Meditation is always powerful, but it’s especially great during pregnancy. Many of the common challenges that come up while pregnant can be quickly resolved by including meditation as part of your daily routine.
Some examples? If you’re tired because you’re constantly waking up in the middle of the night to pee, meditation will help you feel refreshed. If there’s just too much you need to get done before the baby comes, and you feel overwhelmed, take time to meditate, and you’ll be able to refocus and find a way to get it all done. Moody, frustrated, depressed, or just not yourself — all feelings that meditation can help balance out.
Meditation during pregnancy is not much different than meditation at any other time in your life, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make it as comfortable and effective as possible. Here’s what we recommend:
1. Find your most comfortable meditation position
The majority of meditation instruction tells you to sit upright. But when you’re pregnant, this can be a bit more difficult. Sitting upright is great if you can do it, but you can sit or lie in any position that feels comfortable. If you wake up feeling nauseous, continue to lie in bed and meditate until you start to feel better (or until your partner brings you a smoothie).
Meditation is also great when you’re having trouble falling back to sleep during a restless night. Just lie comfortably and meditate. Even if you don’t fall asleep right away, your body will get some well-deserved rest.
Not worrying about your meditation position lets you figure out how you feel the most comfortable. Maybe you’re most comfortable with a pillow or two between your knees. Maybe you like extra support for your head and neck, or maybe you need a body pillow to feel fully supported.
Learning your most comfortable position will let you relax and release stress with less effort. Knowing your most comfortable position will also be helpful during labor. You’ll know where to give yourself extra support so you can focus and meditate through each contraction.
2. Try out different Meditation techniques to see what works best for you.
There is a lot of meditation instruction suggesting that you use the same technique consistently. This consistent practice will help the body and mind learn to trust meditation and pull from it the benefits it needs. Predictable movements and thought processes are critical for loosening up and releasing stress. For pregnant women, the best predictable routine is to meditate every day. It will make it easier to meditate once your mind and body trust the process.
Each form of meditation has its benefits, and it can be great to practice different techniques depending on how you’re feeling. A mantra-based meditation is great when you are worn out or feel overwhelmed. When you’re frustrated, a guided meditation can help you get over your mistakes. If you’re concerned about the future, breath meditation can help keep you present.
Practice will help you figure out what techniques come naturally and bring you comfort during specific situations. Some techniques will help you feel relaxed, and others will energize you. Practice often to find out.
As you get closer to the big day, you’ll begin to see meditation’s effects on your baby. Your baby can feel when you’re excited, stressed, or relaxed. Meditation will help your baby swim in good vibrations, giving him/her peace.
Usually, meditation is all about you and how you can make yourself feel good. But as an expecting mother, meditation becomes about you and your baby. Meditation is a sacred time when you are quiet and in the moment with your baby. It’s the purest and most intimate form of bonding. Meditation will help you get to know yourself and your baby even more.
You might notice how your baby’s movements change when you’re in meditation. Some babies will get very quiet, and others will get very active. Find out how your baby reacts to different forms of meditation.
3. Focus on deep breaths, not fast breaths.
Relax. Energizing techniques can be great, and you can still use them, but don’t do the fast breathing. Fast alternate-nostril breathing is powerful, but it can make a pregnant woman feel lightheaded and dizzy.
If you do want to practice breath techniques, try a technique that follows your natural breath or extends your exhale. Breathing meditation is especially good at bringing you back to the present so you can more deeply relax.
4. Meditate as often as you’d like during pregnancy.
You grow and change so much and so quickly while pregnant that you may feel a cycle of emotions every day. Feeling overwhelmed, tired, and moody several times a day is normal. You’re working hard to expand the needs of you and your baby, and it can be stressful.
If you practiced meditation before you get pregnant, you remember that most instruction will tell you to only practice once or twice a day. This is because meditation releases stress, and releasing too much stress too quickly can be overwhelming.
When you’re pregnant, meditate as often as you’d like. You’re taking on stress at a much faster pace, meaning you can release it at a faster pace too. The extra meditation will definitely help you prepare for the big day. As you meditate more often, you’ll find that it’s easier to calm your mind quickly regardless of what is causing an imbalance. You’ll be able to go to that calm, quiet place within and relax while your body does the rest.
5. Tell your care provider about your meditation practice.
It’s important to tell your doctor, nurse, or anyone that will be attending your birth that you’ve been practicing meditation throughout the pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for a baby born to a meditating mother to be almost completely relaxed at birth. They often don’t cry but just stretch and join the world of the living.
It will be especially noticeable if you meditate through labor. Some doctors and midwives aren’t used to seeing relaxed babies, and they understandably become concerned. But a baby whose mother meditated throughout the entire process will be healthy, happy, and ready to get started.