Having a mindful pregnancy can help ease anxious thoughts and promote an overall sense of wellbeing and positivity. More and more research is coming out to support these claims – and these nine months can be both amazing and very stressful, with ups and downs aplenty. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed!
Taking the time to be a little more aware and in-tune with your body with pregnancy meditation can really help you feel calm, balanced and prepared. Some studies have shown it can help prepare you for labour, lowering fear and even pain during childbirth!
What is mindfulness?
Free and simple! Essentially, mindfulness is a basic form of meditation. It encourages you to focus fully on your breathing as it flows in and out of your body, which allows you to become aware of your thoughts as they enter your mind.
This means you can recognise negative and positive thoughts as they come and go, putting emphasis on the transient nature of them. You can then choose whether to act upon them. The key element is to teach yourself to view thoughts abstractly and see stressful, unhappy thoughts as far removed. By allowing them to pass by, you can then catch negativity before it takes control of your entire mood.
With time, mindfulness can have major effects on your overall state of mind and wellbeing. It doesn’t take long to learn, just a little patience in training your brain to a different way of thinking. You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor – but you can if you want to!
How to have a mindful pregnancy
You don’t have to be all zen and say ‘om’ as you practice mindfulness. It’s more a state of mind and just forcing yourself to be more present. Pregnancy meditation can be done at any point, anywhere, so you don’t have to worry about it being an extra thing to fit in to your life like a gym class. Do it while unloading the dishwasher, or go out for a walk and really allow yourself to zone out. Our fave time to practice mindfulness is during a relaxing bath or while applying your Tummy Rub!
It’s really about just taking a little bit of time out to think about how you feel. Instead of thinking about your overwhelming nausea or sore boobs, try and accept it for what it is – out of your control. Focus on what you can do to ease your aches and pains of pregnancy, rather than focusing on the suffering.
Take pregnancy at your own pace, as this can help you to stay in tune with your own physical wellbeing. It’s easy to feel guilty, especially at work, to take extra breaks or shortcuts, but it’s important to give yourself permission to do so. Force yourself to slow down, or take even just a five-minute break if you’re struggling with something; zone out, breathe deeply and try to let the difficulty wash over you.
And when you can’t sleep for the little miracle kicking all through the night, try to focus on the amazing reality that your body has created your baby and soon you’ll be able to meet them. Nine months is a long and often unforgiving time – but a little mindful gratitude can really help you along the way.