Pregnancy, childbirth and the transition into motherhood is the most beautiful and humbling journey a woman will go on. Pregnancy marks the beginning of a great change. Along with all the physical changes, there are great emotional and hormonal shifts too. Let's face it, charting these unknown waters can be overwhelming. It's not uncommon, and this feeling of overwhelm can be hard to shake. Growing and raising a human being is hard work! This is why mindfulness plays a such a key role in managing the stress, as well as encouraging a deeper connection with baby. The easiest path to becoming more mindful is through a consistent meditation practice.
There are many different kinds of meditation, but a few of the more beginner-friendly methods most useful during pregnancy are breath meditation, guided meditation and visualization. These practices can be done in a group setting or in the comfort of your own home. We recommend finding a meditation group for mamas, as well as using meditation apps like Insight Timer or Expectful (there are countless other options that might be worth checking out as well).
The benefits of meditation during pregnancy are plentiful. Meditation helps to relieve anxiety, eases physical aches and pains, and improves the mind-body connection. It also gives light to self-love, love for others, and a surrender to the process. Meditating for just ten minutes a day can create a greater sense of calm, bring about more clarity, and promote positive thoughts and feelings. Gaining clarity of the mind is a huge benefit when preparing for, and during labor. Learning to breath in rhythm with your own body is perhaps the greatest skill you can possess during this huge transition.
Breath meditation and guided meditation are almost effortless ways to bring awareness and relaxation to the body and mind. Visualization meditation is unique because it allows one to go on a 'journey' and imagine a life or a certain event that they would like to manifest. During pregnancy, this is most useful in giving the mind and body a chance to manifest the perfect birth experience. This is helpful for mamas no matter how or where they choose to birth. Although birth doesn't always go as planned, doing visualizations throughout pregnancy helps the universe provide you with the birth you envision, as well as give you space to connect with your baby.
The ability to meditate is a superpower we all possess. But just like any type of physical exercise, exercise of the mind takes practice and consistency to get stronger and better at it. For those who say, "Oh, I've tried meditation, my mind races too much and it doesn't work," it's more important than ever to continue to practice. Over time, it does get easier, and one will start to see how beneficial it is to creating a happy and fulfilling life. For a pregnant mama, it might be more beneficial than ever.
There are so many things we think about when preparing for a new baby (What color do we paint the nursery? Which stroller is best? How many diapers do we need? Will I be a good mom?) that we forget how special this time is, and how important it is to not only be healthy in body, but also in mind. Making a sacred space to meditate with your little one might not seem so important, but when the seasons change, baby grows up and the material things are no longer useful, that bond that began in the womb will still be there. And it will last a lifetime. As you follow your path in motherhood, you'll be so glad you made time for it.
By Christine Rapsys, Writer and Pure Births Mama