People who have been depressed in the past are at risk of becoming depressed in the future, and depression during pregnancy is all too common. Our study seeks to determine whether a digital mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (Mindful Mood Balance for Moms) platform is effective in preventing depressive relapse in euthymic people during pregnancy and the postpartum period. In partnership with the Renée Crown Wellness Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Center for Women’s Mental Health at MGH are enrolling approximately 500 participants to take part in this study. 

Enrollees will be randomly assigned to trial the online mindfulness program, Mindful Mood Balance for Moms (MMB), and the remaining enrollees will continue their usual care. Enrollees will be asked to participate from the time they enroll through six months post-partum. They will be asked to participate in a series of phone interviews and questionnaires. 


In UPWARD(S), we will collect information about suicidal thoughts and behaviors that enrollees experience during pregnancy and postpartum from 500 enrollees. These 500 people will be asked to complete questionnaires at one time point in pregnancy. Another 100 will be asked to complete questionnaires and interviews from pregnancy through six-months postpartum. These 100 enrollees will also provide permission to contact their health care provider to participate in a qualitative interview examining treatment for suicidal ideation and behaviors in their practice. In another 30 enrollees, we will study the effectiveness of the platform in supporting their mental health and wellness.

Both studies are supported by the National Institute for Mental Health, and enrollment is facilitated solely by BabyCenter – the most popular online resource community for pregnant moms.


Vanderkruik, R., Freeman, M. P., Dunn, K., Clifford, C., Dimidjian, S., Cohen, L. S. (2023). The challenge of clinical research and suicidality: Participant feedback on a safety protocol. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 84(00):22m14737.