Congratulations! You are pregnant and about to embark on the most exciting journey of your life…
As for any journey you will be well-advised to prepare yourself, as pregnancy and life as a new parent is often a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Get ready for some of what might be the most exhilarating & joyful, but also potentially the most terrifying and challenging moments of your life.
Starting a family is a wonderful, yet massive change to your life and work routine. Especially with a first child, as there are many decisions to be made and things to prepare on a practical level. How will you organize your new-work schedule with this new addition to think about? What will your birth plan look like? What colour will you paint the baby’s room? What will be the best choice of school? All of these decisions and preparations can be quite overwhelming in the short few remaining months that you have to prepare.
Additionally, most health conscious moms will do anything to optimize their internal environment for the growing foetus. They commit to a healthier diet, eliminate many toxins and start taking the best vitamin supplements available.
As you make all these preparations, I encourage you to consider the emotional and energetic environment that you are creating for your un-born child? Have you thought about how all this change and running about can also create stress and negative thoughts? Anxiety causes the amount of cortisol and adrenaline circulating through your body to increase significantly. These hormones in excess can be quite damaging to your and your baby’s health.
Stress and anxiety during pregnancy may:
- Cause a lower birth weight
- Increase the complications of labour
- In some cases lead to premature labour
- Create the need for more prescription medication
- Increase the perception of pain during labour
In your endeavour to create the perfect environment for your un-born child, I suggest you consider adding meditation to your daily routine. It’s a simple practice that will benefit not only you, but also your baby.
As a mother meditates, she relaxes and creates higher levels of health and growth promoting hormones in her system such as DHE (dehydroepiandrosterone) and “mood-enhancing” endorphins.
She may pass these onto her un-born baby through the placenta. With a daily meditation practice, a mother may notice several psychological benefits that can be conveyed to her baby as well. Some of these benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Heightened creativity
- Improved motor skills
- Increased empathy
- Enhanced creativity
- Significant reduction in anxiety, tension and stress
- Less pain
- More calm and peace
- Improved immune function
- Better self- image
- More vitality and natural energy
The benefits for you, your un-born baby and the childbirth process should be quite evident. As the mother’s ability to relax enhances and her experience of pain is reduced, she is more likely to have an uncomplicated childbirth, requiring less invasive intervention. The ability to meditate and concentrate intensely on your breath has been a pain reducing birth technique used by midwives and doulas for centuries. But, this practice does not need to be limited to the time of labour.
Fortunately, starting and continuing a meditation practice does not have to be difficult or time consuming. There are several meditation techniques to choose from that may last from 5-30 minutes per day.
To show you just how easy and enjoyable it can be, I have prepared a simple 5-minute breathing meditation for you to try. Listen to this guided meditation for a few sessions and you will quickly master the technique so that you can do it on your own anytime and anywhere. A daily 5-minute dose of meditation will reap high rewards for the mental and physical well being of you and your soon to be born baby.
In conclusion, starting a meditation practice during pregnancy is a wonderful way to create a peaceful environment in the womb, form a better connection with your baby, and un-wind from the many stresses and concerns that sometimes accompany pregnancy. Both baby and mom will be happier, healthier and more relaxed to start their beautiful lifetime journey together.
Enjoy and let me know how you go!
. . . . .
“Meditations for Pregnancy: 36 Weekly Practices for Bonding with Your Unborn Baby”; Michelle Leclaire ONeill; 2004
“Guided Meditations for Pregnancy & Birth”; Michelle Roberton Jones; 2009
“Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth Through Meditation, Ayurveda, and Yoga Techniques”; Deepak Chopra, M.D. et al.; 2005
“Psychology: An Exploration”; Saundra Ciccarelli, et al.; 2011
“The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation: A Review of Contemporary Research With a Comprehensive Bibliography, 1931-1996”; Michael Murphy; 1997
“Hacker & Moore’s Essentials of Obstetrics and Gynecology”; Neville Hacker, et al.; 2009