Meditation is important in facilitating good health. And, we've all read or heard about the benefits of yoga and meditation on the mother during pregnancy. But did you know that prenatal meditation has a significant consequence on the foetus as well?
How can this be proven?
Yes, several eminent people from the medical field have spent years of research to provide evidence-based suggestions about the positive effects of mindfulness meditation on the foetus.
Babies who are born prematurely have an increased risk of health problems, including breathing problems and developmental delays. More research needs to be done, but some studies have shown a correlation between meditation and a reduced risk of premature birth.
A study of 335 women by the University of California, found that those who practised meditation had fewer babies with low birth weight and fewer babies who were born prematurely compared to women who did not.
Another study found that women who meditated and reported higher levels of mindfulness had babies with higher Apgar scores. An Apgar score measures your baby's signs of good health, like their complexion, pulse, reflexes, activity level, and breathing.
A study from the Netherlands showed that mothers who meditated had babies who were better equipped to settle and adjust to new environments.
A study in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing found that women who started a routine, including meditation early in pregnancy, reduced stress and anxiety by the time they delivered. This improved baby bonding between the mother and child, thus having a direct effect on the infant’s development.
Several studies also show that the benefits of mindfulness wear off if mothers stop practicing meditation. To maintain the beneficial effects of mindfulness, you need to maintain your meditation practice.
How do I practice meditation?
All you need are,
- Focused attention
- Relaxed breathing
- A quiet environment, and
- A comfortable position.
When pregnant, take extra care to be more mindful and follow garbh-sanskar so that you can focus on your meditation.
What time of the day is right to meditate?
You can meditate at any time during pregnancy, but many women find it helpful to establish a regular practice early on. Some women prefer to meditate in the morning, while others find it helpful to meditate in the evening to unwind and relax before bed. Routine and consistency is important.
Do I need help to meditate?
While meditation may be beneficial for most pregnant women, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new practice during pregnancy. It is important to be comfortable while meditating, so avoid positions that put pressure on your belly. Some forms of meditation may not be suitable if you have a pre-existing medical condition. So it is important to get professional guidance from an expert like a Pregnancy Coach, before starting any new practice.
By finding a meditation practice that works for you, you can help support a healthy and positive pregnancy experience.