I have always understood and believed that keeping stress levels down when trying to get pregnant is crucial. However, I didn’t realize that keeping stress levels down during pregnancy was just as important. One of the best ways to staying calm and clear headed is through meditation.
Meditation Strengthens The Mother-Baby Bond
Yes! Yes mediation during pregnancy is very beneficial. Meditation can help strengthen the bond between mother and baby. When you are pregnant, your baby is very tuned into your mental and emotional state. If you are agitated or stressed out, this can increase the baby’s heart rate and activity. So just as meditation can help you stay calm and positive, it has the same effects on the baby.
Meditating is the deepest level of consciousness that you can achieve. By doing so, you are able to connect to your baby through your emotions and your mental state. Meditation can create a calm and peaceful environment for your baby which can carry on even after the baby is born. Not only does meditation help strengthen the bond and keeps both you and baby happy, it can also help the discomforts of pregnancy and even labor.
Meditation Reduces Pain
A study performed on 75 individuals has shown that by performing mindful meditation regularly, 27% of the test subjects either experienced pain reduction or could handle it better than the other subjects. This skill is especially important to those that are trying or planning to experience a drug free natural birth.
Meditation And The Brain
I remember hearing about “pregnancy brain” and how you tend to become forgetful during and after pregnancy. While pregnancy doesn’t change your brain, you can become more tired or sleep deprived so you aren’t as sharp as you use to be (this only gets worse after the baby arrives in my experience). Known as the sleep hormone, melatonin production can be boosted by as much as 98% by those that practice meditation.
Meditation also boosts serotonin and endorphin levels. Both of these hormones are crucial to how you feel mentally. Higher serotonin levels creates a happier you and it enables the production of new brain cells which is otherwise prohibited when you are feeling depressed or stressed out.
As I mentioned earlier, meditation can reduce the perception of pain. This is because meditation boosts endorphins which are your body’s natural pain killers. Not only does increase in endorphin levels kill pain, they also give you an overall good or high feeling. This is where the term “runners high” comes from. The rush of endorphins creates a zen-like sensation which is very pleasurable and addicting!
Practicing meditation can help you handle stress and anxiety better by lowering cortisol levels. When you are anxious and/or stressed out, your body produces an abundance of cortisol. While it is normal to experience increased cortisol levels during different phases in our life, over time the increased hormone can block the creation of good hormones. Thus, leading to episodes of depression and anxiety.
Meditation Promotes Mental Health
Being able to control your mind through meditation can be very beneficial in so many different ways. Pregnancy creates natural worries about you and your unborn baby. As your pregnancy progresses and you are getting less sleep, too much time can create a wandering mind. Having a healthy outlet will help you put your focus in the right areas of your life.
I am definitely not saying that meditation will completely eliminate your need to worry, as it hasn’t worked out that way for me yet. I personally feel that worry comes with the job. However, I am saying it will help you put your thoughts in the right place by enabling you to feel good mentally throughout your pregnancy motherhood. Believe me, you are definitely going to need it!