Effect of the Healthy MOMs Lifestyle Intervention on Reducing Depressive Symptoms Among Pregnant Latinas

  • Edith C. KiefferEmail author
  • Cleopatra H. Caldwell
  • Diana B. Welmerink
  • Kathleen B. Welch
  • Brandy R. Sinco
  • J. Ricardo Guzmán
Original Paper


Depression during the prenatal and postpartum periods is associated with poor maternal, perinatal and child outcomes. This study examines the effectiveness of a culturally and linguistically tailored, social support-based, healthy lifestyle intervention led by trained community health workers in reducing depressive symptoms among pregnant and early postpartum Latinas. A sample of 275 pregnant Latinas was randomized to the Healthy MOMs Healthy Lifestyle Intervention (MOMs) or the Healthy Pregnancy Education (control) group. More than one-third of participants were at risk for depression at baseline. MOMs participants were less likely than control group participants to be at risk for depression at follow-up. Between baseline and 6 weeks postpartum, MOMs participants experienced a significant decline in depressive symptoms; control participants experienced a marginally significant decline. For MOMs participants, most of this decline occurred during the pregnancy intervention period, a time when no change occurred for control participants. The change in depressive symptoms during this period was greater among MOMs than control participants (“intervention effect”). From baseline to postpartum, there was a significant intervention effect among non-English-speaking women only. These findings provide evidence that a community-planned, culturally tailored healthy lifestyle intervention led by community health workers can reduce depressive symptoms among pregnant, Spanish-speaking Latinas.


Prenatal and postpartum depression Latinas Community-based intervention Community health workers Diabetes Community-based participatory research 



The authors wish to thank Emily Vogtmann and Dr. Erin Rees Clayton for their preliminary examination of the data and the staff at Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center and the REACH Detroit Partnership for their guidance and support in developing and conducting these studies. This work was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (R18 DK062433); the Biostatistics and Measurement Cores of the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, P60 DK020572; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (U48/CCUS1577S-/SIP 10) the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (R40 MC00115-03) and the University of Michigan Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Research and Training Center.


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Copyright information

© Society for Community Research and Action 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edith C. Kieffer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cleopatra H. Caldwell
    • 2
  • Diana B. Welmerink
    • 1
  • Kathleen B. Welch
    • 3
  • Brandy R. Sinco
    • 1
  • J. Ricardo Guzmán
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Social Work, University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Behavior and Health EducationSchool of Public Health, University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Center for Statistical Consulting and Research (CSCAR), University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center, Inc.DetroitUSA

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