Potential benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy on maternal autonomic nervous system function and infant development

Mindfulness, ANS, and infant development

M.A.K.A. Braeken, Alexander Jones, R.A. Otte, I. Nyklicek, B.R.H. Van Den Bergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Mindfulness is known to decrease psychological distress. Possible benefits in pregnancy have rarely been explored. Our aim was to examine the prospective association of mindfulness with autonomic nervous system function during pregnancy and with later infant social-emotional development. Pregnant women (N=156) completed self-report mindfulness and emotional distress questionnaires, and had their autonomic function assessed in their first and third trimesters, including heart rate (HR), indices of heart rate variability (HRV), preejection period (PEP), and systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The social-emotional development of 109 infants was assessed at 4 months of age. More mindful pregnant women had less prenatal and postnatal emotional distress (p < .001) and higher cardiac parasympathetic activity: root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD: p = .03) and high-frequency (HF) HRV (p = .02). Between the first and third trimesters, women's overall HR increased (p < .001), and HRV (RMSSD, HF HRV, and low-frequency (LF) HRV: p < .001) and PEP decreased (p < .001). In more mindful mothers, parasympathetic activity decreased less (RMSSD: p = .01; HF HRV: p = .03) and sympathetic activity (inversely related to PEP) increased less (PEP: p = .02) between trimesters. Their offspring displayed less negative social-emotional behavior (p = .03) compared to offspring of less mindful mothers. Mindfulness in pregnancy was associated with ANS changes likely to be adaptive and with better social-emotional offspring development. Interventions to increase mindfulness during pregnancy might improve maternal and offspring health, but randomized trials are needed to demonstrate this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-288
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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title = "Potential benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy on maternal autonomic nervous system function and infant development: Mindfulness, ANS, and infant development",
abstract = "Mindfulness is known to decrease psychological distress. Possible benefits in pregnancy have rarely been explored. Our aim was to examine the prospective association of mindfulness with autonomic nervous system function during pregnancy and with later infant social-emotional development. Pregnant women (N=156) completed self-report mindfulness and emotional distress questionnaires, and had their autonomic function assessed in their first and third trimesters, including heart rate (HR), indices of heart rate variability (HRV), preejection period (PEP), and systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The social-emotional development of 109 infants was assessed at 4 months of age. More mindful pregnant women had less prenatal and postnatal emotional distress (p < .001) and higher cardiac parasympathetic activity: root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD: p = .03) and high-frequency (HF) HRV (p = .02). Between the first and third trimesters, women's overall HR increased (p < .001), and HRV (RMSSD, HF HRV, and low-frequency (LF) HRV: p < .001) and PEP decreased (p < .001). In more mindful mothers, parasympathetic activity decreased less (RMSSD: p = .01; HF HRV: p = .03) and sympathetic activity (inversely related to PEP) increased less (PEP: p = .02) between trimesters. Their offspring displayed less negative social-emotional behavior (p = .03) compared to offspring of less mindful mothers. Mindfulness in pregnancy was associated with ANS changes likely to be adaptive and with better social-emotional offspring development. Interventions to increase mindfulness during pregnancy might improve maternal and offspring health, but randomized trials are needed to demonstrate this.",
author = "M.A.K.A. Braeken and Alexander Jones and R.A. Otte and I. Nyklicek and {Van Den Bergh}, B.R.H.",
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Potential benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy on maternal autonomic nervous system function and infant development : Mindfulness, ANS, and infant development. / Braeken, M.A.K.A.; Jones, Alexander; Otte, R.A.; Nyklicek, I.; Van Den Bergh, B.R.H.

In: Psychophysiology, Vol. 54, No. 2, 2017, p. 279-288.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Potential benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy on maternal autonomic nervous system function and infant development

T2 - Mindfulness, ANS, and infant development

AU - Braeken, M.A.K.A.

AU - Jones, Alexander

AU - Otte, R.A.

AU - Nyklicek, I.

AU - Van Den Bergh, B.R.H.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Mindfulness is known to decrease psychological distress. Possible benefits in pregnancy have rarely been explored. Our aim was to examine the prospective association of mindfulness with autonomic nervous system function during pregnancy and with later infant social-emotional development. Pregnant women (N=156) completed self-report mindfulness and emotional distress questionnaires, and had their autonomic function assessed in their first and third trimesters, including heart rate (HR), indices of heart rate variability (HRV), preejection period (PEP), and systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The social-emotional development of 109 infants was assessed at 4 months of age. More mindful pregnant women had less prenatal and postnatal emotional distress (p < .001) and higher cardiac parasympathetic activity: root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD: p = .03) and high-frequency (HF) HRV (p = .02). Between the first and third trimesters, women's overall HR increased (p < .001), and HRV (RMSSD, HF HRV, and low-frequency (LF) HRV: p < .001) and PEP decreased (p < .001). In more mindful mothers, parasympathetic activity decreased less (RMSSD: p = .01; HF HRV: p = .03) and sympathetic activity (inversely related to PEP) increased less (PEP: p = .02) between trimesters. Their offspring displayed less negative social-emotional behavior (p = .03) compared to offspring of less mindful mothers. Mindfulness in pregnancy was associated with ANS changes likely to be adaptive and with better social-emotional offspring development. Interventions to increase mindfulness during pregnancy might improve maternal and offspring health, but randomized trials are needed to demonstrate this.

AB - Mindfulness is known to decrease psychological distress. Possible benefits in pregnancy have rarely been explored. Our aim was to examine the prospective association of mindfulness with autonomic nervous system function during pregnancy and with later infant social-emotional development. Pregnant women (N=156) completed self-report mindfulness and emotional distress questionnaires, and had their autonomic function assessed in their first and third trimesters, including heart rate (HR), indices of heart rate variability (HRV), preejection period (PEP), and systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The social-emotional development of 109 infants was assessed at 4 months of age. More mindful pregnant women had less prenatal and postnatal emotional distress (p < .001) and higher cardiac parasympathetic activity: root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD: p = .03) and high-frequency (HF) HRV (p = .02). Between the first and third trimesters, women's overall HR increased (p < .001), and HRV (RMSSD, HF HRV, and low-frequency (LF) HRV: p < .001) and PEP decreased (p < .001). In more mindful mothers, parasympathetic activity decreased less (RMSSD: p = .01; HF HRV: p = .03) and sympathetic activity (inversely related to PEP) increased less (PEP: p = .02) between trimesters. Their offspring displayed less negative social-emotional behavior (p = .03) compared to offspring of less mindful mothers. Mindfulness in pregnancy was associated with ANS changes likely to be adaptive and with better social-emotional offspring development. Interventions to increase mindfulness during pregnancy might improve maternal and offspring health, but randomized trials are needed to demonstrate this.

U2 - 10.1111/psyp.12782

DO - 10.1111/psyp.12782

M3 - Article

VL - 54

SP - 279

EP - 288

JO - Psychophysiology

JF - Psychophysiology

SN - 0048-5772

IS - 2

ER -