During my first pregnancy, unsure of what the birthing process would bring, and after a recommendation from a friend, I attended hypnobirthing classes. I wanted to be able to draw on as many different skills to assist me in having the natural birth that I desired.
The outcome of these classes was magical. Ultimately it was the daily mindfulness practice that connected me to my unborn baby as well as my body that I enjoyed the most. These quiet meditative daily sessions relaxed my body and mind and ultimately created the most beautiful bond between me and my unborn son. The daily practice also forced me to stop each day and take time out. In this crazy world that we live in, the days rush by and mindfulness is an amazing way to find time to stop and breathe.
Research shows that including mindfulness practice during pregnancy can help first-time mothers cope with their fears. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being fully aware and present in the moment. It is something that everyone can and should do. It can assist you in experiencing less stress in life and ultimately make you feel happier.
Whether it’s hypnobirthing, calm birth or simply using general mindfulness techniques, this is something I would recommend to every mother to be. This daily ritual is a fabulous way to manage any fear or anxiety about the upcoming unknowns of birth and motherhood as well as an amazing way to scan your body for any tension, aches and pains.
Initially, during my sessions, my incredibly active little boy would bounce around like an energetic puppy, but after some practice, I found that he would really settle during our daily ritual and I would use this time to send him all my love. This may be sounding a little too alternate for you right now, but as a young inner-city resident (at the time) coping with the daily stresses of a very busy life there was no better antidote. I urge you just to give it a try no matter your circumstances! The benefits of meditation are long-established, and using it during pregnancy is the safest and most effective way to reduce anxiety and stress which promotes a healthy immune system for both you and your baby.
A study, published in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, also indicates that mindfulness may help decrease a women's symptoms of prenatal and postpartum depression.
So why not begin today! Below I have listed a quick and easy technique that I used during both my pregnancies.
Step-by-step to mindfulness success!
♥ Find a quiet place that you feel most relaxed in and make sure that the chance of being disturbed are slim (eg. Turn off your phone and ensure that no one will disturb you).
♥ Find a seated position that you are most comfortable in. Feel free to bolster yourself with any pillows to support your knees or hips etc.
♥ Close you eyes, and bring your attention to your breath. At first don’t try to change anything, simply follow the natural rise and fall of your chest as you breathe in and out.
♥ Next begin to slow your inward breath for up to four counts in. Hold the breath for two counts and then try to exhale slowly for eight breaths. This may be a little hard at first but with practice it becomes easier. Continue to do this until you can feel your mind and thoughts slowing down.
♥ Next, begin to mentally scan your body from the top of your head to the tips of toes. Do this very slowly and if you notice any tension being held in any part of your body, mindfully release the tension and relax that part of your body.
♥ Now bring your attention to your baby. Continue to maintain a slow and mindful breathe while you connect to your baby and its movements or its stillness. If you find your mind wandering off, simply bring your attention back to your inward breath and continue the session for as long as you feel comfortable.
Now’s as good a time as any, so go and turn off this device and get started now. Take time for you and your bubba and let me know how you go with this short 10 to 15 minute mindfulness session and any improvements with your experience.