Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1556–1566 | Cite as

A Preliminary Study Investigating the Effectiveness of the Caring for Body and Mind in Pregnancy (CBMP) in Reducing Perinatal Depression, Anxiety and Stress

  • Kishani Townshend
  • Nerina J. Caltabiano
  • Rosalind Powrie
  • Helen O’Grady
Original Paper


Prenatal mental illness is a significant public health issue with intergenerational consequences. Caring for Body and Mind in Pregnancy (CBMP) is an Australian, 8-week mindful parenting program. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of CBMP in reducing pregnant women’s levels of depression, anxiety, perinatal depression, perinatal anxiety and stress. The sample consisted of 109 pregnant women at-risk for perinatal depression and anxiety. The mean age of the sample was 33.52 years (SD = 4.90), ranging from 21 to 45 years. A within group, pre-post research design was used to examine whether CBMP improves participants’ scores on outcome measures. Wilcoxon Signed Rank test results indicated that CBMP significantly reduced depression, anxiety, perinatal depression, perinatal anxiety and general stress scores, while significantly increasing self-compassion and mindfulness with moderate to strong effect sizes. The double mediation hypothesis was supported with self-compassion t (71) = −2.23, p < 03, b2 = −1.96, SE = 88, 95% CI = −3.71, −.20, having a stronger influence in reducing perinatal depression than mindfulness t (71) = −2.68, p < .01, b3 = −.07, SE = .03, 95% CI = −.13, −.02. Further research, using a randomized controlled design with appropriate control conditions, is needed to establish the effectiveness of CBMP in reducing psychological distress amongst pregnant women at risk of developing depression, anxiety or stress.


Mindful parenting Perinatal depression Perinatal anxiety Stress Self-compassion Mindfulness 


Author Contributions

K.T.: designed the current study, conducted all the data analysis and wrote the manuscript. N.C.: supervised K.T. with the data analysis and writing process. R.P.: supervised K.T. with ethics approval and editing final manuscript. R.P. and H.O.: delivered the 8 week program and collected the data for the 7 years. All authors provided feedback on the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study involving humans were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Women and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) at which the study was conducted. A Low and Negligible (LNR) ethics approval (HREC/16/WCHN/21) was granted to conduct this study by WCHN.

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 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kishani Townshend
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nerina J. Caltabiano
    • 3
  • Rosalind Powrie
    • 2
    • 4
  • Helen O’Grady
    • 4
  1. 1.The Cairns InstituteCairnsAustralia
  2. 2.University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.James Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia
  4. 4.Women and Children’s Health NetworkAdelaideAustralia

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