You're creating another human being.
You're bringing another person into this world.
Surely, with this great power comes great responsibility.
Mothers-to-be don’t spend their 3 trimesters of pregnancy glowing radiantly. There are several hurdles and discomforts like hormonal changes, stress, pre-existing medical conditions and swollen feet to mention a few.
What is Garbh-sanskar & why is this important?
Garbh means womb and sanskar means teaching good things or instilling good values. So Garbh Sanskar means educating an unborn child. It can be done with practices like Meditation, Yoga, breathing exercises, listening to classical ragas, & talking to your baby in the womb. Research suggests that mindfulness could help. Not only does it cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts and surroundings, it seems to help pregnant women keep their stress down and their spirits up. It also leads to healthier newborns with fewer developmental problems down the line.
Being mindful in pregnancy and following garbh-sanskar includes yoga, meditation, baby-bonding and activities that create a positive environment for the developing foetus in the womb.
Why do doctors and healthcare providers recommend this?
Studies have found that mindfulness practices during pregnancy can
- Help manage stress, depression and anxiety,
- Improve sleep quality,
- To promote relaxation,
- Reduce the risk of preterm labour and low birth weight,
- Decrease the rates of caesarean delivery,
- Improve the mother-child bond,
- Promote positive parenting practices in the postpartum period, and.
- Improve overall well-being.
And, there have been many research papers published to support the benefits of mindfulness practices during pregnancy. Here are a few examples of research papers that explore the topic:
- Vieten, C., Astin, J. A., Buscemi, R., & Galloway, G. (2018). Pregnancy and childbirth: A mindfulness-based approach. Women's Health Issues, 28(4), 321-327.
- Duncan, L. G., Coatsworth, J. D., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). A model of mindful parenting: Implications for parent-child relationships and prevention research. Clinical child and family psychology review, 12(3), 255-270.
- Guardino, C. M., Dunkel Schetter, C., Bower, J. E., Lu, M. C., Smalley, S. L., & Gerin, W. (2014). Controlled pilot trial of mindfulness training for stress reduction during pregnancy. Psychology and Health, 29(3), 334-349.
“It was inspiring to witness a mother with extreme fear of childbirth cancel an elective caesarean because she now felt confident enough in her own strength to go through the birthing process,” said one healthcare provider.
“It is humbling to hear how the couple whose first baby died during labour were able to stay present during the birth of their second, observing their fear without getting lost in it.” said another.
In a small 2010 pilot study, 27 women in their third trimester of pregnancy participated with their partners. In addition to improvements in pregnancy anxiety and stress, participants also reported experiencing stronger and more frequent positive feelings—such as enjoyment, gratitude, and hope.
So how can you be more mindful in your pregnancy?
Mindfulness is a practice and it has to be practised again and again and the day after that, too, even on the bad days when it seems like nothing is going right.
Remember, all it takes is a single moment of pure love and peace.
So first, get the support you need from a pregnancy expert - a Pregnancy Coach who can guide you through every step of the way.
What are you waiting for?