Antenatal parenting support for vulnerable women

Jane White, Lucy Thompson, Christine Puckering, Harriet Waugh, Marion Henderson, Angus MacBeth, Philip Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Social adversity and poor maternal mental health during pregnancy can have long-term adverse effects on the infant's health, social and educational outcomes. Stress in pregnancy may have direct physiological effects on the fetus, as well as impairing development of maternal sensitivity to the infant. Improved antenatal support and more effective engagement with 'high-risk' expectant mothers is needed. Method: Pregnant women meeting high-risk criteria were invited to participate. Participants (n=35) were randomly allocated in clusters of six to either Mellow Bumps (a 6-week antenatal parenting programme that aims to decrease maternal stress levels and emphasises the importance of early interaction in enhancing brain development and attachment), Chill-out in Pregnancy (a 6-week stress reduction programme) or care-as-usual. Results: The interventions are promising in terms of maternal mental health. Qualitative feedback suggested that the interventions' format was acceptable. A larger trial may be justified if effect sizes can be estimated with more precision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-732
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015


  • Antenatal care
  • Infant mental health
  • Maternal mental health
  • Parenting intervention


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