Mindfulness in Pregnancy – How can it help?

Mindfulness, it can help in a great many ways. Mindfulness is more than mediation and is focused on being present in the moment. Mediation is an important part of Mindfulness. It gets things working, it clears your mind and gives you energy.

You may think I am talking a whole load of shit right now but try it. It doesn’t take long. We will go into meditation practices soon.

Mindfulness can help you because it gives you new thoughts. A new perspective on things during pregnancy can make a difference. Your partner is likely to be worried and stressing about the pregnancy, especially if she is not feeling good. The best thing you can do is be there to offer her support.

Yet, you will likely be stressing too. This will likely mean that you are going to be useless in supporting her if you cannot overcome your own worries. You may feel like drug smuggler going through airport security but you need to remain calm. By practising Mindfulness you should be able to do this.

What is Mindfulness?

This is a great question (and not because I have asked it). I think there are a number of variant definitions and I encourage you to look at them yourself. This is my take on it, in a way. It is being ever present. Imaging taking a walk and instead of staring at your phone you took in the world. You would notice new smells, sounds and sights. It is about reconnecting with all that is out there and allowing you to consume this. This is because your mind is clear and you are focusing on the present. Imagine having this focus on your partner if she started to feel nervous about the pregnancy. Your focus on the moment would serve to be a calming influence by rooting her in what  is happening now. Which, until birth, is probably going to be something fairly ordinary and non-stressful.

However, I think of mindfulness as a tool for focus. That might sound strange but once you are rooted in the present and once your mind is clear, you can focus and be hugely productive.

Listen to the sea and root yourself in the moment
Listen to the sea and root yourself in the moment

How can it help you?

Now, I know you might be thinking, even more than earlier, that I am bullshitting you. I’m not. Anxiety is rooted in a fear of what is to come. It is a by-product of humans thinking of what will happen. So, whilst your partner is worrying about pregnancy and her anxiety is building you will be rooted in the present. But this requires your patience and determination.

This can help calm your partner. It can also lead to her practising Mindfulness which is going to be one of the best decisions of her life. Seriously, no fucking joke here. Google the positive effects of mindfulness. Actually, check out the NHS website and Mind (the Charity). This is for real. If you are rooted in the present then naturally, your mind will not wonder into the realms of the future. Instead of having worries/anxieties about what is happening in the future, you will instead enjoy watching the baby kick. You will enjoy watching your partner’s body change instead of worrying about the day the baby finally decides to make an appearance.

It also helps you. If you start having worries about what might happen it will bring you back into the present. The effects will stack up the more you practice it. There is a huge amount online. If you are getting started listen to some of Tim Ferriss’ podcasts. He has some great ones on the effects of Mindfulness.

All of this is because you are focused on either helping your partner with her anxieties. Or, that you are focusing on helping yourself remain calm and only think of what is happening in the present. This is the power of Mindfulness and all it requires is some patience and practice on your part. Training your mind only to take in the present moment and not let it drift off into future is difficult. It is a discipline.

How to practise Mindfulness? 

Meditation aids Mindfulness
Meditation aids Mindfulness

To start this off use this simple method and use it daily. I use this whenever I feel my thoughts drifting off and my worries starting. It can also be used to help focus your mind on work and become more productive.

The Steps –

Find somewhere where you will not be disturbed (the bathroom/toilet is a great option).

Get comfortable or if you are taking a walk go at a comfortable pace.

  • Breathe in and count 1 in your mind – if it helps say it aloud.
  • Then breathe out and count 2.
  • Breathe in and count 3.
  • Then breathe out and count 4.
  • Then start again at one and repeat this cycle only counting up to 4 per cycle.

This needs to be Repeated for one minute or for however long you like. I would recommend at least a minute though.

You might be thinking why do you do this?

Let me explain here. You will probably find that early on your mind will be filled with lots of thoughts and you will be counting the number 32 or something in your mind. When you realise this is happening, immediately bring your mind back to the number 1 and breathe in. Then go through the above cycle.

Doing this shows that despite your thoughts drifting off and despite your counting going way above 4, you can still bring your thoughts back to the present. When you next breathe in and bring your counting to 1 you are now rooted back to the present. This is mindfulness. You have told your mind that you want to leave those other thoughts and come back to the present. By counting through 1-4 it trains your brain to stay rooted. Over time this will become a reflex and you will do this without much thought. You will constantly be in the present unless you actively chose to. You will feel calmer and will hopefully pass this calmness over to your partner.

I suggest you do this alongside your partner. The benefits will be incredible but you need to remain at it. Every day at least once a day is all you need to do for one minute. Even if you still think I am bull-shitting you just try it for one minute. Everyone can spare a single minute of their day. Do it for a week, or however long you want and let me know how much it has helped you.

 

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