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We will explore the intersections of race and gender as we consider stress and anxiety in Black pregnant women and the usefulness of mindfulness as an approach to address these issues. This presentation will include Dr. Sheffield-Abdullah’s research findings as well as provide experiential practices for attendees to engage in.


Karen M. Sheffield-Abdullah PhD, RN, CNM has a doctoral degree in nursing from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Yale University. She did her postdoctoral fellowship at The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Program on Integrative Medicine, through an NIH T-32 Fellowship Training Grant for Research in Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine. Dr. Sheffield-Abdullah was also a postdoctoral fellow with the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity. Dr. Sheffield-Abdullah is currently an assistant professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Lastly, Dr. Sheffield-Abdullah is a mindfulness instructor and is currently pursuing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher training through the Brown University’s Mindfulness Center.

Dr. Sheffield-Abdullah’s research focuses on the utilization of holistic, integrative, multi-sector strategies to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being for individuals and communities. She is particularly interested in developing strategies to reduce the long-term health effects of stress, psychological trauma, anxiety, and depression on women’s health and birth outcomes. Her interests include the bio-psycho-social benefits of self-compassion, mindfulness, and other mind-body therapies as adjuncts to conventional treatment modalities. Her program of research focuses on the development of culturally-relevant interventions to reduce disparities in stress-related adverse outcomes during the perinatal period and to provide a platform to guide successful models for women’s health care provision that incorporate stress management and improve wellness across the lifespan.


UNC Chapel Hill – Clinical Lecture Series Program

This program is presented in partnership with UNC School of Social Work’s Wellness Committee.

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