A period of great joy and apprehension, meditation during pregnancy is an incredible tool to create a sense of balance and deal with all the emotional and physical challenges. Whether you have already practiced meditation or are unsure how it works, the below article will give your some guidance.
Finding balance during pregnancy
Meditation during pregnancy has a number of direct positive impacts. Practicing meditation and mindfulness while pregnant has been shown to increase a sense of wellbeing and decrease anxiety. It helps mitigate hormonal swings that can feel overwhelming during pregnancy and lessen mood swings.
Even more incredible, meditation during pregnancy can help strengthen the bond between mother and child even before birth. In her book Mindful Birthing, Nancy Bardacke explains that expecting mothers can learn to “let the baby be your mindfulness teacher from the very beginning. When you feel the baby moving, stop and come back to the present moment, if you can. Feel the baby in your belly, feel the breath as the belly rises and falls, and just be present with your baby.”
Benefits of meditation during pregnancy
Meditation can have a positive impact at any stage of life, but it’s been studied to be particularly helpful while pregnant. Here are a few of the benefits of practicing meditation during pregnancy:
Keep a positive mindset
Hormonal mood swings, feeling anxious about the pregnancy or our health, lack of sleep… All these factors contribute to creating a feeling of uncertainty or dread. Through regular meditation we can calm down the anxiety and find balance. In turn, this decreases the feeling of stress and increases wellbeing.
Some studies also show that by practicing mindfulness, women are able to get back in touch with their bodies and have lower rates of postpartum depression.
Relaxation & wellbeing
Whether we are working until the last minute or are able to take some time to enjoy pregnancy and prepare for the baby, it can be hard to make some time for yourself. Taking 20 minutes for yourself to be calm and meditate is very helpful. If you are new to the practice, it’s great to start with guided meditations that walk you through the process or to use white noise to get into the headspace.
Making the time for taking care of your mental health and wellbeing should always be a priority. We can’t be there at our best for others and ourselves when we feel depleted. So don’t feel guilty whether you are practicing meditation daily or choose other forms of self-care. This time to relax isn’t a “good to have”, but an “essential.”
When I need to get into “the mood” for meditation, I like to rub a little bit of my Petit Jovial Balm on my wrists and behind my neck. The scent of lavender and rosehip on my pulse points helps me relax right away.
Awareness of your body using meditation during pregnancy
There’s no human experience comparable to the changes our body goes through during pregnancy. Taking the time to analyse how you feel, emotionally and physically, to take stock of all the new sensations whether positive or negative, are all part of taking care of yourself during pregnancy.
By practicing meditation during pregnancy, you get to work on your breathing, your sense of being present and how your body feels. Acknowledging sensations helps bring awareness to your body. It can also become essential to help you notice if there’s anything that’s not feeling right.
Ever noticed how when someone is stressed out or in a bad mood, it tends to rub off on you too? It works the other way too! While pregnant, our child feels everything we feel, our mood and state of being expresses itself throughout our body letting our baby know if we feel good, relaxed or stressed and anxious.
Which leads us towards a benefit of great importance…
Even if this isn’t your first time going into labor, there’s always an element of stress around delivery. By practicing meditation during your pregnancy, you can increase your level of serenity, awareness and sense of being in control.
You could go as far as preparing for hypnobirthing, but even without getting into a meditative state while giving birth, having practiced meditation during the months leading to this moment will be very useful. From using your breathing to calm down and feel more in tune with the work your body is doing, to listening to your own heartbeat and trusting your body.
As mentioned previously under the benefit of reverberating wellbeing, our baby feels our emotions too. I’m not saying you need to be ecstatic through the pain and sing Hakuna Matata. However, keeping an inner state of calm, focusing on your breathing and sensations will help with being present and make your baby feel welcomed and safe rather than tense up.
Meditation can be helpful beyond pregnancy to help with postpartum healing and wellbeing. Some mothers even practice meditation with their newborns, which helps both with feeling relaxed and connected. It can be a beautiful moment for rest and bonding.
As your baby grows into a toddler, it can also be useful to help your child be more self-aware and generally calmer. Of course, it won’t prevent any sugar-rush energy from a massive consumption of candy!
Hoping you find meditation helpful during your pregnancy and beyond that!
Until next time, Tania xx