Mindfulness for Labor : Preparing the Mind for the Journey of Birth
I want to encourage all my friends out there to not only prepare yourself physically, buying everything you need, but put more emphasis on the emotional part of it. I have witnessed so many mamas coming into the labor room so unprepared mentally and trust me it does not have to be that way.
Let me tell you mama, coming into labor with stress, anxiety, and fear can impact your labor in a negative way. If you are in your third trimester and getting worried about your upcoming labor, you have come to the right place.
Mindfulness for Labor : Preparing the Mind for the Journey of Birth
As your body changes and your hormone levels vary during pregnancy, it’s normal to experience some anxiety. Even while anxiety is an unavoidable aspect of life, you don’t have to put up with it. Planning for your baby’s arrival takes a lot of time, so you should try to unwind as much as you can in the months before giving birth.
Meditation or mindfulness is a great option for pregnant women who want to de-stress naturally and conveniently.
Hello mamas I truly know how restless those last weeks of pregnancy can be daunting, leaving you restless, worry and no peace of mine. How do I know? I have been there . I have experienced four births of my life and let me tell you, for me the emotional part of pregnancy is really mind boggling if you are not prepared to face it.
There are many beneficial health outcomes associated with mindfulness and meditation techniques, and no special tools or physical restrictions are needed. To find some much-needed relaxation, you can meditate pretty much anywhere, at any time.
You, your infant, and your health care provider are all that are required. Read this quick read and learn the benefits and how to do it!
What is pregnancy mindfulness
In general, mindfulness is the straightforward process of quieting your mind and ideas while paying deliberate attention to your body or your environment. Although awareness is comparable to meditation, it is a little easier and less formal.
Most of the time, practicing mindfulness is as simple as paying attention to your breathing, concentrating on one thing, or simply slowing down and being more intentional with your thoughts and actions.
According to Kristin Rinehart, LISW-S, LCSW, TTS, director of behavioral health at Muskingum Valley Health Centers and proprietor of Changing Minds, LLC, “mindfulness provides an opportunity to take care of yourself.” I advise my patients that by caring for themselves, they are also caring for their unborn kid.
In reality, mindfulness will be helpful for the rest of your life, it not only benefits pregnancy but everyday life because obstacles are opportunities to learn and grow, according to Rinehart, and people will confront numerous challenges in addition to their lives including pregnancy.
Why Mindfulness is so important During Pregnancy
According to Paul Wright, MD, an OB/GYN at Southeastern Ohio Medical Center in Cambridge, Ohio, there is a great deal of anxiety of the unknown among pregnant women. For instance, people may not be aware of what to anticipate if they have never given birth.
They have no idea what the procedure entails or how hard labor will be. Dr. Wright claims that attending childbirth teaching, which frequently use a variety of mindfulness techniques, can help to lessen some of these worries.
The cancellation of several childbirth classes during COVID-19, he claims, “certainly made a difference [during labor and delivery].” “That fact significantly affected stress levels.”
During pregnancy, there are numerous changes taking on in both the body and the mind. According to Rinehart, worrying about “what if” scenarios exacerbates our stress reaction. Additionally, studies have shown that being under too much stress during pregnancy can harm your unborn child’s growth. 8 But some of that stress response can be reduced with mindfulness.
“By utilizing mindfulness practices, moms can ‘just be’ with their body, embrace the connection with their baby, relax and focus on the beauty of childbirth—breathing, calming, and preparing,” Rinehart says. “Mindfulness allows them to find peace in the present.”
Benefits of Pregnancy Meditation
Benefit #1 Improves mental clarity and sleep
There are many benefits of pregnancy meditation. Research has shown that meditation actually ; and the outcomes have, by and large, been favorable. For instance, mindfulness exercises can improve concentration, lower stress levels, mental clarity, and sleep.
Meditation is beneficial for both mental and physical health since it reduces stress. You may have seen personally how stress affects the body as well as the mind, resulting in stomach discomfort, headaches, and other symptoms. These results can accumulate over time, resulting in inflammation and a number of harmful health repercussions.
