Mindfulness meditation can be an extremely beneficial way to reduce stress and anxiety as well as to regulate emotions and self- control. While it can benefit many individuals, recent research has shown just how much benefit it can have for peripartum and postpartum women, and their babies.
Pregnancy can oftentimes be a period marked by high anxiety and stress, magnified by a number of factors (hormones, body changes, finances, complications during pregnancy, etc.) Anxiety is extremely common during pregnancy, and pregnant women oftentimes have a constant stream of worries running though their minds, and are completely unable to stop them. By practicing mindfulness meditation, these women can begin to harness their thoughts and learn to gradually tune out their distorted thinking by focusing only on the present moment. This change in thinking helps not only the mom-to-be, but also the unborn baby. When a mom-to-be feels more at ease and calm, this can help aide in the healthy development of the baby, reduce chances for complications during pregnancy (such as high blood-pressure), can prevent premature delivery, and can continue benefiting mom and baby postpartum as well.
This may sound extremely appealing to you, but before going out and signing up for a mindfulness meditation class, yoga, or downloading a mindfulness meditation app, remember that it is called a “practice” for a reason. Likely, during your first try, or even after a few sessions, you may struggle getting your mind and body to focus on the present— this is completely normal. The key is not to give up. Like anything that is truly worth it, mindfulness meditation can take some practice, but if you keep at it, you too can reap all the positive benefits—not only for yourself, but for your baby as well.