Meditation during pregnancy enriches the health of mama and baby during the prenatal period, helps to relax and ease the intensity of sensation in childbirth, and also assists in postpartum healing. In addition, women can pass the benefits of meditation to the baby through the pregnant woman’s bloodstream. Regular practice of meditation and yoga during pregnancy reduces premature birth and lessens complications for the newborn.
Specific Benefits Include:
Reduction of Anxiety and Stress
During pregnancy, anxiety and stress are commonly reported. During the stress response, the body releases hormones such as catecholamines which can exacerbate existing health issues and trigger new ones. Anxiety may cause problems like low birth weight in babies, increased labor complications, increased risks of birth defects and miscarriage, and may lead to premature delivery as well as additional need for the use of medications during childbirth. Meditation reduces stress hormones and therefore increases the capability of the pregnant body to do what it is designed to do: grow, birth, and nourish a baby, as naturally as the sun rises and sets each day.
Increased DHEA Production:
DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone is an important hormone which is necessary for motor coordination and memory functioning. It boosts agility, vision, immunity and protects the body from many diseases. Sound like a pretty wonderful hormone to be producing lots of in pregnancy! Meditation increases DHEA production, and helps to provide a calm and balanced system throughout pregnancy.
Melatonin is the hormone that gets released, when we’re winding down and getting ready for bed. Higher levels are released when we watch a sunset, or stare at a campfire or candle flame. And, of course, higher levels are released, when we meditate. Melatonin supports overall health and our immune system, and also improves our mood. The best news? It also crosses the placenta! So, meditation, and the release of melatonin help both mama and baby to stay peaceful and happy.
Physical Health Benefits:
Better Blood Pressure: Daily meditation reduces the likelihood of hypertension (high blood pressure) in pregnancy and assists in maintaining a healthy pulse.
Reduces Requests for Cesarean Section and Epidural Anesthesia:
Meditation reduces the need of anesthesia, surgery and drugs during delivery.
Meditation teaches us how to breathe deeply and rhythmically. This type of breathing assists the body in maintaining adequate oxygen absorption. This is especially helpful in the third trimester, as the lungs are further compressed by the growing baby, and is also helpful to use during labor, to calm the body and mind.
Enhanced Connection Between Mama and Baby:
This is perhaps the most important benefit of meditation during pregnancy. Taking just a few minutes a day to sit, breathe, and recognize the connection between the mother and her growing child begins a lifelong bond. This assists the mother in trusting her intuition and her own “knowing” of what her baby needs. This helps to lower anxiety for mamas long after the birth and immediate postpartum period.