Mindful Motherhood



Mindful Motherhood

A Mindfulness-based Program for Pregnancy and Early Motherhood
Principal Investigator(s): 
Cassandra Vieten, PhD
John Astin
Key Collaborator(s): 
Jnana Gowan
Program Areas: 
Consciousness & Healing
Project Year Started: 

The Mindful Motherhood Training is a meditation and yoga based program for pregnant women and new moms designed to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance mother-infant bonding. Developed and researched in collaboration with California Pacific Medical Center's Research Institute, The Mindful Motherhood Training was shown in a small randomized controlled trial to reduce anxiety and negative moods in pregnant women, and the training has been translated into a book for pregnant women and new moms entitled Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child's First Year. Mindful Motherhood workshops and groups are offered in several locations. (For information please email [email protected].)

Not everyone can make it to a Mindful Motherhood Training in person. We have recently developed the Mindful Motherhood Online Course so that women can participate in this training from any internet-accessible location. This eight-session self-paced training includes nine video lectures, five downloadable audio-guided mindfulness practices, questions for reflection, homework assignments, downloadable pdf readings, and links to numerous multimedia resources for further exploration. We also offer an online training for professionals who want to use Mindful Motherhood in their work, and an organizational subscription for agencies who want to offer the program to multiple groups or patients.

The Mindful Motherhood Training was chosen by the University of California, San Francisco to help obese low to middle-income pregnant women reduce stress and create a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. The program is currently being modified in a NIH-funded project to include a greater emphasis on healthy eating and living behaviors to address the needs of the growing population of obese low to middle-income pregnant women whose weight puts them at higher risk of complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

Most recently, we were awarded a grant from the Aetna Foundation to translate and make culturally appropriate enhancements to the Mindful Motherhood Training. The Spanish-language "Maternidad Consciente" will be pilot tested and refined to ensure its effectiveness and cultural literacy among Hispanic populations.


Download a PDF of a paper on the Mindful Motherhood pilot study
We would like to acknowledge the following for supporting this project: 
The Aetna Foundation, The Bella Vista Foundation, The Mental Insight Foundation