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The Expectful App is Scientifically Proven to Decrease Prenatal Stress

The Expectful App is Scientifically Proven to Decrease Prenatal Stress

In a recent study, it was shown that using a mindfulness app like Expectful can decrease prenatal stress. Low-risk, low-cost help for Mom.

Written By
Virginia Furnari

Virginia Furnari

April 13, 2022

Decrease prenatal stress. One of our most important goals here at Expectfuland now, it’s proven.

Expectful was founded on scientifically-backed principals. That mindfulness helps reduce stress across all of life’s experiences. When it comes to pregnancy, lowering that perceived stress can also set you up with better pregnancy outcomes and a happier, healthier perinatal journey overall. We know this. We believe this. We live this. But as of this week, we’ve entered a new era of proven worth.

In a study just published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, researchers confirmed that a meditation and mindfulness practice with the Expectful app may be an effective tool for reducing stress in pregnant patients. This is incredibly meaningful to us as advocates for Mom, from fertility through motherhood, and it allows us to continue what we do, day in and day out, with a bit more proven-pep in our step.

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The Expectful App Can Decrease Prenatal Stress: A Little Background

It will not come as shock to the mothers and mothers-to-be reading this that 40% of prenatal patients report depression or anxiety symptoms, and nearly every pregnant person feels an increase in stress. For some, this mental response kick starts in the preconception phase, dealing with infertility, loss, or just plan trying. It can amplify throughout pregnancy, dealing with unrealistic expectations, preparation for baby, fearing uncertainty, navigating complications, telling work… the list goes on.

For too long, this prenatal stress has been kept hush-hush, simply considered part of the pregnancy process. Something you just get through.

Expectful aims to change that. Our mission today is the same as it was when our product was born: to offer a comprehensive mindfulness experience for Mom on her journey to and through parenthood that actually helps rid Moms of this burden, to help them cope and manage, and finally, to empower them with the tools within to feel better, healthier, and happier. And now, we have hyper-specific research that directly points to Expectful as a proven resource to help alleviate this ubiquitous burden of stress.

The Study on Decreasing Prenatal Stress

It Begins With The “Why?”

Why conduct a study on stress in pregnancy? We all know that “stress” in and of itself is unenjoyable, but does it really result in unwanted outcomes? Does it physically or mentally damage Mom or Baby? The short, honest answer: Yes.

The study reads,

Antepartum maternal stress, even in the absence of diagnoses of anxiety and depression, is associated with a wide range of adverse pregnancy outcomes for both the woman and the child. Prenatal stress is linked to increased risk of preterm birth17 and low birth weight.3, 5, 79 After birth, antepartum stress increases the risk of postpartum depression10, 11 and impacts maternal-neonatal bonding.11 Recent research suggests that prenatal stress has long-lasting effects on childhood neurodevelopment.1214 Therefore, it is critical that pregnant patients are given tools to decrease their stress levels to secure the best possible outcome for themselves and their children.

The problem? Moms to be don’t even know the “tools” to decrease their stress, other than pharmacological assistance, and most mothers do not want that type of intervention.

This study focused on a helpful, low-cost, low-risk tool that they hypothesized would help decrease prenatal stress and ultimately serve as that hard-to-find universally accepted “tool.” The researchers chose the Expectful app as their pillar of support, representing mindfulness apps and what they are positioned to offer users.

The Methods

The study followed patients from about 15 weeks of pregnancy throughout the rest of their gestation. Patients were asked to listen to a daily meditation on the Expectful app and at specific times during the pregnancy, they completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) self-assessment. PSS scores and pregnancy outcomes were compared with a control group of pregnant people who did not use the app.

The Results

According to the data, “an app-based mindfulness practice significantly reduced perceived stress between the second and third trimesters compared with non-app users.” The study went on to read, “Prenatal mindfulness apps represent an important low-intervention, low-cost, highly accessible tool for managing perinatal mood and stress.”

More quick points the study made:

  • Mindfulness applications (apps) are a feasible approach to increase access to mental health resources for pregnant patients.
  • Establishing an app-based mindfulness practice may reduce perceived stress in pregnant patients.
  • Pregnant patients are eager for a nonpharmacologic intervention for stress reduction.

Expectful is a Proven Low-Risk, High-Outcome Way to Decrease Prenatal Stress

Mindfulness is at the core of our belief system. We know from our own experiences that marrying meditation, education, awareness, and community can help us feel happier and healthier, but now that is a proven published fact.

We want to thank the researchers for trusting our app to be the standard in this study and for bringing this tool to light for so many women who could benefit.

For the full study, click here.

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Virginia Furnari
Virginia Furnari
Virginia Hamilton Furnari serves as Head of Content at Expectful and has a background in writing, branding, and content production, primarily around fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood. Additionally, and maybe most importantly, she is a mother. Her professional skillset and personal experience with infertility and the journey to parenthood has connected her mind, body, and soul to the Expectful mission.