by Suzanne Swan
Meditation assists in coming to stillness and shifting attention from mind to awareness. Meditation practices have been used successfully in oncology, cardiovascular care, and pain -management programs for over 30 years to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain; to restore balance; and to improve function for the endocrine, immune and nervous system.
Proven physiological benefits of meditation in pregnancy are
- Increases energy
- Increases ability to manage pain
- Increases blood circulation and oxygenation
- Decreases blood pressure and heart rate
Psychological benefits of mediation in pregnancy are
- Decreases anxiety and fear
- Increases sense of well-being
- Quiets “mind chatter”
- Increases awareness of self and connection to the baby
- Prepares women to recognise and release fears that may arise in labour
Womb meditation is a method of optimal breathing, breathing oxygen and energy simultaneously, using our energy body and physical body together. You can learn how to breathe energy from the air, intending it down into the womb. With this practice you can strengthen you and your baby’s immune systems. Meditation practice has been shown to increase natural production of hormones essential to our well being such as serotonin, melatonin, DHEA, and oxytocin, as well as endorphins, peptides secreted from the brain that have an important pain-relieving function.
You can use the practice of womb meditation to manage labour anxiety and pain. You can learn to integrate your thoughts, feelings, actions and imaginings with the strong bodily sensations anticipated at birth, finding yourself allowing the optimal pregnancy and birthing hormones to release spontaneously. With regular practice, breathing energy and oxygen simultaneously becomes natural and arises spontaneously.
Practice womb meditation once a day for at between 10 - 20 mins. Find a quiet place and sit comfortably. Begin by guiding yourself to intentionally breathe into your energy body, consciously drawing breaths of vital energy from the air into your womb (as taught in the active birth yoga class)