Your Mindful Pregnancy
Meditations and Practices for a Stress-Free, Happy, and Healthy Pregnancy
Sarah Rudell Beach
2021 CICO Books
“Your Mindful Pregnancy” focuses on mindfulness techniques that allow you to stay in the present and manage your feelings through pregnancy, labor and birth and early motherhood.
Paying attention and being present is a skill that requires practice. Simply put, mindfulness is a way of paying attention. In our hectic lifestyle, we often focus on more than one thing or multitask.
One way to incorporate mindfulness into our daily life is to set aside some time each day to practice. Find a comfortable position and focus on your breath. You can either breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth or just notice your breathing. An example is to focus on your breath for one minute and say “breathing in” each time you breathe in and “breathing out each time you exhale. Another mindfulness practice is body scanning, a technique that childbirth educators and doulas use for relaxation.
Mindfulness incorporates all of our senses; being aware of all of the sounds in the room or outside the window. It is also a technique that allows us to bring full attention to everyday activities. Walking is both a great exercise for pregnancy and a way to utilize all of our senses – what do you see, hear, smell etc.
While it is often impossible to avoid stress, pregnant women can focus on minimizing their responses to stressful events. What I often refer to as spending $10 worth of adrenaline on a 10 cent problem. The author reminds us that if we are overly worrying to write down our worries. A good question to ask yourself is how likely is this to happen?
Many of the childbirth techniques that we use in labor are part of mindfulness: mantras such as “my body knows how to do this”, visualization, use of a focal point, relaxation, labor positions and music.
Sarah reminds us that “living with a newborn is about learning to be at peace with constant change, and with being out of control – a skill that is crucial to the motherhood journey. Sometimes, but not 100% of the time, we need to remind ourselves to be in the moment.