You’re embarking on an incredible journey.
You’re already so in love with your baby, you can’t wait to meet the newest addition to your family.
As an expecting mother, your body is changing before your eyes. You’ve got aches and pains in muscles you didn’t even know you had. You’re waking up to morning sickness, swollen ankles, and raging hormones that make you snap at the littlest things.
You don’t even feel like you anymore!
Let’s face it, being pregnant can be stressful, morning sickness sucks, and as excited as we are, we’re scared too.
It’s easy to take your vitamins, exercise, and eat healthily. We all know that taking care of our body physically can definitely help things to run smoothly.
But our mental health is just as important.
Vitamins and ultrasounds won’t necessarily help with the anxiety you feel towards childbirth or relieve those days when you feel down in the dumps. It’s all about the mind-body connection. The human brain can have a huge impact on our body’s physical health. How we feel on the inside really shows on the outside too.
So how do you develop that connection?
What if I told you you’ve had it all along? That’s right!
Meditation is all about tuning in and finding your inner peace. With a little practice, it’s all within your reach (yes, yours)!
I know what you’re thinking. Whether you’re new to meditation, or you’re a regular, staying focused and calm is more difficult than it sounds. Maybe it’s our fast-paced world that’s to blame. With millions of distractions and thoughts racing in our heads, it’s hard to slow down!
Or maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones to blame. Who really knows?
Either way, our bodies are begging for an intervention. Reality is that the busier we are, the more we really need meditation in our lives.
Ironically, being busy makes it more difficult to imagine setting time aside for ourselves each day.
I promise you that it’s worth it.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap, to always put ourselves last. From doctor’s appointments to planning maternity leave – the tasks never seem to end!
But the very first step to developing that super important mind-body connection is to make up your mind about it and to stay strong. Stay committed.
Because it’s good for you AND your baby too. Here are 5 reasons why meditation during pregnancy is totally worth your time.
5 Major Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation during Pregnancy
#1 Preventing those pregnancy blues
Those hormones can be a doozy. If you’re crying more often or feeling crazy mood swings, you’re not alone! Pregnancy can be an emotional time. The World Health Organization estimates that 10% of pregnant women worldwide experience mental illness, primarily depression. Those hormone changes associated with being pregnant can affect brain chemicals that dictate your mood.
Though it’s not a replacement for a health professional, meditation is a great resource you can access at any time to take care of your own mental health. One study found that mindfulness techniques were effective in preventing pregnancy depression in at-risk women. It’s also been suggested to prevent postpartum depression too.
#2 Coping with childbirth anxieties
Let’s be real. We’ve all had a worry or two about the actual birthing process, amIright? It’s lurking thought that both excites and terrifies us! No vitamins or doctor’s visits are going to truly ease that fear. But this is why connecting with your mind is so powerful. Scientists have found that meditation can help you cope with the anxieties of childbirth. Mindful birthing can even make the actual labor less physically painful. Meditation techniques are also a great way to regulate your emotions, which comes in handy for preventing those pregnancy mood swings.
#3 Relieving pregnancy-related stress
Becoming a parent is full of unknowns. As with anything in life, pregnancy can be stressful. Meditation has been used for centuries as a healthy way for us to cope with stress. It lowers blood pressure, promotes better sleep, and is a great mood regulator. The power of a quiet mind can help you not only with worries you have during pregnancy but also as a new parent too. Practicing meditation can even help prevent stress-related health issues, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
#4 Getting a better night’s sleep
It’s no secret that a new baby is going to be a lot of work. Sleep is that infamous, 5-letter word that all new parents seem to be lacking. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are skills that could help you get back to bed for a more restful night’s sleep. You’ll be grateful for it when you’re constantly getting up all night to care for your new baby!
#5 Benefiting your baby too
The benefits of meditation can actually influence your baby’s health after birth, through infancy and childhood. That’s because your own mental health is linked to a healthier pregnancy. Meditation has been associated with lower rates of preterm birth and better outcomes after your baby is born. One study found that cortisol levels, known as the stress hormone in your body, is influenced by meditation and mindfulness practices. Mothers who meditate give birth to babies with healthier cortisol levels, and there’s even evidence for healthier birth weights as well.
It’s really a no brainer!
Ready to give it a shot? I’ll share with you one of my most popular pregnancy meditation videos so that you can get started right away. And if you’re looking for my tips on how to practice meditation during pregnancy, then keep reading 🙂
You might also like: 6 Natural Ways to Prepare Your Body For an Easy Labor & Delivery
Meditation during pregnancy is the gift that just keeps giving. Sure, it sounds so great, but how does one get started? For anyone who’s tried, you know it’s harder than it looks to find that Zen. But don’t worry! Take a deep breath, and try these super easy-to-do tips that will surely help you get started.
6 Super Easy Tips for Meditation During Pregnancy
There are tons of blogs and so-called experts out there offering life-changing advice on how to meditate better.
But you know what I think?
It doesn’t take some profound hard-to-reach perspective to let meditation work for you. In fact, meditation works best when you actually do it. So these tips that I’m offering you are not meant to blow your mind. They’re meant to get you onto your meditation cushion and meditating.
#1 Get Comfortable
It sounds simple enough. But when you’re pregnant, your belly’s huge and your ankles are swollen. Getting comfortable certainly feels downright impossible – especially in your last trimester. Being still is so much easier when your body is happy, so put a little extra effort into pampering yourself – because you deserve it!
#3 Get Creative
I like to incorporate pillows, blankets, and even props to position your body so you can truly relax. Try lying on your left side, with pillows to support your neck and legs. Some people might like a weighted pillow for gentle pressure to your arms. Whatever it may be that makes your body go…ahh. That’s what where you want to be.
#4 Set The Mood
It’s all about the ambiance. The right mood can really put your mind at ease. Light your favorite scented candle, or have fun with some essential oils. Put on your favorite relaxing music. Try dimming the lights or turning them off altogether. Some people find it easier to meditate in certain places in their house. Maybe you’d rather be outside, or try the quiet sanctuary of your own room.
#5 Consider a Guide
You don’t have to do it alone. Whether you’re a self-practitioner or want to take a class, there’s something for everyone. Retreats can be rejuvenating and are very popular. You can also choose to use guided meditations, supplements like imagery, or simple, deep breathing. You don’t necessarily need to a retreat, or even a structured class, to start meditating. There are also online videos, ebooks, and smartphone apps. With technology right at our fingertips, the possibilities are endless.
#6 Forgive Yourself
At the end of the day, the most important tip of all is to forgive yourself. Meditation and mindfulness practice can be harder than it seems. You might be thinking, how hard can it be to literally lie down and do NOTHING for 15 minutes? You’d be surprised how loud your thoughts really are. Really, it’s totally normal and okay! Give yourself the room to grow and learn. Celebrate even the small victories, like achieving that quiet mind for just a few minutes.
How you can become your own best resource.
All these benefits can be in your hands, at any time, any place.
That’s the power of meditation.
Whether you choose guided meditations or self-practice, mindfulness education can take any form that’s convenient for you. By practicing meditation during pregnancy, you can combat prenatal stress, birth anxiety, and even depression with just a simple, at-home practice. Try our free, online video today, or download a meditation app to get started. If you prefer group classes or community-oriented learning, try a prenatal yoga and meditation program. See what works for you, breathe deeply, and keep practicing meditation!