10 Meditation Tips for Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of great excitement, and also a time where you realise you are now responsible for a growing human being. This, of course, means lots of preparation and change in the way you currently live your life, which brings its own concerns and issues.
Recent research has shown that a daily meditation practice during pregnancy has many beneficial effects both for the pregnant mum and also her developing baby. Meditation seems to improve birth weight, reduce premature births, and lessen overall medical complications for newborns. The benefits of meditation pass to the unborn baby through the pregnant woman’s bloodstream.
Everything a pregnant mum eats, thinks and drinks affects her unborn child in some way. Studies have shown that women who experience long-term, ongoing stress while pregnant may affect the health of their child up until 10 years of age.
One of the best benefits of meditation during pregnancy is to reduce the amount or level of stress the expectant mum may be experiencing.
A daily practice of meditation will help you cope with the new demands upon your body and mind, and will benefit your unborn baby in a number of important ways.
Tip # 1 – Reduce Physical Symptoms of Maternal Stress
Stress creates an acid reside in the body. Everything you think and feel is felt by your unborn child. You do need a certain amount of ‘healthy’ stress each day to keep your motivated and inspired. Extreme or ongoing stress is not healthy. Meditation helps to reduces heart rate and blood pressure which signals your body that you are in a more relaxed state of being. Cortisol and other stress hormones released over a long period of time trigger an inflammatory response that can result in lower birth weight or an early delivery. Stress can also affect the healthy functioning of the body’s immune system. Reducing the effects of stress on your body is vitally important during pregnancy.
Tip # 2 – Reduce Mental Symptoms of Maternal Stress
When we are highly stressed we cannot think straight. Our decision making process is affected, we are irritable with family and friends and often our sleep is affected. Meditation helps to release the overall stress in the body and mind. A daily meditation practice helps to still the mind so that the emotions and mental thoughts become more balanced and clear. You will find your mind is much clearer and you will be able to cope more easily with life’s challenges.
Tip # 3 – Boosts the Immune System
Studies have proven that meditation helps to boost the immune system. Meditation reduces heart rate and lowers blood pressure which allows the immune system to work more efficiently. When the body and mind are more relaxed the immune system is given the energy and space to be more in tune with the body’s wellbeing so that optimal health is restored or maintained. Reducing stress through the practice of meditation reduces the amount of adrenaline and cortisol in the body.
Tip # 4 – Encourages Deep Sleep
Good quality sleep is so important when pregnant. Once the baby arrives a normal sleep pattern generally goes completely out the window. A short relaxing meditation just before bedtime helps to relax the body and mind so that a deep and peaceful sleep is much more likely.
Tip # 5 – Creates Deeper Connection to Your Unborn Baby
Specific pregnancy meditations allow you to access the energy of the baby you carry within enabling a deep and lasting connection between the two of you. You are now two bodies united as one. Your little one is developing at a rapid rate within you and responds to and feels all your emotions and thoughts on some level. Using meditation to emotionally, mentally and spiritually connect with your unborn baby is a unique and pleasurable gift to give yourself and your little one. If your partner, or the baby’s siblings, meditate with you as well it can be a special time where they too can connect with the baby on a much deeper level. This can create a deep and lasting family bonding. Sending loving thoughts and energy to your baby in meditation is a not-to-be-missed experience.
Tip # 6 – Reduces Pain During Labour and Birth
Research has shown that endorphins are released during meditation. Endorphins are nature’s natural pain relief. Endorphin release is the natural ‘high’ some athletes experience during intense sporting sessions. Learning to meditate while pregnant and releasing the body’s endorphins will prepare your body for the labour and birth. The more a woman meditates during pregnancy the higher her endorphin level will be during labour and birth.
The closer you move toward your due date, the more specific your meditations should be. Imagine and visualise your labour and birth as flowing easily and naturally. See and feel yourself in control. Visualise the birth you want.
Practice visualising your contractions during labour as a wave on the ocean. Watch the wave rise in intensity and then surge through with the movement of the wave, bringing you closer to the birth of your child. Visualise your cervix as your favourite flower. The petals gently opening and expanding, coming into full blossom and opening the birth canal.
Tip # 7 – Enhances DHEA
Meditation elevates levels of DHEA in the body. DHEA is a hormone with many benefits:
Tip # 8 – Increases Melatonin Production
Meditation heightens the body’s levels of melatonin. Melatonin is known to increase overall health, particularly the immune system. It has a calming effect and enhances contentment. These effects will help the pregnant mum as well as sending happy and contented vibes to the little one in the womb.
Tip # 9 – Meditating Helps You Avoid Unhealthy Choices
Meditation helps you focus on more positive and healthy life choices. As you allow yourself to feel a better connection to your own body and mind, you will become more aware of what your body and mind need to feel healthy and well. As you learn to ‘listen’ to your body you will naturally begin to make more healthy choices for your body’s optimum health. As you ‘listen’ to your mind, you will begin to recognise which old patterns of behaviour and negativity are longer wanted for you and your baby’s highest health and wellbeing.
Tip # 10 – Pre-natal Meditation Reduces Depression Risk
Depression can affect up to one in five women during pregnancy. Post natal depression can affect up to one in three women after the birth. Meditation can help reduce the possibility of pregnancy depression. Meditation helps to relieve ongoing stress, both physically and mentally, which in turn helps to lessen the likelihood of depression. Studies have shown that using a daily meditation practice during pregnancy may help alleviate, or reduce the symptoms, of post natal depression.