Pregnancy can be an anxious time for parents-to-be, especially for first timers. Even if you already have children, a new baby adds on loads of work. Worry, stress, and mood swings are all common and normal, but wouldn’t you want to relieve some of this anxiety? One important aspect for a smooth pregnancy is the ability to let go and release, in both a physical and mental sense. Remaining confident in your body and allowing fear to dissipate also calls for a more desired labor process. Meditation can help starting day one of your pregnancy and if you are a regular practitioner before that, then good for you! Even if you are near term or post-partum, it will only assist in whatever situation you may be experiencing. Listed below are some the benefits you will reap from taking some quiet time for your body, mind and growing child.
1. Release fear, anxiety and stress
Even if you aren’t pregnant, this is a good reason to meditate. Over time, a consistent meditation practice helps quiet the mind and reduce stress. These pent-up emotions are known to prolong labor which in turn will affect your mood and stamina during delivery. It’s perfectly normal to feel scared and burdened, but it doesn’t hurt to lower the levels of these feelings. The more empowered and confident you feel in your body and mind, the better you will be able to navigate during the labor process in every aspect.
2. Connect to your baby in your changing body
There is literally another person growing inside of you. This applies major changes to your body, but this is also an important time to begin cultivating a bond between you and the magic inside of you. In my opinion, one of the most interesting things during pregnancy is the idea that there is another being with chakras inside of you, meaning you are carrying two sets of chakras. Meditating during this time helps you with aligning to yourself and your growing fetus. Right now, you are one with your child, and the time will come when s/he arrives in a physical form. Taking the time to connect with your baby while s/he is in the womb only calls for a greater connection on the physical plane.
3. Take moments for self-care
Savor this time for yourself now before your bundle of joy arrives. Of course, you will enjoy your child once s/he is out of the womb, but it can be a little more difficult to fit self-care routines and moments of solitude into your schedule. Most of your time will soon be spent tending to baby as opposed to caring for yourself. While you have this opportunity, meditate to some soothing music or in a quiet space. Soon, your meditations will be accompanied by the background noises of baby cries.
4. Sleep better
Between the physical discomfort and mental struggle, it’s challenging to find adequate rest. Meditating will allow for a better sleep and over time may help with the constant thoughts that keep you up at night. When you take the time to practice quieting the mind, over time this act becomes easier and easier to achieve. The goal is not to entirely dissipate these thoughts, but rather to observe and notice. Eventually you will feel more at ease with whatever is going through your head, thus inducing more relaxation.
5. Help prepare for labor in a positive manner
Labor is not only a physical endurance, but a lot of it is mental. The ability to let go and release plays a huge role in the delivery process. Affirmations are also very helpful in your meditation practice and can be used as tools during the delivery process. When you feel during the contractions there is too much sensation and it seems unbearable, circling back to your deep, intuitive state and repeating affirmations to yourself will allow you to remember that the labor process is temporary and you are fully capable of birthing your child in the way you desire. Some examples of affirmations include, “My body is strong. My body is healthy. I can birth my baby.” It’s always empowering to create your own personal affirmations as well.
6. Lower the risk of postpartum depression
When you have more of a sense of control over your thoughts, this skill tends to translate into everything else you are doing (including childbirth). Although it may be tough at first to meditate, with a consistent practice you will begin seeing results sooner than later. You will realize you are in control of your thoughts and feelings and you have full power in how you deliver and raise your child. Some things are beyond our control, but for the most part how we react plays a big part in the outcome as well. Meditation is a way to come back to center if you may start feeling thoughts of depression and sadness during any point. It is a tool we may use to self-reflect and gain wisdom from our everyday lives.
7. Develop sustainable healthy habits to increase longevity
Like a cascade effect, incorporating one healthy habit leads to another. Meditating does not cost (unless you join a group session at a studio or center where you may need to pay) and doesn’t take much effort. It may seem very difficult at first but understand that this is a process of turning inward and learning more about yourself. No need to take it too seriously and allow yourself to enjoy the process. You’ll find that a clearer mind will encourage you to be more positive in thought and action.
Now that you are aware of some of the benefits of meditating, you may be thinking where do you start? Find an area in your space that is clear of clutter, and preferably quiet. Wear loose comfortable clothing. Sit comfortably on your sitting bones on the floor, or if you are in a chair make sure your feet lie flat on the floor. Maintain a tall spine, allowing your shoulders to relax away from your ears and in line with your hips. Close your eyes and begin to observe your breath. This is a good starting point and can be continued for a minute or two, even up to twenty. There are many different types of meditations so take some time to research and explore. Sit in your own personal space, join a group, download a meditation app or open a guided practice on YouTube. You’ll thank yourself, and your baby will too.
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