As an expecting mother, you may be wondering about the effects of labor meditation during pregnancy. The practice of labor meditation is meant to create a pleasantly calm experience for both you and your child during your pregnancy and birth. That’s 9 months on average! This is a long time. It is good to learn the most you can.
Have you been experiencing stress or anxiety over creating the best possible experience for your baby? Maybe you sit and chide yourself for being angry for a moment because you sent that energy to your child in the womb? Or perhaps you are worried about the pain of childbirth and if you can handle it?
Regardless of what brought you here, the point of my message is to express to you (and others) how to generate a positive, healthy pregnancy and birthing experience through the practice of labor meditation.
The idea behind labor meditation, loosely termed ‘hypnobirthing’, is to calm an expecting mother of her nerves and anxiety throughout her pregnancy. Through labor meditation, I will teach you to maintain constant mindfulness. A constant calmness. You will also engage in this practice as you enter into labor and birth your newborn child. The technique revolves around tuning your awareness into your breath. Allow yourself to breathe naturally as you simply observe. As your mind wanders, gently remind yourself to return your attention to your breathing. Continue this process for as long as you are able, as often as you are able.
How Your State of Mind Affects Your Baby
When you are pregnant, your child is exposed to everything that you are exposed to. In a way, you and your baby are experiencing life together, as one. Although in your mind you may view it as separate.
Staying focused on maintaining and improving your emotional health will allow your child to grow and develop in a comforting and nurturing environment. It can be tough to discern what is best for your baby and what is not. Especially with the massive amounts of information available today.
What I can say is that it is generally agreed upon that creating a happy, healthy and calm environment is going to positively influence your child. Whereas a stressed out anxious mother will cause stressed out anxiety in her child, resulting in a negative experience.
This is why we practice labor meditation. To maintain that calm, resonating frequency and to bring the child into this world, politely.
I’m Stressing Out About Stressing Out
The vicious cycle of feeling stress because you are stressing and you don’t want to stress the baby. Are you familiar with this? The important thing to recognize here is that you cannot remove stress entirely from your life. Stressful events are bound to occur especially sometime over the course of nine months.
Labor meditation helps you to be prepared for these moments. It allows you to remain calm, loose, and fluid through events that may require rapid decision making. If you listen to Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk on “How to Make Stress Your Friend” you will find details on the research she has done to allow you to manage and maintain stress in a healthy way.
If you don’t watch the video the essence of the message is this:
It is the belief that stress is bad for you that makes stress bad for you. If you believe it is good for you – that it makes you stronger, builds character, makes you hardier – then it, in theory, will. This is all based on a study over the course of the last 10 years. Check it out!
But How Does Stress Affect My Baby?
This is a fair question. Science has done considerable research involving studies with animals and existing information from real-world experiences of humans. These studies have shown that psychological distress experienced by a mother during pregnancy can result in neurodevelopmental defects in your child.
Neurodevelopmental defects can be defined as problems in the growth and development of the brain and central nervous system. This can include disorders like ADHD, autism, dyslexia or other learning disabilities, intellectual disability (retardation), cerebral palsy, social disorders, and impairment of vision or hearing.
The kicker of this whole situation is that the scientific studies have found little to no results as far as a ‘cure’ for removing psychological stress factors from a pregnant mother.
Perhaps now you can see why we are moving, as a society and a collective, towards the more esoteric and forgotten practices of our universe. These practices seem to resonate with us on an inexplicable spiritual level. These forgotten practices include yoga, meditation, sound healing, aromatic meditation (through incense or essential oils), mindfulness, and of course; dancing, singing, and telling stories.
Yes! These are important things. Express, express, express who you are.
Let’s Meditate: Guided Labor Meditation
Now, let’s move into a guided meditation experience to help calm your mind and strengthen your daily practice. Personally, I always recommend a meditation cushion. It is important to have an item that holds the space and serves as a gentle cognitive reminder that you should meditate. But it could also be helpful for you to check out our useful meditation gear if you are seeking to develop a personalized meditation space that speaks to you.
Use this meditation at any point you have the time and feel the need to construct a calm and peaceful resonance within you. This could be in the morning as you wake up, or on a lunch break, or just before you go to sleep at night.
Let us begin…
- Sit in a position that is most comfortable for you. I generally prefer to sit in the half-lotus pose while keeping my spine straight and my hands resting in my lap, palms up.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath to initiate your practice and settle into the peaceful space within your mind. It can be useful to focus your attention on the spot in between your eyes, where your third eye rests.
- Focus your attention on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. Allow your attention to simply follow your breath.
- Allow each part of your body to relax. You may want to focus your attention on individual parts of your body and relax them individually. From your head to arms, hands, chest, abdomen, hips, legs, and feet.
- Scan your entire body. Simply take your attention and focus it on our toes. Then allow our attention to slowly work its way up to your legs, to your hips, up to your torso and back, your arms, and to the top of your head.
- Allow yourself to observe and accept the experience. Try to not have any adverse reactions towards negative sensations you experience and simultaneous try to not develop any attachment towards positive sensations you may experience.
- Now it is good to focus on the moment of your birth. Think of the future; the moment of your birth. Feel and view your birth as a happy and successful happening. Experience your birth with the absolute perfect outcome.
- You may wish to spend time here for a while. While you are meditating on the experience of your birth in the future you may wish to speak to your child. You may wish to reassure your unborn baby that everything will be just fine. Or how excited you are to welcome your new baby into the world!
- Positively talk with yourself. Express love and encouragement to your Self while expressing confidence as well.
- When you are ready, return to the present moment. Notice how the moments in time between Now and the Moment of Your Birth all seem to sensibly arrange themselves to positively support the outcome of your birth.
Repeat this practice whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious during your day to day life. As you become more familiar with the practice you will be able to do this practice at any moment of the day. This might be on a lunch break at work or just when you are lying down before sleeping for the night.
Remember, as with most things, consistency is key. If you struggle with consistency you can check out our Beginner’s Meditation Handbook that gives you tips and strategies to maintain 100% consistency in your practice.
As you develop the affirmations you speak to yourself during practice it can be a good idea to record yourself. Then you can playback the affirmations (preferably on an uninterrupted loop) while you are meditating. Alternatively, you can follow along with Bridget Taylor’s Meditation for Pregnancy Anxiety video:
Now that you have familiarized yourself with labor meditation it is best to start immediately. Like tonight! Or right now! The more you spend time practicing labor meditation, the better effect it will have on you and your child. Think of it like this: The more time you spend calm, peaceful, and happy then the more that your baby is experiencing calm, peace, and happiness. Practice, practice, practice! And again I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good meditation cushion to practice with.
Your cushion will subtly remind you to practice and will make you more willing to practice. That’s how it works for me! If I want to play guitar – I have a guitar out. If I want to remind myself to read and write – I keep my books and journals out. It is the same with a meditation cushion.
Thank your for reading! Happy meditating!