Mindfulness means to live consciously and presently.
Basically, with mindfulness, the intent is to deliberately direct your mind to increase your awareness so you can live your life more purposefully and happily (however that looks to you).
Having a mindfulness practice can benefit your mental health, even helping with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other mental health issues.
Particularly when you’re pregnant, practicing mindfulness can be an easy way to help protect the health and well-being of you (as the mom-to-be) as well as your unborn child.
What Is Mindful Pregnancy
Having a mindful pregnancy means you’re conscious and present during your pregnancy.
This seems easy, but if you’ve ever been pregnant, you likely know that it’s not. There are a million different things on your mind at any given time, including preparing for your sweet little one’s arrival.
While it might seem like fluff or something you don’t have time for, there are tremendous benefits to mindfulness during pregnancy that may convince you otherwise.
- Related: Mom-To-Be Mindset Tips (podcast)
Benefits Of Mindfulness During Pregnancy
Benefit 1: Reduces stress and anxiety
Having a mindfulness practice during pregnancy can reduce stress and anxiety.
This works because through mindfulness, you practice allowing and pay attention (instead of resisting) your emotions.
This means you gain emotional intelligence, through learning how to process your emotions, lessening the severity of any anxious or stressful feelings.
While you can’t remove them 100%, you certainly can minimize them, which is important for you and your baby’s health during pregnancy. I suggest seeking out someone who leads guided meditation or a mindfulness teacher.
Benefit 2: Helps you process negative emotions
Mindfulness during pregnancy helps you process any negative emotion you’re experiencing.
Let’s say you’re feeling mad about something that your sister in law said to you.
When you practice mindfulness, you detach from sister in law, moving your focus back to you. This means that you’ll learn to feel the emotion of mad without resisting it. You’ll allow it and get “good” at feeling mad. Ironically, this makes “mad” not so bad at all.
When you’re willing and able to process negative emotions without resisting and reacting to them, you experience life more fully, and you stay healthier (because you don’t manifest your negative emotion by turning it into physical pain).
- How To Be Mindful Of Your Emotions (blog post)
- Processing Negative Emotions (podcast)
- 3 Steps To Reduce Anxiety For Moms (free class)
Benefit 3: Reduces the fear of labor and delivery
Mindfulness reduces fear during labor and delivery.
The more you know, the less fear has a hold on you.
Through connecting to your body (a mindfulness practice), you bring awareness and consciousness to what your body is capable of. This is very empowering and will have the effect of moving you into your own greatness, out of the fear that can be initially created around labor and delivery.
Educate yourself by taking child birth classes, childbirth education, speak with a certified nurse midwife, and look into all things in regards to mindfulness based childbirth. The more you know and learn about it, the better your mindset and mindfulness will be during labor and delivery.
- Related: Being Gentle With Yourself (podcast)
Benefit 4: Lowers your risk of postpartum anxiety and depression
Pregnant women who have a mindfulness practice lows their risk of postpartum anxiety and depression.
This is true because with mindfulness you’re very aware of the good and the bad. So you expect the challenges to come and go. You don’t anticipate that when the baby arrives, you’ll be happy all the time.
Mindfulness is about presentness and consciousness. When you do the inner work of mindfulness, you reduce your likelihood of postpartum anxiety and depression.
- Mindfulness Meditation For Pregnancy (blog post)
- Finding Your Purpose (podcast)
- How To Become A More Mindful Mom (free class)
Benefit 5: Boosts postive feelings
Finally, having a mindful practice during pregnancy boosts your positive feelings.
You’ll live more presently, noticing the abundance of opportunities all around you to experience joy, love, connection, appreciation, and more.
- Simple Rules For Happiness (blog post)
- Being Proud Of Yourself (podcast)
- Thursday Inspo (free weekly newsletter)
How To Practice Mindfulness During Pregnancy
Below is a list of seven strategies to help you start practicing mindfulness during pregnancy. I use and love all of these strategies, as well as do my clients.
Strategy 1: Guided meditations
Guided meditation practices are an easy and effective way to practice mindfulness during pregnancy.
I suggest that mindfulness includes simply listening to pre-recorded meditations or create your own and listen back.
You can use meditations that are on a variety of topics, like pregnancy, challenges, becoming a mom, overwhelm, and more.
The key is to be really focused on the meditation, even if it’s only for five minutes. This way you change your emotional state and the meditation practice works.
- How To Calm Anxiety During Pregnancy (blog post)
- Beating Overwhelm (podcast)
- 75 Journal Prompts For Moms (free download)
Strategy 2: Paying attention to breathing
If you’re just getting started with mindfulness, pay attention to your breath.
Your breath is with you from the moment you’re born until the day you die. And yet, often we don’t focus on it.
Mindful breathing can simply be noticing and slowing down your breath. Becoming aware of it.
The simple act of paying attention to your breath will likely have a positive effect on your health during pregnancy.
Strategy 3: Daily journaling
Journaling is one of the best ways to increase your consciousness and become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
Daily journaling will help you calm down, get recentered, and feel more connected to your baby.
Journaling is particularly useful when you have a goal or challenge you’re working toward or overcoming.
You can get started with my free download—75 Journal Prompts For Moms and Moms-To-Be.
The more you journal, the more you’ll bring awareness to your entire life.
Strategy 4: Self Coaching
A personal favorite for me is self coaching.
There’s an entire Self Coaching course inside Grow You that you get access to immediately when you join.
The benefit of self coaching is that it’s a practice you can take with you daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s there with you when you need it. And it’s so accessible for you, no matter how busy or full your life is.
When you coach yourself, you take life coaching tools and apply them to your life. You find your own thought errors, identifying what you’re thinking, feeling, and doing in your life that’s creating your current experience.
This is incredibly powerful for helping you create a new and intentional future that’s different from your past.
- What Is The Role Of A Life Coach (blog post)
- Grow You (mindfulness community for moms)
- Podcast Directory (free download)
Strategy 5: Getting outside
A very practical and easy way to practice mindfulness is to get outside and connect with nature.
With so much daily input, you may find your mind racing, thought looping and leaving you feeling stuck and overwhelmed.
Taking five to ten minutes to connect with nature and your senses is incredibly powerful for you and your baby.
Strategy 6: Practicing 10 minutes of silence
10 minutes of silence is one of my favorite practices as well.
If you simply sit, breathe, and connect with the baby for 10 minutes every day, you’ll experience so many of the benefits of being mindful.
- Related: Why You Should Meditate Daily (blog post)
Strategy 7: Keeping an Emotions Diary
Finally, try keeping an Emotions Diary where you express your feelings rawly, without sugar-coating anything.
Because we’re all civilized people, we don’t act out on the extreme emotions we feel.
But the downside of that is we become people pleasers and our emotions can manifest into chronic pain.
To avoid all this, start an Emotions Diary where you document how you’re feeling and why.
This is particularly helpful during pregnancy as your hormones and life change.
- How To Start A Gratitude Journal (blog post)
- When To Say Yes And When To Say No (podcast)
- Grow You Life Coaching (life coaching membership for moms)
A Final Note!
Being pregnant is the perfect time to start a mindfulness practice.
Choose one of the tools above and make it easy on yourself to get started. You’ll be so happy that you did.