When you get pregnant, your body and mind are likely to undergo a gamut of changes. Especially due to hormones. Hormonal changes can lead you to have mood swings and cause nausea and increased appetite. During such times, meditation can work as a magical pill. “But I can’t meditate!” is a commonly heard expression. Not just among pregnant women but also amongst others. This is because they have misunderstood the concept of meditation.
Meditation or mindfulness is not about focusing or stopping your thoughts, but merely watching them. And meditating during pregnancy enables potential mothers to cope with hormonal changes, reduce the stress and concentrate better. Let’s discuss the different forms of meditation or mindfulness you can practice during this time. All you need to do is, breathe and blink while you read this.
Practising Mindfulness During Pregnancy
According to several popular research studies, women who practice mindfulness when pregnant experience lower levels of depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes as compared to the ones that don’t. It also increases positive emotions as one can get easily overwhelmed during pregnancy affecting their health as well as their baby’s.
One of the best ways to practice mindfulness while being pregnant is to observe the movements of the baby. Whenever you feel the baby moving, feel the baby in your belly, observe the rising and falling of belly and live the present moment with your baby.
Meditating During Pregnancy
The biggest benefit of meditating during pregnancy is, it helps women deal with anxiety and stress that arises during pregnancy. It helps them to:
It is difficult for pregnant women to find “me” time. At times, working mothers work until the last week of their delivery. Apart from the stress of giving birth, they have many other things to look after. By practising 20 minutes of meditation every day, they will feel relaxed throughout the day. New meditators can choose guided meditation as all they need to do is follow the instructions given by the voice and tune into their physical sensations and breath as guided. Headspace and Calm are the two apps that offer guided meditation and bring mental well-being.
Develop a Positive Outlook
Pregnant women worry about several things right from their baby’s health to getting through labour pain and their ability to adjust to new sleeping patterns etc. Women who practise mindfulness can keep more touch with their bodies and experience little or no rates of post-partum depression. The fear of labour pain also decreases and there is a remarkable decline in stressors that lead to premature birth.
Get Bodily Awareness
Bodily awareness is all about being present in the now and noticing one’s feelings and sensations as and when they arise and pass away. This involves developing mindfulness during pregnancy, labour and thereafter. Try noticing the gap between two contractions and repeat. This kind of awareness also helps you to notice if something is not right so that you can bring it to the notice of your gynaecologist and get the issue resolved at the earliest.
Builds Stronger Bonds
In close-knit families, more than two people are involved in welcoming the child. This might include close relatives and friends. When a group of these loving individuals meditate together, it strengthens the connection between them and brings them closer. Anxiety, stress and negativity affecting one person can often affect others. So, ensure that you wish for the health and well-being of your loved ones while meditating and share the love.
Benefit the Unborn through Meditation
When you meditate, you benefit two people; yourself and the tiny version of you. However, it is important that you always keep a positive outlook in mind and do not undertake it as a daily chore or practise it with reluctance. According to a study by HongKong Buddhist Institute of Enlightenment, children born to regularly meditating women have more tolerance and a better temperament as compared to the ones who do not.
If you are confused about the hows or looking for ways to do it, guided meditation or meditation apps are always a good choice. You can also incorporate mantras or chants to your meditation as your baby can hear you after the 16th week and resonant sounds from them are likely to create happy babies. It’s time to breathe and just be!
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.