Meditation for Childbirth: How to Calm Your Nerves Before Labor
One of the most exciting times in a woman’s life is when she finds out that she is expecting a child. Feelings of exhilaration around starting a new family—or adding to it—consume the new mommy-to-be’s thoughts nonstop. Will it be a girl or a boy? Will he look like his daddy? Will she have my eyes? What color should the nursery be? What will we name her?
The first several months of pregnancy are a settling-in period as the new parents get used to the idea that a baby is on the way. One newly pregnant mom said, “I spend the bulk of my time thinking about my health; what I’m eating and drinking so that I’m proving the best nutrients possible for my growing baby. I’m also noticing the situations around me more, and being conscious to avoid emotional stress and drama. I’m being more mindful of external sounds, like conversations that are being had and music that is playing. I’m going more with Mozart over hard rock,” she laughs.
As pregnancy continues, and the woman’s body begins to change, she goes through a new cycle of thoughts, some of them turning to concerns, fears, and even anxiety. “What will my body look like after I give birth?” “How much is this going to hurt?” “What if I can’t handle the pain of going through labor?” “How will I know what to do?” “What if I make mistakes?” These are all perfectly normal thoughts, and the stress that can accompany these worries can have a negative effect.
The Effects of Your Emotional State on Your Child
It’s no secret that in many ancient cultures found around the world, it is believed that the emotions of an expecting mother have a direct effect on her unborn child. Stress and anxiety have a detrimental effect on the physical body, and when a woman is with child, it’s quite possible that her emotional states can have both immediate and long-term effects on her new baby.
The fight-or-flight response is your genetically wired survival mechanism that kicks in anytime there is a perceived threat to your environment or existence. Anything that stresses you out, from the little things to the biggest—and everything in between—causes your physiology to automatically go into fight-or-flight mode. During this survival response, some of the biological effects, as well as the issues they contribute to, are the following:
- Increase in blood pressure and heart stress contributes to coronary heart disease
- Increase in sticky platelets contributes to heart attacks and strokes
- Increase in stress hormones contributes to anxiety, insomnia, and addictions
- Increase in blood sugar contributes to diabetes and obesity
- Decrease in circulation to digestive tract contributes to digestive disturbances
- Decrease in growth and sex hormones contributes to premature aging
- Decrease in immunity contributes to infections and cancer