Mothers & Babies is a perinatal depression prevention intervention that is easy for
providers to implement and easy for clients to understand and utilize in their daily lives to improve mood and cope with stress in their lives.
Mothers and Babies (MB) has been designed for prenatal and postpartum women with the intent that the content can be delivered during the perinatal period, preparing new mothers with their “toolkit”. MB focuses on three specific areas: encouraging more engagement in pleasant activities, improving social support, and promoting healthier ways of thinking. MB offers a “toolkit” of approaches for women to observe their mood, note factors affecting their mood, and make changes in their daily lives to impact these areas. Based on principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), attachment theory, and psychoeducation, Mothers and Babies is designed to be delivered by clinic- or community-based providers from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. It can be delivered as a group or a one-on-one intervention in various settings where pregnant women and new mothers access services (e.g. prenatal clinics, home visiting programs, WIC programs, County Health Departments, etc.).
Mothers and Babies can be delivered one-on-one or in a group setting. Both modalities include a Field Guide or Instructor Manual for the provider’s use, as well as a workbook for clients to use in tandem with the delivery of the content. The curriculum is divided into 3 main modules that address (1) pleasant activities, (2) thoughts, and (3) contact with others. Each session incorporates aspects of psychoeducation to foster observation of one’s mood and identification of the things that affect one’s mood, as well as promotion of healthy bonding and developmentally appropriate mother-infant interactions. Mothers and Babies can be delivered by individuals with background/training in mental health (e.g., clinical social worker, psychologist) or individuals without specialized mental health training (e.g., home visitors).
The MB 1-on-1 intervention is designed to be implemented by one staff person (e.g. a home visitor, case manager, nurse) with one client, over the course of 12 brief (15-20 minute) sessions. Each visit includes key points, interactive activities, and a brief script to provide a framework and examples for discussion. These brief sessions are designed so providers can integrate the content into another service visit (e.g. home visit, clinic appointment) or deliver them as standalone sessions. Between visits, clients work on “personal projects” to practice new skills and reinforce the concepts in the context of their everyday lives.
The MB Group intervention can be facilitated by one or two providers, over the course of six, two-hour group sessions. Each session contains didactic instruction, activities and group discussion, as well as assigned “personal projects” to practice new skills and reinforce key concepts in the context of everyday life. Sessions incorporate aspects of psychoeducation to foster self-awareness and self-efficacy, as well as promotion of healthy bonding and developmentally appropriate mother-infant interactions. Two booster sessions at 3 month intervals provide opportunities for review and encouragement, as well as opportunities to keep new moms engaged with other program services. Ideal group size is 6-10 women. Barriers to attendance should be anticipated whenever possible by providing transportation, childcare, refreshments during the group sessions, and scheduling groups at a convenient time and location.