Prenatal Mental Health Guide: Benefits Of Mindfulness During Pregnancy
A recent study held at the University of California expressed that infants whose mothers practiced mindfulness and participated in mindfulness-based programs during pregnancy had healthier stress responses at 6 months old. This study is the first of its kind which shows that prenatal social intervention can help in better health outcomes in the offspring.
The recent study is good news for all to-be-mothers who experience midnight worries, anxiety, swollen feet and what not. Honestly, pregnancy is exciting but stressful at the same time.
In fact, some sources have revealed that 18% of women experience depression during pregnancy as they have to deal with overwhelming hormones, other kids, juggle between career and home and even never-ending social media feeds. This is why mindfulness during pregnancy acts as a strong coping mechanism.
Through this blog, we will help you understand the benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy and how to practice mindfulness for a happier and smoother prenatal experience and the post-pregnancy phase.
Reasons To Practice Mindfulness During Pregnancy
1. Mindfulness Cuts Down Stress
During a pilot study in 2008, it was found that an eight-week mindfulness program called Mindful Motherhood helped to-be mothers in cultivating attention and awareness. This program included breathing meditation, body scan meditation and yoga and participants reported reduction in anxiety, negativity, hostility and shame.
Mindfulness gives a chance to navigate oneself through complex emotions which are typically uncomfortable. Moreover, mindfulness helps to-be mothers to deal with extreme fear of childbirth and the labor process.
2. Mindfulness Gives Positivity
We are aware of the fact that mindfulness induces positive emotions and this is true for pregnant mothers equally. Mindfulness helps a woman understand her moods and bodily fluctuations. Often mothers miss out on new experiences due to stress but the mindfulness practice makes them focus on happy and peaceful moments. Another study proved that women who practiced mindfulness during pregnancy experienced enjoyment, gratitude, hope and positive feelings.
3. Mindfulness Prevents Insomnia
A lot of women experience sleep deprivation during pregnancy with so much worries about labor, delivery and hope of a healthy baby. Prenatal mindfulness helps in controlling worrisome thoughts and allows you to take proper rest and good sleep.
Tips To Practice Mindfulness During Pregnancy
- Walking meditation is a kind of mindfulness activity where a person chooses to focus on their breathing or the steps.
- Transcendental meditation includes repeating a preferred mantra silently for a defined period of time and staying in the moment.
- Deep and slow breathing exercise to relax the muscle tension and keep a normal pace of the heart rate. Be conscious of your stomach moving up and down during the breathing process.
- Guided imagery and visualization is as simple as imagining good things like what you want to feel when you have a baby in your arms or simply anything where you feel peaceful and quiet. Visualization is another great way to ease the tension and drift off in good sleep.
- Redirect your attention towards the present moment as soon as you recognize that your mind is wandering away.
- Avoid judging yourself about your negative thoughts and start refocusing.
Are There Any Risks?
Now this question is certainly very common when someone is learning about pregnancy meditation or mindfulness. Let us tell you that mindfulness is considered a very safe option for mothers-to-be. There are only rare cases where underlying psychiatric conditions worsen and in that case, you must consult the doctor and therapist.
During meditation, you must remember to take your seat comfortably as you don’t need to put yourself under any stress. You can even use pillows and blankets to feel safe and comfortable and give your belly a proper setup.
When To Consult A Therapist?
If you are experiencing any mental health symptoms like pregnancy anxiety, depression, extreme mood swings, etc. then it is recommended to talk to a therapist so that the solutions could be figured out altogether. The therapist can recommend any further treatment if required.
It is very hopeful that this blog has highlighted the importance of mindfulness during pregnancy. Moreover, the recent research by University of California is also interesting to note as the offspring is also able to take the stress in a smoother manner. What are your opinions about the prenatal mental health guide and how else we can help you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.