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Welcome to The Maris Practice Blog. Here you will find musings, reflections and information about best practice in alternative therapies. We hope you find it useful and interesting.

Mindfulness and meditation during pregnancy

What is mindfulness?

Many mums-to-be worry about the physical pain that comes with childbirth. It has been suggested that including mindfulness skills in childbirth education helps women cope with their fears. While many women take childbirth classes to educate themselves about the birth process, many of these courses do not teach skills for coping with childbirth anxiety.

That is where mindfulness and meditation can help.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the awareness that arises within you when paying attention in the present moment. During pregnancy, it can help you bond and connect with your unborn baby.

A recent study has demonstrated that taking part in a mindfulness course during pregnancy reduces the fear of labour, decreases the use of pain relief and lowers the risk of post-natal depression. The study included modules on mindfulness meditation, awareness of breathing and the body. Mums-to-be were taught how to keep their minds focused on the present moment, instead of worrying about the next contraction or thinking about the previous one. Birth partners can also learn how to give comfort and support using mindfulness techniques.

Mindfulness is basically just the state of ‘being aware’ and can be practiced both informally and formally. When you’re practicing it informally, that means that you’re simply attempting to be more aware in everything that you do and that mentality can be infused into most things.

Mindfulness meditation

The formal practice of mindfulness is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness expert Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., author of The Now Effect explains that mindfulness meditation is “When you intentionally pay attention to whatever is here in the moment. The goal is to learn to be really present, to the point that when you feel yourself reacting a certain way in the moment later on, you’re so aware of the now that you're then able to take a step back, and literally change your knee-jerk reaction so you do something in a different way."

Practicing mindfulness meditation helps you cope with the demands on your body and mind, and benefits your unborn baby in a variety of important ways including;

  1. Calms pregnancy stress and anxiety,
  2. Brings deep physical benefits to mum and soon to be little one,
  3. Reduces depression risk,
  4. Helps you sleep better.

Research shows that looking after mental well-being during pregnancy and early motherhood can have a positive effect on both mum and baby. Using meditation or mindfulness (or both!) as a tool to refresh and focus your mind in a positive direction can help you listen to your body (and that tiny heartbeat!) with important results.

KG Hypnobirthing Courses
Turks Head 10k Fun Run 2018