Whether you’re feeling very pregnant or at the beginning of your journey, there’s likely a little bit of stress and anxiety in your life at the moment.
Carrying a child to term is an incredible experience for a mother, but it’s also okay to acknowledge that sometimes the onslaught of advice, the judgement of peers, the impending task of parenting, and the looming birth is overwhelming, to say the least.
While it’s not necessarily something you’ll read on most mommy-to-be blogs, your pregnancy is a wonderful time to start meditating. If you already have a meditation practice, this may be an ideal time to deepen it.
Why is sitting in silence and breathing an ideal pregnancy activity?
We’re glad you asked.
You Sit in Silence and Breathe
Women who have already given birth will attest to the fact that labour is all about the breath – deep, rhythmic breathing is a wonderful way to handle contractions, connect with your body, and make it through birth with strength.
Beginning to meditate prior to labour gives your mind and body time to practice the art of breathing. This may sound ridiculous – who doesn’t know how to breathe?! – but connecting to your breath isn’t always easy during the intensity of giving birth. The more you practice ahead of time, the more likely you’ll be to find your breath during the stress of labour, and avoid things like panic and distress.
You Prepare your Mind to Handle Pain and Discomfort
If you’ve ever had an accident, sat through a tattoo, or run a marathon, you may have noticed that the mind gets really freaked out by pain.
Even though giving birth is a completely natural activity, and women’s bodies are designed to do it, the pain associated with labour can be a bit frightening – which, unfortunately, sometimes comes to bear on the actual experience. If we go into an experience already freaked out and stressed, we’re more likely to have an unpleasant or disengaged experience.
Mindfulness meditation in particular strengthens the mind, making it less susceptible to the nagging voice of pain and panic. If you “train” the mind to be still, to be aware, and to be present, you’ll be able to recognize your fear without letting it control you – or your birth experience.
You Significantly Decrease the Chances of Pregnancy & Postpartum Depression
A staggering 18% of women experience depressive symptoms during pregnancy, and 20% of women who give birth in Canada experience postpartum depression.
This is huge – one in 5 women will experience symptoms like despondency, tearfulness, feelings of inadequacy, guilt, anxiety, irritability and fatigue while either carrying or nursing their child.
While there are numerous causes for both kinds of depression, research is united on one front: mindfulness and meditation significantly reduce the experience and impacts of depression in pregnant and nursing women.
The emphasis on “training” the mind to weather discomfort (as explained above) coupled with the little break from stress and anxiety it provides makes meditation one of the most effective ways for a new or soon-to-be-mother to generate resilience, and stay connected to their child.
You’re Present to How Downright Amazing Pregnancy Really Is
It’s okay to be overwhelmed and stressed, to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, and even to wish for a different reality from time to time. No one’s ever said that carrying and caring for a baby is an easy task.
Meditation and mindfulness, however, bring you back to the beauty of pregnancy. I learnt at Meditation Victoria, a meditation practice can make you more present to the world around you and more in touch with your body, which means you’re more likely to find joy in the fact that you’re growing another human being in inside your body!
It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that you probably don’t want to miss. Luckily, mediation will help you stay present to it all.
Guest post written by Ben Stanford from Tall Tree Health; Writing about various services to help you to achieve optimum health. I like to provide you with the tools and knowledge to achieve your goals, move better again, and lead a strong, happy, and healthy life