Benefit # 2 Reduces stress
In fact, a tiny pilot study indicated that pregnant women who took part in the Mindful Motherhood mindfulness program experienced less anxiety overall. Along with less stress, resentment, and embarrassment, they also reported.
Benefit # 3 Reduced mood swings postpartum
Helps new moms to experience lesser mood swings. In fact, a tiny pilot study indicated that pregnant women who took part in the Mindful Motherhood mindfulness program experienced less anxiety overall. Along with less stress, resentment, and embarrassment, they also reported.
Benefit # 4 A reduction in depressive symptoms
Similar outcomes were also discovered by another study on the use of mindfulness during pregnancy. The subjects noted a decrease in stress and anxiety overall as well as a decrease in depressive symptoms. Additionally, the program’s advantages persisted even after delivery.
Benefit # 5 Helps you to deal with pain during pregnancy
Pain, anxiety, and fear has no positive effect on labor. If you can learn to meditate, you can learn to deal with your labor contractions effectively. “I teach my patients that it is OK to stop and ‘just be’ without the past or the future guiding you,” Rinehart says. “Mindfulness is the opportunity to take care of you—even if it is just for two minutes at a time.”
Actually, practicing mindfulness can help you cope with labor and delivery by lowering your sense of pain. Even unwarranted concerns that your baby has a problem or that anything bad may happen during your delivery can be allayed by it.
Benefit # 6 Lowers blood pressure and worry
Of course if meditation reduces your stress levels, it will definitely lower your blood pressure. This is great for mamas out there with blood pressure issues. Practice meditation for all these reasons.
Mindfulness and its Role in Stress Management During Pregnancy
Everyone may advise you to maintain your composure while you are pregnant, even your mother and doctor. This, however, may actually result in more stress—stress from the stress itself. Studies have shown that meditation can help you manage your stress level and specifically aid with this type of pregnancy anxiety.
University of California, Los Angeles researchers examined pregnant women who were feeling anxiety in a 2014 experiment. While the control group read books about pregnancy, the other group began a six-week mindfulness program. The unique design of this trial reduced anxiety in both groups. The ladies who exercised mindfulness, though, reported a more notable reduction in stress.
An additional 2016 study suggests that women who meditate don’t only perceive less stress: the practice actually produces positive physiological changes. Shobitha Muthukrishnan and her colleagues write that:
“There was a significant decrease in perceived stress scores, a significant decrease of blood pressure, and a significant increase in heart rate variability in the test group which indicates that mindfulness meditation is a powerful modulator of the sympathetic nervous system and can thereby reduce the day-to-day perceived stress in pregnant women.”
This study suggests that meditation actually decreases anxiety’s effects on the body, including elevated blood pressure and heart rate. This is truly remarkable indeed!
Mindfulness might also help your little star
Yes mamas mindfulness might very well help your baby to become happier.
Ka Po Chan, a researcher, examined the impact of meditation on maternal and fetal health in a 2014 study. Chan discovered that when their moms meditated, their fetuses showed lower levels of cortisol, which could mean that their settings were less stressful. In addition, women who just gave birth completed a questionnaire about the temperament of their newborns. According to Chan:
“…the infants in the intervention group have better dispositions at the fifth month [which] highlights the significance of prenatal meditation in relation to child health. The current study shows that prenatal meditation has good impacts on newborn behaviors and suggests that pregnancy care providers should teach prenatal meditation to expecting mothers.
Chan points out that postpartum depression is less likely to occur in pregnant women who experience less worry. Consequently, meditating mothers reported better infant behavior in part because they themselves were happier.
8 Tips for How to do Pregnancy Meditation
Tip # 1 Let God be the center of everything
Allow Him to be present in your thoughts knowing believing that He is right there with you through every thought process. Allow His spirit to give you peace, and tranquility during this time.
Tip # 2 Get comfortable and quiet
Comfort brings you more focus and concentration. In fact, it can be much easier to sink into your meditation if you feel at ease in your environment.
To make sure you’re comfortable, start off by finding a place in your home where you’re unlikely to be disturbed by noise like a family member, spouse’s phone calls or a cat scratching at the door. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing that keeps you adequately warm.
