Using Guided Meditation to Thrive in Pregnancy and Postpartum

How can meditation help my pregnancy?

When it comes to meditation and pregnancy, it’s important to know that our bodies hear and respond to what we tell them. If you’re pregnant, your baby does, as well. That’s why it’s important to remember to watch what you say to yourself whether out loud or in your thoughts. It’s understandable that someone, for instance, who feels she tends to drop things frequently might be tempted to make a first-person statement about being klutzy. It may seem that the person is simply observing and commenting upon reality. In truth, making such a statement about oneself actually makes the problem worse.

There are many meditation pregnancy benefits

If you catch yourself making a negative statement or even thinking negatively about yourself, regardless of what it is, take a moment to turn it around and make a positive statement about yourself twice, even if it doesn’t feel true at that moment.  Practice this exercise until it becomes a habit to talk to and about yourself in the positive, and begin to notice that you actually have an effect on your body and your life.

We are much more powerful than we realize, and, especially if you’re pregnant, you can use that power to help yourself have a relatively easy, comfortable pregnancy and delivery, despite any stories you may have heard from others regarding the pain and discomfort of pregnancies and deliveries.

What are the benefits of meditation during pregnancy?

There are many meditation pregnancy benefits. What follows is an easy, pleasant way to experience those many benefits, regardless of what stage you’re in during pregnancy. First, be sure to choose a time to do it when you can remain undisturbed for at least twenty minutes. Be sure to turn off any devices that might interrupt you. If you live with others, make sure they’re aware you’re about to do a meditation for pregnancy, and that they mustn’t disrupt you unless it’s an emergency. When you’ve secured all of those things, choose a place that’s calm and quiet. If possible, dim the lights. If music, white noise or essential oils help you to relax, feel free to use them. Make certain you’ll be warm enough. At your most relaxed, you tend to cool down somewhat.

Make yourself as physically comfortable as you can, preferably somewhere other than where you sleep, so that you don’t fall asleep while trying to meditate. It’s best to be propped up (as you are in a reclining chair), if possible, than to lie back or sit up straight, but all three positions should work as long as you’re comfortable. If you must use the bed you normally sleep in, put yourself in a different position than you’re in when you sleep; perhaps put your feet where your head usually goes, or lie diagonally. Prop yourself up on an extra pillow or two. Close your eyes and take in at least three long, slow, deep breaths, imagining that you’re drawing each breath all the way down to the bottom of your abdomen.

Next, focus your attention on your toes, noticing how nice and relaxed they are. When you become of aware of that, slowly move that relaxed feeling into your feet: the tops, the soles, and the arches, the heels, then up through your ankles. Continue in this fashion in each small area of your body (shins and calves, then knees, then thighs and backs of legs, etc.). After relaxing your shoulders, allow the relaxation to drift down your arms, to the tips of your fingers, then move from the shoulders up into the neck. Do not advance to the next small area until you are certain the one you’re on is relaxed. When you reach the crown of your head and relax it, allow that relaxation to drift down over all of your facial features until your entire body feels very calm. Do a mental scan of your body, and if you find any areas that need extra relaxation, be sure to send it there.

When you’re certain you’re completely relaxed, imagine yourself standing at the top of a flight of twenty steps with a handrail on either side of the steps descending before you. There’s also as much light as you need or want. Acknowledge that, in a moment, you will begin to descend the steps, one at a time, counting backward from twenty on each, and as you take each step down, allow yourself to become more and more relaxed. When you reach the bottom step, count it as zero.

Next, imagine that you’re standing in front of a lovely, closed door. On the other side of that door is the most relaxing place that you can imagine. It may be real or made up; somewhere you’ve been or you’d like to go; or indoors or outdoors. The specifics don’t matter as much as that it’s a place that you find very relaxing.

Open the door, and step into this place, noticing the calming effect it has over you. Notice whatever there is to notice around you. If you can see things, note their size, shape, and color. If you can hear sounds, notice what they sound like. If you can reach out your hand and touch something, do that and note how it feels against your skin. Now, become aware of your body in this most relaxing place. Imagine placing your hands gently on your abdomen, over the developing fetus/baby. Send positive messages to your future child, about how much you love him/her and how grateful you are for him/her. Thank your growing baby for becoming strong, intelligent, and perfectly healthy. Include messages about how she/he is safe, perfect, and beautiful.

If you’d like to utilize meditation for pregnancy in the first trimester, consider welcoming this developing child into your body. Thank the fetus for allowing you to have a comfortable, pleasant pregnancy. Thank your body for being strong and healthy and providing whatever support your fetus needs. Tell your body how much you appreciate it remaining comfortable now and throughout the pregnancy.

If you’d like to make this meditation about pregnancy and birth, consider thanking your baby for allowing you to have a very pleasant, comfortable pregnancy and delivery. Let your fetus/baby know it’s all right for delivery to be smooth and relaxed. Whatever details you’d like to make come true, this meditation can help you to make them happen.

If you want to use this meditation for pregnancy anxiety, take a few moments to remind yourself that you are safe in this most relaxed place, and that doing this meditation is helping you to feel calm. Focus on your body and ask yourself where the anxiety resides within it. Notice if it has a color or texture. Become aware that you have the ability to move the anxiety, however slowly and gently, from where it currently is, into one of your arms, then down to your fingertips. Allow your fingertips to become like open faucets that allow the anxiety to drain from you.

When it’s all drained from your body, return your fingertips to their natural state. Imagine sending healing, loving, protective energy into the area where the anxiety used to be. Perhaps allow this energy to expand, so it fills and surrounds you and your growing fetus/baby.

When you’re done, say goodbye to and thank this most relaxing place, knowing that you can return at any time to make even more positive changes. Exit through the same door through which you entered, and close it behind you, leaving yourself open only to positive suggestions. Then slowly count up to five, allowing yourself to become more awake and alert with each number. When you reach five, open your eyes and say, “One, two, three, four, five. Eyes open, wide awake.” Repeat it at least once and as many times as you’d like.

Can meditation help after pregnancy?

Even after pregnancy, meditation can be quite helpful. Whether you experience any postpartum discomfort or you feel fine, meditation is an easy, enjoyable, all-natural way to help you with whatever you may experience and whatever you’d like to improve. The reason is that your subconscious mind stopped developing when you were a little kid, and it doesn’t know the difference between reality and fantasy. If you’re having any problems, whether it’s pain, injury, illness, difficult relationships, sleep issues, or anything else, it’s because your subconscious mind wants to keep things the way they are, even though, with your conscious mind, you know a change would be an improvement.

When you allow your body to relax completely, close your eyes, and follow the above steps for utilizing the meditation process, your subconscious mind believes that what you’re imagining is really happening. When your subconscious mind has the opportunity to experience the situation in meditation that you want with your conscious mind, it believes that it’s happening, and it realizes that the situation is safe, enjoyable, and beneficial. It is then less likely to resist a positive change solely because it’s afraid of change. From then on, the change seems like something familiar. The more often you utilize meditation, the more and more comfortable your subconscious mind becomes with it.

When you notice in your waking life that the changes you meditated about are actually coming to pass, acknowledge that consciously to yourself, and you’ll become more and more confident in your ability to bring about positive changes. Just like with any exercise, practicing this one makes you stronger and better able to accomplish it. If you’re interested in pregnancy meditation classes, consider contacting me for a few sessions at Frances@RelieveYourMind.com. It’s much easier for us to customize a personal meditation when we work together.

Frances O’Brien

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