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Mindfulness in pregnancy

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a proven method to improve your emotional wellbeing. It involves being aware of your current state of mind. As well as understanding and listening to your thoughts, feelings and environments. Some may describe mindfulness as a meditation method, however mindfulness is available to us at every moment. Once we train ourselves to become more mindful, it becomes natural and second nature to those who can master it.

In this short blog, I’ll explain the benefits of mindfulness during your pregnancy, and throughout your parental journey. I’ll also share easy and practical ways for you to improve your mindfulness.

Why should I focus on my mindfulness in pregnancy?

Countless academic studies show that mindfulness can improve emotional wellbeing, as well as reducing feelings of dress and depression. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends mindfulness as a way to prevent depression.

Although we cannot say the definite cause of premature births, high levels of stress and anxiety can affect the risk of preterm birth. An interesting study published in 2007 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine studied 335 pregnancies in India.The researchers then split them in half, and 50% received mindfulness practices such as yoga - and the other half didn’t. The study revealed that those who used mindfulness practices, such as yoga, were less likely to have preterm pregnancies, and less birth complications. Amazing!

Mindfulness can also help with healthy child development. Research also shows that mindful pregnancies can benefit your baby - and that there are substantial benefits to the baby’s social-emotional development and temperament.

There is an abundance of research that shows the benefits of mindfulness for parents and children. However, please do remember that mindfulness is an option and not the solution. You can still have a positive and healthy pregnancy whether you choose to practice mindfulness, or not. Please do not feel pressured to become mindful - and please do not become worried if you are pregnant and have not practiced mindfulness so far.

If you need urgent help for your mental health, please click here.

How can I improve my mindfulness?

Great. So you’re thinking about practicing mindfulness. So how can you do it?:

1. Counselling and guidance:

If you’re new to practicing mindfulness, seeking counselling and guidance is an excellent option. Many pregnant women seek counselling and guidance through doula support. A doula will profoundly listen; reflect back to you, so that you can hear what you are saying; maybe challenge your held beliefs; help you maintain boundaries and question responses.

2. Conscious changes in your everyday life

From being aware of the information you take in on social media, to being mindful of the food you eat. Small conscious changes in your everyday life can help balance your emotional wellbeing during your pregnancy. A good way to make these conscious changes, is starting with questioning - questioning with the who’s, what’s, why’s, how’s and if certain things are beneficial or detrimental to your pregnancy is always a great place to start!

3. Mindful breathing

In mindful breathing, all you have to do is consciously inhale and exhale by focusing on your breathing. It helps to reduce anxiety, rechanneling energy and even reducing pain. For more information on mindful breathing, please click here.

4. Yoga and Pilates

Yoga is an excellent way to practice mindfulness with enormous health benefits to the mind, body and spirit. An increasing amount of research shows the enormous benefits of practicing yoga during your pregnancy for yourself and your baby. Click here to book your yoga session with me, or here for the benefits of yoga during pregnancy.

5. Visualisations

Picture what you want to happen, and cement that vision in your head. Picture that experience from start to finish, and remember the fine details. That’s all it takes to practice mindful visualisations. Visualising particular events in your pregnancy and in life can reduce your anxiety levels, and balance your emotional wellbeing. It’s simple and easy to practice, so click here if you would like more information on how to mindfully visualise.


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