You can ask family members not to disturb you for about 10 -15 minutes or put a do not disturbed sign on your door.. This works for most of my clients but you can choose your favorite one..
Tip # 3 Turn on some good instrumental soft music
I love music like these for meditation. The music should be very relaxing and calm.
Tip # 4 Find a comfortable position
- Relax on a cushion – Experiment with different leg positions, and consider supporting your knees with pillows, blocks, or even folded towels.
- Back support may be helpful for mamas who may be having back aches
- – Sit against a wall if that helps you relax your spine. Alternately, sit in a chair.
- You just prefer to sit on the floor with your legs in a comfortable position.
Tip # 5 Begin with a deep breath
The breath opens the door to a more thorough understanding of your body and your unborn child. Even while not doing meditation, deep breathing is proven to promote calm. This is so that other biological systems are not left untouched by the breathing exercise. According to Harvard Health Publishing,
“Deep abdominal breathing promotes complete oxygen exchange, which is the advantageous conversion of incoming oxygen into exhaled carbon dioxide. It should come as no surprise that it can slow the heartbeat and reduce or maintain blood pressure.
Tip # 6 Put your hands on your abdomen and gently cradle the child.
Keep an eye on the sensations you feel under your hands. (Are you feeling warm? Movement?) Slowly inhale and exhale. (If your thoughts stray, take deeper belly breaths.)
Let any thoughts that come to mind drift away as if they were clouds in the sky. Try to practice this for five minutes per day, gradually increasing the duration as you go.
Tip # 7 Recognise when your mind wonders and redirect it back to focus
Our minds have a tendency to wander when we want to focus. God has given us the ability to control our minds instead of allowing our minds to control us. Mama let your body know that you are in control and do not allow it to run wild. ( Galatians 5:22)
Tip # 8 Meditate on the positive affirmations you wrote about your pregnancy and upcoming birth.
You can link here and practice this empowering meditation. The Bible says death and life are in the power of the tongue, so create a meditation that is powerful with effective words. Your mindfulness should be directed towards positivity and how you would like to envision your birth.
Tip # 9 Pray continuously for your pregnancy
Finally, make it a goal to submit your intellect, will, and emotions to God’s good designs so that he might be glorified in whatever you do. “Always pray in the Spirit, with all petition and supplication,” the Bible says. In order to do this, remain vigilant and persistent while pleading for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).
Thank God for allowing you to be chosen to birth the next generation. Look forward to your Labor Day with joy, anticipation and happiness. See your contractions as surges of powerful energy working with your body and baby to end your Labor Day. Breath in and one out and end your session with thanksgiving to God.
Tip # 10 Do this consistently daily until your Labor Day
MY EXPERIENCES WITH GIVING BIRTH AND MINDFULNESS
As a mom who have given birth to four children, I want to express my take on how I personally went through my deliveries ,letting you know the emotional side of things.I was just like most of you, afraid of the unknown.This is normal and natural mamas; especially for first-time moms. And this is ok.
The thing is I did not stay in the fear. I went and looked for information that I had no knowledge about. ( I suggest you researching the knowledge through books, online , or simply attend a childbirth class. Knowledge did enlighten me and as a result I became more open and receptive of my Labor Day and actually embraced it with minimal fears and more confidence especially with God backing me up.
Here are 5 elements that helped me: You can download this for FREE to put in your favorite visible spot on in your home.
We are at the end of this presentation -Mindfulness For Labor. Preparing the mind for Birth is very important.
Here is a summary of what we have learned and discuss:
In conclusion mindfulness during pregnancy is essential for a phenomenal birth experience. Setting time aside consistently to think is very important. Knowing what mindfulness does for pregnancy is remarkable and it does not take much; just a prepared open mind, consistency,and 10 -15 minutes daily up to Labor Day.
I hope your Labor Day be one of great happiness,joy and peace. Thank you for being here today. let me know your sentiments in the comments. I would love to hear from you. Everyone’s experience with birth is different. I know some of you might have had a traumatic experience and it is hard; but be of good courage and look to God to give you the peace you need to overcome your fears , worries and concerns about this upcoming birth and use mindfulness to help you.