We often focus only on preparing our bodies when pregnant: we eat the right foods, take the right vitamins, do the right exercises. But how often do we spend time preparing our minds for the experience? Pregnancy and birth can take huge emotional and mental tolls on top of the physical one. Whether it’s their first pregnancy or just the most recent one, moms everywhere can feel a level of uncertainty about what’s to come. Mindfulness training can help prepare for these feelings!
Giving birth should always feel like a positive experience. Mindful birthing techniques do this by centering the experience on what’s important and making the pregnant person feel comfortable and empowered.
Preparing The Mind By Slowing Down
For most women, being pregnant is exhausting. The best way to start with mindfulness is to slow down and focus on making yourself emotionally healthy while helping your body. You have to make regular time for yourself and avoid over-scheduling. This can be done by spending time with your partner, enjoying a cup of tea and Netflix, or by taking a nap. Rehydrating, relaxing, and resting all help prepare your mind for giving birth!
Acceptance Through Meditation
The next step is mindfulness meditation. Meditation will help you stay focused during childbirth and give you the stamina needed to endure the discomfort. The mental rest one gets from meditation is very restorative, soothing both mother and baby during pregnancy and birth. You can make meditation a part of your daily “me time” routine, creating much-needed internal space for control and certainty.
Meditation also helps in accepting the situation and seeing it as a positive. The physical pain and discomfort you experience in pregnancy isn’t a bad thing; rather, it’s an extraordinary, sacred journey and a transformation!
Mindfulness meditation relies on breathing exercises, and practicing them is important. A growing baby can make getting comfortable and focusing tough, so take however long you need to get into a comfortable position. Then you can close your eyes and begin breathing exercises. Breathe slowly and deeply rather than fastly, keeping your eyes closed and your mind focused on the inhalations and exhalations.
Talk with your practitioner about more proper breathing techniques, but you can start with deep belly breathing. This is where you place your hands on your bump while you breathe, holding your baby and centering yourself.
An excellent mindfulness technique is birth hypnosis. Forget what you’ve learned about hypnosis from movies or magic shows because it’s not about being under someone’s spell and acting against your own free will. This is self-hypnosis, a way of focusing attention inward and responding to mental cues to help you feel comfortable and safe. These internal suggestions can reduce the discomfort from labour sensations and help you see the experience as positive and productive.
Mindfulness Can Help With Pain Management
From the very beginning, mindfulness has been used as a strategy to deal with pain. We now know it is a valuable tool for managing discomfort during labour and delivery, and meditation, breathing exercises, and hypnosis all can lower feelings of resistance and fear during labour. While they are completely natural, these feelings only make physical pain worse. By learning to welcome and work with these intense physical experiences, women feel empowered and euphoric during this miraculous experience!