Anxiety and stress aren’t good for anyone. But even more so in pregnancy, as regularly feeling stressed or anxious can affect your health which isn’t good for you or your baby! Mindfulness is a simple style of meditation, that helps you focus on the present and help you calm a busy mind
Why is stress bad?
Research shows that prolonged stress and anxiety can negatively affect pregnant women. It can make you more tired, increases the likelihood of depression and can make you more prone to illness. There is some evidence to suggest it may also lead to early labour and low birth weight babies.
This is tough, as pregnancy can be a pretty emotional time for many women, with hormones raging. But, the more you do to reduce the symptoms of stress, the less it will take hold.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation based on awareness – of yourself, your feelings and the world around you in that moment. It helps you to take control of your thoughts and feelings, so you don’t react to stressful situations negatively. It just takes a little practise!
It will help you relax in your pregnancy, but can then be carried through to labour and help you stay calm as you give birth. Plus, research shows that mindfulness meditation releases endorphins – your bodies natural pain relief! – and the early you start practising the more effective this will be.
Top benefits of Mindfulness
- Reduces production of stress hormones, which are bad for your health in the longterm
- Releases endorphins, your body’s natural pain relief!
- Lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and early labour
- Give you the mental strength needed to give birth
- Can help with the production of breast milk, great for your baby!
Book: The Headspace Guide to a Mindful Pregnancy, Andy Puddicombe
Not a fan of meditation?
Not a fan of meditation? Colouring is a really simple way of incorporating mindfulness into your day-to-day life. Concentrating on a simple, repetitive motion stops you focusing on negative thoughts and the stresses in your life.
It’s a really great place to start if you’ve never meditated before. It focuses your mind on the present, blocking any negative influences. You may be sceptical – but it’s worth a try!