Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: Prenatal depression, stress and anxiety are significant predictors of postnatal depression and also have a direct negative impact on the family. Helpful psychological interventions during pregnancy are scarce and expensive, and usually only available for a small percentage of those suffering or deemed to be at risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of an online mindfulness course for expectant mothers. DESIGN: A randomised study was conducted to explore differences between control and active participants allocated to take an online mindfulness course, offered free to research participants, or wait. SETTING: The course provided was online and already available but given to study participants for free. Measures were also taken online using a secure site to collect the data. PARTICIPANTS: 185 mothers were recruited and randomised to the online course (n = 107) or a waitlist control (n = 78), with 72 completers at post-course (n = 22 active, n = 50 control) and 48 completers at postnatal follow-up (n = 16 active and n = 32 control). INTERVENTION: The online mindfulness course is available at and comprises a four-week, condensed version of an eight-week mindfulness course, with videos and written instructions for guided meditation and other mindfulness-based exercises. MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS: A number of psychological well-being measurements were taken including stress, anxiety, depression and pregnancy-specific measure such as labour worry. Intention to treat analysis (baseline carried forwards) showed no group difference in stress from pre to post intervention or control. KEY CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that the course was potentially beneficial for those who completed it, but levels of drop out from the course were very high. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Although outcomes for mothers completing the intervention were improved relative to a waitlist control, high rates of drop out indicate that the online course has low completion rates for pregnant women in its current format.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





51 - 57


Mindfulness, Pregnancy, Prenatal mood' online interventions, e-health