How To Meditate When You’re Pregnant
Mamas-to-be don’t spend their entire pregnancy in a radiant glow as they await the arrival of their baby.
There’s many bumps in the road as you journey towards motherhood.
There’s the daily grind of work, chores and staying upright long enough to have meaningful conversations with your partner.
Coping with the fatigue of growing your baby and the endless lists of things to do.
The pressure of ‘doing it all’ can lead many pregnant women to feeling depressed or anxious.
The good news is, there’s a very simple and accessible tool all pregnant mamas can use to help them cope and reduce their stress levels.
Meditation is a wonderful way to connect with your inner self, your incredible body and your baby.
Let’s look at the wonderful benefits of meditation and how to meditate during pregnancy.
What is meditation?
Meditation has been practiced in cultures around the world for thousands of years. Almost every religion on earth has some form of meditative practice which is used to achieve a calm, clear and open minded state.
Using one of a number of techniques, meditation is the practice of encouraging a heightened awareness and attention.
This can help you to gain a clear, calm and peaceful inner state.
Types of meditation
There are two main types of meditation you can use: concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness is the art of bringing yourself into awareness of and involved in the present moment and making yourself open, aware, and accepting.
Concentrative meditation involves focusing your whole attention on an object while tuning out everything else around you. The aim is to achieve a higher state of being through experiencing what you’re focusing on, whether that’s your breath or a mantra, or even an object.
What are the benefits of meditation in pregnancy?
Being in a calm state of mind allows pregnant women to stay focused on the important job of growing their baby and preparing for birth.
Stress levels impact our emotional wellbeing, which in turn can create disharmony in our bodies.
Ways meditation can benefit you during pregnancy include:
Connecting to your amazing body
Better sleep and higher functioning
Relief from stress and anxiety
More positive preparation for labour and birth
Early bonding with your baby
Lower risk of postpartum depression.
These are all incredibly important benefits and show how linked our mind and body are.
High levels of stress and anxiety during pregnancy increases the risk of having a premature baby or a baby who is low birth weight.
Mothers of premature babies also face high rates of anxiety, stress and depression that often go unacknowledged as they cope with their babies’ needs.
Mindfulness allows you to work through complex feelings you may be having about your pregnancy or parenting, and creates space to better manage those emotions.
Being able to access an inner resource that brings you physically and emotionally into a state of calmness and self awareness is a must for pregnant women.
Creating a flow of awareness into your own body and connecting with your baby ensures you have trust your body can and will give birth in a positive way.
For more information be sure to read 7 Benefits Of Meditation During Pregnancy | Nurtured Birth
How does meditation benefit my baby?
As we’ve mentioned above, stress during pregnancy has a huge impact on your developing baby.
Research is still new in this area but it’s been shown ongoing levels of stress and anxiety can affect the emotional, physical and brain development of unborn babies, particularly if it occurs in the third trimester.
Babies who are born prematurely or are low birth weight face complications at birth such as breathing problems, vision and hearing issues, and developmental delays.
How to meditate during pregnancy?
So with all those wonderful benefits for you and your baby, what’s stopping you from starting?
Meditation might seem like one of those things you keep meaning to do but just never get into or around to. Or maybe you don’t know how to meditate?
And that’s the biggest challenge, because it’s a practice – one you have to consciously bring into your daily life to reap the rewards of.
Many people think of meditation as a means to solving their problems, instead of inviting the practice into their lives as a method of self care. It provides space and time to connect and be aware, to quietly problem solve while letting go.
If you’re daunted by the idea of starting meditation without guidance, Nurtured Birth offers these recordings of meditation sessions from Melbourne doula, childbirth educator, pregnancy massage specialist and meditation teacher Sarah Goldberg.
These recordings are easily downloadable and you can use them to bring mindfulness practice into your daily life to assist you during pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
How to meditate – 4 tips for meditating during pregnancy
Create the intention to practice meditation regularly, to bring those positive changes into your life as you journey towards birth and parenthood.
It can be overwhelming to start so here are our top 4 tips how to mediate to help you build that practice:
Start slowly: shorter sessions are often a good way to begin, building up to longer sessions over time
With intention: meditate at the same time each day so that it becomes a habit, similar to brushing your teeth after breakfast
Comfort is key: you need to be in a position where you can sit easily for long moments without being stiff or restless. Wear clothes that allow you to feel comfortable too
Feel: your mind will wander, it’s only natural … and you might have thoughts or feelings that are uncomfortable. Acknowledge these thoughts without judgement and gently guide yourself back to focus.