Living to the full during pregnancy
Increasing psychological resilience in pregnancy in order to prevent peripartum depression.
A randomized trial embedded in a birth cohort study

Depression among pregnant women is a serious public health problem that is related to poor maternal and offspring outcome. Up to 20% of women experience depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Prenatal depressive symptoms are associated with peripartum major depression, low maternal quality of life, premature birth, low birthweight and long-term emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems in the child. Therefore, early detection and intervention is crucial.

However, psychological interventions generally offered to pregnant women, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT), have been shown to have inconsistent and only moderate effects concerning the prevention and reduction of prenatal (subclinical) depression partly due to high drop-out rates. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be suitable as early easy accessible non-stigmatizing intervention for peripartum depressive symptoms because of its proven effectiveness regarding the reduction of mild-to-moderate depressive symptomatology and the promotion of positive mental health and resilience among non-pregnant adults. In the current randomized controlled trial (RCT, n=290), we will evaluate, the effectiveness of a self-guided resilience training based on ACT and mindfulness, ‘Living to the full during pregnancy’ (Voluit zwanger), to reduce peripartum depressive symptoms and promote maternal resilience and infant development.

This RCT is embedded in a prospective cohort study (n~3500) investigating the underlying mechanisms of the possible link between maternal peripartum resilience, psychological functioning and perinatal and infant developmental outcomes.

PI: Dr. Jens Henrichs

Amsterdam UMC
Vrije Universiteit
Department of Midwifery Science
AVAG-Amsterdam Public Health
Van der Boechhorststraat 7
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
e-mail: [email protected]

Website: Trial Register