Meditation should be on every pregnant woman’s to do list, no matter how long the list is. Even better: Meditation will help you shorten it!
You’re hooked? Read on for 10 amazing benefits of prenatal meditation, that are available for everyone at this every moment.
It’s common knowledge by now that Yoga and Meditation are beneficial for everyone who is willing to give it a fair trial. If you are aware of the positive effect it has on you, or not. If you are pregnant, or not. It’s there, no doubt about it. Yoga’s definitely got you covered, dear Moms to be. However, the main elements of prenatal yoga are usually Meditation and Breathing exercises. So let’s take a closer look at meditation today, as I feel that its power has been underestimated so far.
- Reduces stress and anxiety
Talk about that to do list. You all know the pre-baby list is long, but beside painting the nursery and doctors appointment, most women experience also fear at one point in their pregnancy. Fear of not having control over their lives anymore, fear of giving birth, fear of not being up for the challenge. During meditation the DHEA hormone is released that reduces the stress inducing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. So breath on and trust the chemicals inside your body.
- Helps with nausea and heartburn
Meditation can reduce morning sickness and heartburn. While nausea during the first stage of pregnancy is a completely normal symptom, it can be worsened and triggered by stress. An underlying cause of both nausea and heartburn is an insufficient functioning of the digestive tract. Meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which means it triggers the Rest-and-Digest state of our body, which never gets a chance to shine if we are always on the go.
- Balances hormones
Hormones can be out of whack during pregnancy, even during the first weeks when you cannot see much change from the outside. Meditation and also a healthy diet helps to keep the hormones balance and reduces hormone related mood swings and eating attacks.
- Decreases blood pressure
During pregnancy blood pressure can be higher, for which one of the reasons can be the additional blood in your body. The stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system supports lowering blood pressure, by calming your mind and body.
- Supports your immune system
During your pregnancy you are more likely to catch a cold that usually. A strong cold can also affect the unborn child, so the better your immune system the better for the both of you. Meditation increases the hormone melatonin that supports your immunity against germs.
- Prepares you for labor and helps you to be more present
Meditation makes you listen to yourself, and by listening it helps you to accept the things as they are. To let go of fear and negative emotions. You will learn to live in the present, let go of what was, and not fear what will be in the future. For your labor this means, not hanging on to the pain from the last contraction, and not fearing the next contraction. But focusing on the now and on your breath. A plus: The endorphins produced during meditation help our body in dealing better with pain.
- Promotes mental and emotional health
Meditation supports the idea that nothing is permanent. Feelings and emotions you experience today, are gone tomorrow. Pain you experience now, is gone in a few minutes. Being aware of this phenomenon that we call nature, helps a great amount to stay emotionally stable and healthy.
- Reduces risk of depression
Several studies have proved that meditation decreases the risk of depression and also helps people suffering from depression to heal. Research has shown that 30 Percent of women who suffered of depression at one point in their life, relapse during pregnancy or postpartum A study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder has shown that out of 49 women who enrolled in the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy during their pregnancies only 18 Percent relapsed.
- Reduces the risk of preterm birth
Stress, a hectic lifestyle and a wrong nutrition can heighten your risk of preterm labor. Take out the speed, take as much time you need or can set aside for yourself, to pamper yourself and meditate. That’s me-time every becoming mother needs, no matter how hectic her job or life may be.
- Supports bonding with your baby and your partner
When sitting in a meditation pose and not doing anything except breathing and focusing on your breath (or visualizing if that’s the technique you chose), we are actually doing a lot. What better way is there to connect than when you’re still and breathing calmly. It will have a soothing effect not only on you but also on your baby and it will intensify your relationship.
Furthermore, yogis and meditation practitioners can sing a song about how it improved their relationship, as it made them better listeners, more sympathetic, less selfish and more relaxed when it comes to relationships and also important conversations their have with their partner.
Here’s what you can do to kick off your Meditation practice.
If you are new to Meditation or want to refresh your technique, check out this blog post that uses wonderful, bang on language to guide you through your inner self.
Try out techniques like guided meditation, walking meditation, sound baths, or visualizations to find what is right for you. Or give apps like headspace or Expectful a go. The latter offers guided meditations explicitly for moms to be.
Let me say this about prenatal meditation and preparation though.
You can prepare as much as you want, with meditation or birth-preparation classes, you will never know how you will react at the moment the contractions kick in.
We have heard of the famous yogis that imagined their birth to take place in a sacred place, at home, with a doula and candles, imagining riding the waves of their contractions, however ended up heading straight for the drugs when the first contractions kicked in. And that’s ok. All we can do is try our best to prepare body and mind for the physical and emotional challenges that we will face. And hope that we will remember to keep breathing through it all.