December 04, 2023

The power of meditating during pregnancy with Meg

Pregnancy is an amazing journey that brings about such a rollercoaster of emotions; such as joy, excitement, worry and fear. Meditation during pregnancy can help mums-to-be shift out of the body’s “fight-or-flight” response by lowering cortisol levels and re-engaging the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. This not only helps to reduce stress but also leaves women feeling much calmer, centred and more relaxed throughout their pregnancy, which is incredibly beneficial for the growth and development of their baby.

Benefits of meditating during pregnancy:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Connects you with your changing body
  • Deepens your connection with your baby
  • Enhanced immunity
  • Reduces fears and enhances positive outlook for birth

Meditation is most beneficial when practised daily, however, mums and mums-to-be are notoriously busy so 3-5 times per week is a more realistic goal to work towards. It doesn’t have to be a long meditation to be beneficial either; my motto for all of my students, especially mothers, is to practice ‘small amounts, consistently’.

For those who are new to meditating, here are a few tips…

  1. Start small. The most effective meditation practice is one that’s done consistently, so start with 2-5 minute practices and work your way up as it becomes easier and more enjoyable for you.
  2. Expect your mind to wander. Meditation isn’t actually about emptying your mind of thoughts, but rather changing your relationship with them. Each time your mind wanders off, simply notice yourself thinking and return your awareness to your practice.
  3. Practice in the morning or evening. You’ll find it easiest to stick with your meditation if you commit to practising at the same time each day. For busy mothers, first thing in the morning and last thing at night are generally the times that you have the best chance of a small pocket of time to yourself.
  4. Listen to a guided meditation. Meditating without guidance is incredibly challenging, particularly for beginners. We have so many wonderful guided meditations available on the Kic app, so start by listening to one of those and following the guidance of your instructor.
  5. Be gentle with yourself. Starting something new isn’t easy, so be sure to practice compassion, kindness and patience with yourself as you learn to meditate.’

Meditating during pregnancy vs everyday meditation

You can still practice the same types of meditation during pregnancy that you would every day, however, your practice changes as your pregnancy progresses.

In early pregnancy, students may struggle to find a state of calmness and peace while they’re feeling nauseous or worried about the risk factors associated with the first trimester. In the second trimester, it becomes easier to meditate comfortably again but by this point, mums-to-be will start to feel movements and kicks from their baby, so this becomes an added source of distraction to work with. By the third trimester, many women are incredibly uncomfortable in their bodies and are nervous about the upcoming delivery and the changes that arise with a new baby. They might even be so tired that they struggle to stay awake during a meditation practice.

These are all totally normal challenges to work with during pregnancy so it’s important not to let them deter you from your practice.

From a psychological perspective, matrescence, the process of pregnancy and new motherhood is a profound developmental stage in a woman’s life. This phase of life is filled with so many physical, social, emotional and hormonal changes and women often don’t receive the level of empowerment, support and guidance that they need. The KICBUMP community can help change this, while also fostering a beautiful sense of community and connection for women as they become mothers.

It doesn't have to be a long meditation to be beneficial, practice 'small amounts, consistently'.

Meg James