- Jennifer Coulombe
A Mindful Pregnancy: Five Tips to a Stress-Free Nine Months
“I think yoga and meditation are probably the strongest offerings that anyone can give to pregnant women. To actively move your body, to breathe, to close your eyes, to meditate, to go inside where your baby is — out of that you come to know your own truth." – Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, via the Happy Healthy Child Blog
When you’re expecting a baby, you’re likely to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness in anticipation for the new addition to your family. Ahead, there will be so many baby books to read, gadgets and clothes to buy, a baby shower to get through, and much unsolicited advice from parents, friends, and total strangers to hear.
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Pregnancy can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. It can be an incredible experience if approached in a mindful, conscious way.
Here are five tips to a stress-free, more mindful pregnancy:
1. Attend prenatal yoga classes.
In addition to the camaraderie of women who are also going through the same life changing experience as you, prenatal yoga classes can be extremely beneficial in preparing women for pregnancy on an emotional and physical level.
If your community does not offer prenatal yoga, a good option is a home practice with Yoga Today. YogaToday offers fertility, prenatal and postpartum Yoga. Start your 14-day free trial for support during your journey to motherhood! YT offers practices and meditations to help prepare your body and mind for birth.
2. Your breath is your best friend.
Our breath — that pranic energy that propels us in life and keeps the body strong — is essential to a conscious pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
Try this meditation, called the So Hum Meditation, to help you relax:
Sit in a comfortable position with eyes closed. You will recite the Mantra, "So Hum" (I am that). You will plug into the flow of your life, your pregnancy, and the space of growing your baby. This will help you find your center and resolve anxiety. Use a pillow or a bolster to elevate your hips above the knees.
Try this pranayama exercise, called Sitali breath, to calm the mind:
Sit in a comfortable position with eyes closed. Stick out your tongue and roll it into a tube lengthwise. Inhale over the tube tongue. Keeping the tongue extended, exhale slowly and deeply through the nose. This breath helps to sooth and release hot emotions like irritation, shame, and anger. Send the breath into your baby’s home, fully filling the diaphragm with each inhale.
I also recommend this meditation with YogaToday instructor Amanda Botur:
3. Make conscious, informed choices.
Understanding your choices and feeling empowered and educated leading up to your birth is critical to getting the outcome you choose. The Happy Healthy Child Blog series frames many of these issues in easy-to-understand, short chapters, addressing birth and pregnancy topics from a holistic, mindful perspective.
4. The minimalist mama: why so much stuff?
Having a mom, sister, or best friend host ababy shower for a first-time mom is almost a rite of passage into the world of being a parent, because we need so much stuff before this little person enters the world, right?
Instead of registering for gifts before the birth and getting stuck with a lot of items that may not be needed, consider asking friends and family for money to help cover costs of a postpartum doula to help you adjust post-pregnancy. Or ask friends to cook meals or help with house cleaning, allowing you opportunity to get much-needed rest and more bonding time with your baby.
5. Find like-minded women.
It’s easy to get sucked into how society tells us to give birth and raise children, but the key to staying true to yourself is to surround yourself with like-minded people who can support you and your choices from a neutral perspective. Tap into a network in your community or online, such as the Holistic Moms Network.
A mindful pregnancy and birth is possible. Ultimately, trust your instincts about what you and your baby need for a conscious and positive experience.
Jennifer Coulombe, MBA, left her full-time job in 2016 to be true to herself and to live out her destiny. She just recently launched her first company, Sat Nam babe, a socially conscious line of play + yoga clothing for kids under five and babies (think ethical supply chain, pants made out of recycled plastic bottles, and fun prints) Jen is a Kundalini yoga teacher, Khalsa Way prenatal yoga teacher and kids yoga teacher and can be found braving the New York City streets by bike, hanging out in her Brooklyn neighborhood and daydreaming about her next spontaneous travel adventure.
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