For Prenatal Care Providers

Image of a pregnant woman with her doctor.What is the MAMAS Study?

The MAMAS study is built on the premise that simple recommendations for diet and exercise may not be enough to encourage healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Psychological skills training may be necessary to help women deal with stress and cravings, learn to regulate difficult emotions, increase awareness, and encourage healthy eating and physical activity. Based on preliminary results, we will enroll eligible women in the Mindful Moms intervention. The goal of this study is to find out whether this kind of intervention can help women achieve healthy weight gain during pregnancy and reduce stress.

Who is conducting this study?

Drs. Barbara Laraia, Elissa Epel, and Nancy Adler at the University of California, San Francisco are the principal investigators on this study. Dr. Cassandra Vieten is the Principal Investigator at California Pacific Medical Center's Research Institute. This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Who will participate in the study?

We are seeking 168 low- to middle-income pregnant women, 18-45 years old, who are overweight/obese (BMI 25-40) and less than 20 weeks gestation at the start of the classes. Women who are 20-28 weeks gestation but otherwise eligible will serve as a comparison group.

What are participants asked to do?

Eligible participants will receive information about nutrition, wellness, and stress reduction during two-hour Mindful Moms classes that meet once a week for eight weeks and four postpartum "booster" sessions. Participants are assessed by researchers at UCSF prior to the intervention, after the intervention, and postpartum. Assessments include questionnaires, interviews, blood draws, body measurements, ultrasounds, and other psychosocial and physiologic measures. Women in the comparison group will complete questionnaires only.

What are the costs and risks associated with participating in this study?

There are no costs to participants. Women in the intervention group are paid up to $760 for their time and effort. Women in the comparison group will be paid up to $50 for completing questionnaires. The risks of participating are primarily loss of time, potential loss of privacy, and inconvenience. There is potential for boredom, stress or discomfort to participants when they participate in the intervention, when their blood is being drawn, when completing questionnaires, and having body measurements taken. All information is kept confidential within the limits of the law.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you would like more information about the study, please contact Kim Coleman-Phox at (415) 476-7735 or If you are a pregnant woman who might like to participate, contact us at (415) 476-9800 or

Study Recruitment Materials

MAMAS Flyer 1
MAMAS Flyer 2