Pregnancy is not only a time for physical change, but emotionally it feels like you’re on a rollercoaster. This is partly due to the influx of hormones rushing the body and partly due to the fact that your mind is simply reeling from the changes that are about to occur in your life. Thoughts like “will I know what to do?”, “what kind of mother am I going to make?” and “am I going to be able to cope with the pain?”, give way to feelings of anxiety, doubt and fear. We’re often a mix of elation at being pregnant, anxious about the pregnancy going smoothly and fearful of what’s to come. Unfortunately there’s no simple way of alleviating these fears, particularly as no one can tell you what your journey will bring. However, we can prepare ourselves to be in the best possible shape, both mentally and physically for whatever lies ahead.
Obviously things like a healthy diet, gentle exercise and rest can go a long way in preparing the body for the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth, but how do we prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally? Breathing and meditation techniques are not only good preparation for labour, but they have a positive effect on the nervous system. Techniques such as deep belly breathing and quietening the mind stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system, which brings us into a ‘rest and digest’ phase. This essentially has a calming effect on the body, so you can imagine why this is particularly helpful during pregnancy and childbirth, not to mention postnatally when we’re dealing with the challenges of being a mum. During pregnancy, this calming effect on our mental and emotional state directly correlates to that of our baby – i.e., calm mother, calm baby!
Very few of us have the time to spend hours practicing breathing techniques or sitting down for a long session of meditation, but even 5 minutes a day can have a positive effect on your overall health. This 5 minute meditation is the perfect daily practice, designed to quiet the mind, find a slow rhythm to your breath and acknowledge the emotions that arise. Use the breath to draw in what you need and let go of what you don’t. After practicing a few times, you may not even need to use the audio, but simply use the technique.
Breath for a happier you and a happier baby.
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