Updated: Dec 11, 2021
If you are searching for that one piece of real advice it will be " Practice mindful meditation during your pregnancy"! Mindfulness can have profound effects on everyday life even when you are not expecting.
The science behind meditation is tried, tested and proven for centuries and by modern science. During pregnancy, mindfulness can alleviate aches and anxieties you may be experiencing. Meditation creates calm energy that reverberates throughout your body and even reaches your child.
“Meditation creates calm energy that reverberates throughout your body and even reaches your child. Try our meditation app "MOMITATIONS!”
Q. Why Should I Meditate During Pregnancy?
A. Still questioning and curious? Here are five powerful reasons to add meditation to your parenthood preparations.
1. Meditation Can Calm Stress and Anxiety
Pregnancy is not all glowing skin and pastel onesies. It is commonplace for expecting mothers to feel elevated levels of stress and anxiety. If you find yourself panicking about childbirth, frantically checking in with your doctor to make sure nothing is wrong, or being kept awake by racing thoughts about how drastically your life is about to change or worrying about your unborn baby then meditation is for you. Meditation offers you a space to unplug from the world. Taking a few minutes each day to center yourself and quiet your anxieties can put you in a much stronger headspace to continue moving forward.
Another popular facet of meditation is breathing exercises. These breathing exercises can come in especially handy during labor and delivery. Breathing exercises promote a relaxing effect and can relax the central nervous system during painful periods of labor. Therefore, when you are trying to debate if you really have a spare five minutes today to meditate, remember that you are not only shutting down your stress, but you are also training for labor. Either way, you will be quieting your anxiety about childbirth and promoting a peaceful pregnancy.
2. Regular Meditation Reduces Blood Pressure
Managing blood pressure levels should be a priority for everyone. Chronic high blood pressure can have resounding complications such as strokes, heart attacks, and kidney damage. However, the stakes are even higher during pregnancy. During pregnancy, high blood pressure can lead to preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. Both of these conditions can have dangerous, if not fatal, consequences. Meditation has been proven as a powerful tool for helping to safely reduce blood pressure. To see the best results, you must stay consistent. Once you get in a groove with meditation, you will start reaping the rewards in only a matter of weeks!
3. Meditation Promotes Better Sleep
Ahh, sleep. Do you remember peaceful sleep – long before you had racing thoughts and tiny, kicking feet keeping you awake all night? According to the American Pregnancy Association, 78% of expecting mothers are plagued with insomnia. With raging hormones already spurring mood swings, you do not need a lack of sleep making it worse. Experts from Harvard Medical School cite meditation as an effective mechanism for getting better sleep. Meditation involves silencing or slowing your mind which provides relief from nagging or intrusive thoughts. Also, the breathing techniques involved in meditation trigger the body to elicit a relaxation response. By including a guided meditation as a fixed step in your nightly routine, your body will start to pick up the signals that it is time to wind down into a restful night’s sleep.
4. You Can Strengthen Your Mind-Body Connection
Research has proven the connection of mind and body. Think of how we get butterflies when we’re nervous and stomach aches when we are stressed. As your body dramatically changes during pregnancy, meditation can reinforce your mind-body connection. When our bodies undergo massive, rapid changes, they can start to feel alien to us. Dr. Patricia Hart from the University of Minnesota illustrates how just as the mind can change the body, the body can also change the mind. Dr. Hart explains that “our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can change our biological functioning.” Meditation’s goal is to realign the body, mind, and spirit. Reconnecting our minds and body can help remedy the negative thoughts and feelings regarding our transforming bodies. Meanwhile, it can also grant us gratitude and appreciation to watch how our bodies prepare to grow and deliver a miracle.
5. Meditation Can Reduce the Effects of Postpartum Depression
Many women expect that labor will be the most challenging part of their pregnancy journey and are surprised to find otherwise. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 50-75% of new mothers experience the “baby blues” after delivery. 15% of these women develop even further into postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can take several forms: irritability, frequent crying, feeling disconnected, experiencing guilt, or feeling like you are not capable of taking care of yourself or your child. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must speak with your partner and medical provider. There are options out there to help you. In studies, meditation has been shown to have a marked effect on postpartum depression. One study cited that women who experienced more stress and anxiety during pregnancy were more likely to struggle with postpartum depression affecting their parenting quality and effectiveness. Additionally, another study demonstrated that mindfulness training was effective in alleviating depression in new mothers. Meditation carves out a few minutes each day to focus on yourself and grant you space to reconcile your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Taking a quick break to check in with yourself allows you to refuel and re-center so you can be present for yourself and your new family.
If still reading, then give a try to our momitation app or check out the YouTube channel that introduce you to mindfulness and cater to this significant season of life.
Now lets answer some more common questions!
Q. How Long Should I Meditate?
A. If you are glancing at your already-packed schedule wondering where you will find the extra time for meditation – fear not! Meditation is a quick and convenient addition to any agenda. Whether you set your morning alarm a few minutes earlier or take advantage of waiting in your car for your grocery pick-up, it does not matter where or when you meditate as long as you can be fully present in that moment. As a beginner, start small with a 5-to-10-minute daily meditation. As you become more accustomed to the practice, start extending your time depending on what feels right.
Q. How Do I Meditate?
A. There are several meditation practices and styles. Most common ones are explained below:
Guided meditations – perfect for beginners as an experienced guide gently leads you through a full meditation cycle. Listening to guided meditation is the most common and easy to follow meditation practice.
Garbha Sanskar Mantra – a method of chanting mantras (Sanskrit verses) that is believed to create powerful vibrational energy during pregnancy.
Vipassana Meditation – this ancient Buddhist technique focuses on becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings, and environment, which can be particularly helpful as you are in this season of tremendous change.
Tranquil Music Meditation – helps quiet your mind as you focus on the relaxing music.
Chanting Affirmations – As we understand that the minds learns from repetitions. Affirmations is a way to tell our mind all the positive thoughts that you want to manifest in your life.
"Momitation" includes all of the above types of meditation practices for pregnancy, post partum and for overall wellbeing of all mothers.
Check them out here!