents in Ontario were surveyed to determine their knowledge, interest, and preferences in learning about mindfulness.


One hundred participants were recruited. Over half of the participants had heard about mindfulness, yet few were currently practicing mindfulness. The most commonly known practice was mindful breathing. The majority of participants were interested in learning more about the practices of: mindful breathing (87.5%), everyday mindfulness (89.1%), body scan (89.5%) and loving kindness (86.1%). Participants indicated they liked to receive information in a variety of formats, however; digital means (76%) was preferred over print format (50%). The highest rated methods of information delivery were from a professional (61%) or through websites (60%), using visual methods (75%).


The findings of this study will inform the implementation of mindfulness education on a population level, which will be evaluated to determine its effectiveness on decreasing perinatal mood disorders within the population.


Mindfulness practices Parents Prenatal Health education Childbirth preparation Parental mental health Public health 


Authors’ Contributions

JAD: designed and executed the study, conducted the data analyses, and wrote the manuscript. WS: collaborated with the design, analysis of part of the data and writing of some of the results. WMS: collaborated on the design of the study and editing the final manuscript. EP: collaborated on some analysis and writing and editing the final manuscript. VD, NJE: collaborated on the design and data collection and editing of the final manuscript. CLD: collaborated with the study design and writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Research ethics approval was received from Ontario Tech University.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Abbass-Dick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Winnie Sun
    • 1
  • Wendy M. Stanyon
    • 1
  • Efrosini Papaconstantinou
    • 1
  • Valerie D’Paiva
    • 2
  • Nilusha Jiwani-Ebrahim
    • 2
  • Cindy-Lee Dennis
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Ontario Tech UniversityOntarioCanada
  2. 2.York Region Public HealthOntarioCanada
  3. 3.Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of NursingUniversity of Toronto, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s HospitalOntarioCanada

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