Let's be real.
Pregnancy and motherhood are transformational and magical times in our lives, they also come with a good deal of stress, uncertainty, anxiety, physical and physiological changes, fear, sleeplessness, and mental health concerns.
We are often told to "listen to our bodies" and trust our "instincts" / "intuitions" to guide our healthcare decisions and experiences of pregnancy, labor, birth, and beyond...many of us don’t even know how to tune into those cues. One highly effective and proven way is to start practicing meditation.
I know...Meditation seems like one of those things only monks in the mountains have time to do...and even if you are interested there's so much noise happening at all times, that it's hard to focus...Questions like: "what if i am not good at it" or "what kind of results will I see and in what time frame?" "I don't have any extra time".
Yes. And me too.
However, the benefits of meditation during pregnancy include reductions in stress/anxiety/depression, more restorative sleep, pain management, lower blood pressure, lower levels of tension, and a more positive connection to and awareness of your changing body.
And the FREE benefits don't just help mama, they positively impact baby too, since mothers who report high stress levels during pregnancy are at higher risk for complications such as preeclampsia, and have an increased likelihood of delivering preterm or low birth weight babies. Stress relief via meditation may also impact babe’s development in utero, with long-term effects on cognitive, emotional, and even physical development.
Mama, it might seem daunting to MAKE the time to meditate, but continuing the habit throughout your motherhood journey has myriad benefits as well (hardly surprising, right?).
A regular practice may help to head off perinatal mental disorders such as postpartum depression and anxiety; plus, an increased self-awareness can help you manage the major changes that are (yet again) occurring physically and hormonally. And obviously sleep with a newborn is a precious commodity, so you might as well make the rest you CAN get as restorative and deep as possible!
Meditating during motherhood also has perks for your family and your kiddos; a happy, well-centered, healthy mama is the biggest gift you can give them.
Plus, studies have already proven the benefits of meditation in children as young as preschool age, so include your kiddos in your daily practice if you are having trouble carving out solo time.
Meditation has also been proven to stave off age-related memory loss and dementia, so by beginning your habitual practice now you are helping to ensure that you are around to be a kickass mama and partner for years and years to come
There are lots of options to choose from. Some of the most popular types are:
- mindfulness meditation
- spiritual meditation
- focused meditation
- movement meditation
- mantra meditation
- transcendental meditation
You can also fold various techniques into any of the above types of practice, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. Beginning your meditation practice can seem intimidating, but it is all a matter of choosing the right avenue in. Start by trying a few different varieties; find an app, a class, or a book that resonates with you, or even check out some guided exercises available online.
Find what fits your lifestyle and your personality and go from there!