From the sheer excitement that comes with carrying a baby to the underlying stresses and dare we say it, slight fears, pregnancy in itself is a whirlwind. Doing what you can to stay calm, cool and collected during these precious nine months – and through labor, too – will help you to center yourself in a peaceful state of mind. From our friends over at Fit Pregnancy, here are their five meditation techniques that are simple to do, yet reap great mental, physical and emotions rewards.
Deep Belly Meditation – Place your hands on your belly, gently cradling the baby. As you breathe, observe the sensations felt beneath your hands – warmth, movement, etc. Continue to breathe slowly, in and out. If your mind wanders off or if a thought arises, breathe deeper into your belly and let it float away. Try doing this for five minutes each day, gradually adding more time each week.
Mama Mantra – Delve into your inner strength by giving yourself words to live by. Whether to get you through a difficult yoga pose or while enduring a strenuous labor or stage of pregnancy, there is power in your own words. Tell yourself what you need to hear, as only you know it best: “Push through the pain; breath deep, mama. Stay strong for baby.”
Visualization Technique: See the Wave – Through visualization (meditation combined with mental imagery), our strong bodies can actually decrease the intensity of pain – an invaluable tool during labor. The plan: “View each contraction as a wave in the ocean. Watch it slowly peak in intensity and then allow it to slowly come down. See yourself as a jellyfish, allowing that wave to wash through you.”
The “Blossoming Lotus” – A sacred flower representing all that is pure and deeply spiritual in many cultures; use the lotus flower as a visualization tool during labor: “Visualize your cervix as a blossoming lotus flower. Upon every contraction, visualize and chant, “’Open, open, open.’”
Relax the “Third Eye” – During labor or stressful times in your pregnancy, do your best to relax your “third eye”, the space between your eyebrows. Lying directly behind it is the light-sensitive pineal gland, which produces serotonin, the hormone that affects your wake-sleep patterns and energy levels. Doing your best to “control” this offers the chance for maximum relaxation.