Benefits of Meditation During Pregnancy
How Mediation Can Help You During Pregnancy
Meditation is simply the exercise of training your mind to redirect your thoughts and focus. Practicing mindfulness has many more benefits in the form of positive mood alleviation, healthy sleep, pain tolerance, and self-discipline. According to a study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information, mindfulness does not only have a positive effect on stress reduction in specific populations, such as those with maternal health and pain, but can be beneficial for healthy individuals, emphasizing mindfulness as a promising intervention to improve stress levels. Furthermore, mindfulness-based stress reduction was found to reduce ruminative thinking and trait anxiety, as well as increase empathy and self-compassion, suggesting that mindfulness-based interventions are also able to reduce stress levels in healthy people.
With so many benefits, meditation has therefore been perceived in the context of pregnancy. Pregnancy comes with a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from happy to sad to worried, in a matter of no time. And to top it, disturbed sleep cycles, pregnancy hormones, life changes, and thoughts about the impending delivery can take a toll on you, leaving you stressed or anxious. While we are aware it is emotionally stressful, it is equally challenging physically. Hence let us find out how practicing meditation can be beneficial to expectant mothers.
Meditation helps improve the body’s immunity as one is physically and mentally calmer and positive. This, in turn, allows you to have proper food, sleep well, experience reduced mood swings, lower heart rate, and achieve an overall healthy body. And these benefits are then passed to the baby through the mother, which then help them fight immune-related disorders post-birth. With the help of meditation, expectant mothers will also find it easier to stay focused on positive choices, and avoid habits that are not good for them or the baby.
Reduced Anxiety and Stress Levels
Practicing meditation regularly helps in achieving a relaxed state of mind. It will help in dealing positively with your stress levels, anxiety, or other fears about pregnancy and having a child. Mothers who are constantly feeling stressed and anxious can pose adverse effects on the developing baby. Hence, it is very important to maintain mental wellbeing for the benefit of your baby.
Apart from this, prenatal meditation can help mothers deal with depression, during and post-pregnancy. Thus, mothers can skip taking antidepressants, which are harmful to the body, and healthily cure themselves. A study by the University of Michigan mentions that women with symptoms of a high risk of depression can be treated with meditation.
Being pregnant can interrupt your routine with sleepless nights, food cravings, lesser physical activity, and emotional stress. First and foremost, the issue is not getting proper sleep due to uneasiness caused by the belly, and frequent visits to the washroom. Meditation helps you get better sleep, helping you to relax and wake up happy. Being happy eliminates most of your mood-related problems, keeps you active, and allows you to eat good food on time. Hence, meditation can help achieve a balanced routine for expectant mothers during pregnancy.
Prepares for Labor
Fear of childbirth is natural. And obsessing over it can lead to negative impacts on the birthing experience. For instance, the fear of birth can be more traumatic than the actual pain itself. Hence, to get over the fear and prepare you for labor and delivery, you can practice mindfulness. It does not mean meditation can reduce the pain, but it can help you change your perception of pain. It can help you avoid giving into pain-relieving drugs, and go through an easier labor, as mentioned by What To Expect, “if you practice it regularly before you go into labor. Meditation is especially helpful at reducing the fear of the unknown that goes along with labor. Combining deep breathing (or deep belly breathing) with meditation can aid in softening and relaxing the central nervous system during childbirth, improving your labor experience, and even reducing your perceptions of the pain and length of labor.”
Helps Connect with Your Baby
Speaking to your belly or utero communication may be normal for most mothers, while it may be awkward for the rest. Fostering a connection with the bump may be a good way to get to know your baby, and form a bond even before welcoming them into this world. Meditation is a good way to bond with your little one without feeling silly or awkward.
Speak to your baby in the womb while meditating, visualize holding or kissing her. Sending positive messages and thoughts to your baby will help create a great bond with your baby, which will manifest and grow once the baby is born.
Remember to consult your doctor about your meditation routine during pregnancy, for both practitioners and non-practitioners of meditation. Happy Pregnancy!
Author Bio: Roselin Raj is a journalist and a writer. She has been writing extensively on health and wellness-related topics for a little over a decade now. Besides her professional interests, she loves a game of basketball, or a good hike in her free time to fuel her spirits. “Health is wealth” is one motto of life, which she lives by as well as advocates to every reader who comes across her blogs.