Mindfulness in pregnancy

During the period of pregnancy there are undoubtedly many changes that women and those next to them face: physical, hormonal, prospectal, economic, etc. changes. It is therefore not surprising that this, in addition to being a very beautiful moment, can also involve stress and anxiety that can interfere in the mother-newborn relationship and in the development of the child himself.

Recent studies (Gavin et al., 2005) show that 18% of mothers experience depressive episodes during pregnancy.

To make the most of this delicate passage, the effectiveness of mindfulness practice has already been proven (Warriner, Hunter and Dymond, 2016; Duncan et al., 2014; Vieten and Astin, 2008). Significant improvements in mood tone and a decrease in anxiety and stress were found in the post-childbirth period among women who had taken a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in pregnancy. Practicing Mindfulness while waiting and after birth helps to be present during the intense, joyful and sometimes stressful weeks in which we begin to take care of our baby.

Mindfulness is a great tool, which can help you live this path to the fullest and increase confidence in your skills:

• enjoying the full joys of this experience;

• facing difficult moments and changes (pain of childbirth, stress, fears, etc.), with a loving and welcoming look towards yourself;

• improving communication, sense of connection and cooperation within the couple;

• preparing for the "after", increasing the ability to tune in with your child, becoming a more conscious, attentive and loving parent;

• developing the acceptance of thoughts, sensations and emotions;

• reducing the risk of postpartum depression.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness refers to the "Awareness that emerges when we pay attention, voluntarily, intentionally, at the present time, without issuing any kind of judgment".

When it turns out you are expecting a child the mind can rather start wandering. If you just found out you're pregnant, you probably know exactly what we're talking about. Try this short exercise.

Mindfulness Exercise

During this practice try to your thoughts to move as they want, do not try to stop or modify them, just let them be who they are. The goal is not to empty your mind.

1. Look for a quiet place where no one can bother you. Sit with your back straight, keep your arms on your thighs with your palms facing up.

2. Take 3 deep breaths. Inhale from the nose and exhale from the mouth. When you exhale for the third time, close your eyes gently and allow your breath to follow its natural rhythm.

3. Take a few minutes to notice how your body feels right now, without trying to change your breath, be it long or short.

4. Shift your attention to the top of your head. Take a minute to do a short scan of your entire body trying to notice the different physical sensations you feel, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant.

5. Bring your attention to your breath and take a minute or two to notice your breath. Try to become aware of the movements it makes in your chest or belly, whether it is long or short, superficial or deep...

6. As you follow your breath, start counting your breaths as they are: 1 inhale, 2 exhale, 3 inhale, 4 exhale, and so on up to 10. Then start over. Try to do it over and over again.

The mind will naturally want to run away, get away enraptured by a thought or noise or a physical sensation, but when you realize that this is happening, try counting your breaths again.

7. Let go of your thoughts, let your mind do what it wants for the next 20 seconds. If you want to think, let her think; if you want to be with the sensations you feel now, leave it there. Allow her, that is, to be free.

8. Now bring attention back to the sensations of your body sitting here breathing. Feel your feet in contact with the floor and arms in contact with your thighs. Allow yourself at least 1 minute to stay in touch with the sensations and then when you feel ready open your eyes slowly.

9. Take a moment to become aware of how you feel now.

-> What happened to your mind? Did something changed? How do you feel now?

You wish to know more about it? Don't hesitate to contact me for a first session (online or in presence).

Studio in Milano