Pregnancy is different for everyone. Some women experience severe morning sickness while some feel fine the entire pregnancy. Some women get that “glow” and others just feel tired all the time. Some women love being pregnant, while others hate it.
Regardless of your experience with pregnancy, however, there are always some ways to make the experience better. Right now, lots of expectant mothers are experiencing a lot of anxiety about giving birth and raising a child, thanks to the pandemic, social unrest, climate change, and personal stressors.
Meditation is a great tool for anyone, but especially for people who are pregnant. There are several incredible benefits of meditation that can help expectant mothers stay calm and relaxed throughout their pregnancy. Here are some reasons to consider meditation if you’re expecting.
Types of Meditation for Expectant Mothers
You can meditate in several different ways. When most people think of meditation, they think of mindfulness meditation, which involves sitting quietly with your eyes closed and gently directing your thoughts to the present when they start to wander. Mindfulness meditation is a great choice for pregnant women, but it’s not the only way to gain the benefits of meditation.
Some expectant mothers find that deep breathing exercises are all they need to help them relax. Deep breathing is a meditation technique that can be used anytime, anywhere, and can help people to cope with anxiety and feel more relaxed.
Other beneficial types of meditation include guided imagery (visualization meditation) and progressive muscle relaxation. Experiment and find out which techniques work best for you. Many pregnant women find that combining two or more meditation techniques in their daily lives works best.
Meditation Can Help You Prepare for Medical Examinations
Being pregnant is exciting and scary all at once, especially if this is your first child. Routine prenatal medical appointments, such as ultrasounds, are a source of stress and anxiety for many couples since there is always a chance that the doctor will find out that the fetus is not developing properly or something else is going wrong. Even though most of these appointments end up being a source of joy, many women find that meditation helps them to mentally prepare for exams.
If you find that you get nervous or anxious before your appointment, try meditation the morning of your exam and right before you head to the office. You can even use deep breathing in the waiting room if you need to!
Meditation Can Boost Health & Potentially Ease the Birthing Process
Pregnancy is a wonderful thing for most women, but it also creates some unavoidable health risks, particularly for women who belong to vulnerable groups. Unfortunately, many women don’t have access to high-quality prenatal care during their pregnancy. These maternal health disparities put Black and Native women at a higher risk.
We need to prioritize the health of all expectant mothers during their pregnancies; it’s a huge problem requiring urgent solutions. Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t help the women who are expecting now or will be in the near future. In the meantime, they need accessible tools to boost health and ease the birth process.
Meditation can be used by women in any situation to help reduce stress during pregnancy and facilitate a smoother, easier birth. Regardless of your healthcare situation, meditation is a tool you can use to help ensure a healthier pregnancy. Like pregnancy, childbirth is different for everyone, but meditation techniques like deep breathing could help during the birth itself.
Improve Sleep and Decrease Tension
Getting enough sleep during pregnancy can be a huge challenge, especially in the third trimester. If you’re tired all the time, you won’t be able to enjoy your normal activities and might struggle to get things done. That can add to your stress and make it difficult to prepare properly for the baby’s arrival.
If you’re feeling stressed out and fatigued, meditation might just be able to help. Implementing a practice of mindfulness meditation and/or visualization, in combination with progressive muscle relaxation, could help you to feel calmer throughout the day and make it easier to go to sleep at night.
At the end of the day, there’s absolutely no downside to meditation. You can determine the length of your sessions and implement this tool seamlessly into your life. If it doesn’t work for you, then no harm done! But the majority of women who use meditation during their pregnancy find that it helps them prepare for the biggest event of their lives.