10 Pregnancy Meditation Prompts to Beat Anxiety and Stress
Mothers are strong and resilient—there’s no doubt in that. Though life doesn’t always go as planned and many things are beyond our control, strong mommas find ways. But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need any help.
Excitement, stress, and anxiety can be an emotional package deal for expectant moms. Thankfully, healthy habits like pregnancy meditation can help you gain greater power over your emotions and reactions.
What is meditation?
What are the benefits of meditation during pregnancy?
Is meditation safe during pregnancy?
10 pregnancy meditation prompts for mindful mommas
When it’s time to see a doctor
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a set of techniques for cultivating mindfulness and stillness. Through the practice of meditation, you can shift your attention towards healthier thoughts and perspectives, which then help you become more intentional and joyful.
Meditation has a long history in several cultures all over the world. It’s been practiced in various religions for thousands of years—namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. But no matter what your spiritual belief is, you can practice meditation and use it as a way to make peace with the anxieties, pressures, fears, and the crrrazy busyness of mommahood.Excitement, stress, and anxiety can be an emotional package deal for #expectantmoms. Thankfully, healthy habits like #pregnancymeditation can help you gain greater power over your emotions.CLICK TO TWEET
What Are the Benefits of Meditation During Pregnancy?
Several studies link meditation to enhanced psychological well-being. Not only that, but meditation could also reduce your reactivity to emotional stimuli. The same is true for people of all ages! What’s not to love, right?
But specifically for baby bump-carrying mommas, research confirms meditation to have several maternal benefits, including:
- Improved psychological functioning
- Reduced perinatal depression symptoms
- Greater childbirth self-efficacy
- Mindful body awareness
- Lower rate of opioid analgesic use during labor
Momma, your health during pregnancy is essential. And health isn’t just about what you eat and the supplements you take. It’s also about how you feel—your emotional and mental well-being is just as important as the physical!
And since pregnancy health impacts your infant’s behaviors, it’s essential to be in robust shape physically, emotionally, and mentally. A study shows that mommas who consistently practiced meditation during pregnancy gave birth to infants with a better temperament and sound responses to new stimuli.Health isn’t just about what you eat and the supplements you take. It’s also about how you feel—your emotional and mental well-being is just as important as the physical!CLICK TO TWEET
Meditation can help support your well-being without all the fuss and expenses. It’s accessible, inexpensive, and can be done every day without strenuous effort. And that’s more than enough reason to go for it!
RELATED: Stages of Pregnancy (What to Expect per Trimester)
Is Meditation Safe During Pregnancy?
Meditation is generally safe for pregnant mommas. Still, there are rare cases of meditation being linked to aggravated symptoms of serious psychiatric disorders. So if you have a history of mental issues, talk to your doctor and inform your meditation teacher (if you have one) before practicing meditation.
10 Pregnancy Meditation Prompts for Mindful Mommas
Meditation can be cheap and uncomplicated. You might be thinking of the resources you need to start meditating. Well, you don’t need much!
You can sign up for a class, read a book, or download an app. You can also take cues from my tips here and start meditating in a comfy nook in your home, absolutely free of charge. Let’s dive in!
1. Align with your breath
Our breath is our life source. Do you ever notice that our breathing corresponds to our emotions or feelings during certain situations?
In times of stress, we tend to have shallow breathing. One way to signal our nervous system to calm down is by taking deep breaths.
Alternate nostril breathing (or Nadi Shodana Pranayama in Hinduism) is a centuries-old practice that helps reduce stress and anxiety and improve brain function.
How to do it: Sit down comfortably in the correct posture—back straight (not stiff!) and shoulders back. Feel free to put a pillow on your lower back for support!
Use your left-hand thumb to close your left nostril, then inhale slowly in your right nostril. Close your right nostril with your left ring finger and exhale slowly through your left nostril. Repeat this breathing in each nostril for 5 to 15 minutes.
2. Glow with gratitude
It could be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of mom life that we take for granted the things we once wished for. It’s normal to be irritated and exhausted, but constantly being in those states may wear us out even more.
“Count your blessings” isn’t an adage for nothing! When we strengthen our meditation with gratitude, we can feel the vibe change instantly—and for the better!
“Count your blessings” isn’t an adage for nothing! When we strengthen our #meditation with #gratitude, we can feel the vibe change instantly—and for the better!CLICK TO TWEET
How to do it: Get a pen and notebook, then sit down in a cozy corner in your room or house. Take some time for deep breathing (slow and steady inhale and exhale) to get into the right headspace. Reflect on all the people who have made your life easier even though you don’t know them. Write short phrases to remember them and what they did for you.
Here are some examples of what you could include in your notes:
- The farmer who planted and harvested your fresh produce
- The postman who sorts out the mail and delivers it to your doorstep
- The service workers who greeted you with a smile and gave you assistance
- The enthusiastic fellow mom who commented on your query on a Facebook group
- The people who make music, movies, and plays (even memes!) that entertain, inspire, and uplift you
You may also list down whatever you feel gratitude for and read those phrases again to thank them one by one in your head. This practice can remind you of how great life can still be despite all your worries and stresses.
RELATED: How to Avoid Stress During Pregnancy
3. Focus on your belly
Your growing belly is a miracle in action, momma! The bump is a manifestation and a symbol of a thriving life inside you. Take this meditation moment to connect with your baby.
How to do it: Sit or lie down comfortably. Place your hands on your tummy and take deep belly breaths. Tune in to the sensations and movements in your belly. Don’t judge anything that comes to mind; just listen and be a witness to the thoughts that may come up while you meditate. Hug your belly by the end and thank your baby.
4. Do a body scan
Doing body scan meditation will help you direct your attention to certain parts and sensations in your body. Studies have shown that a 10-minute body scan meditation has helped adults manage chronic pain. It can also aid in easing stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
How to do it: Sit or lie down in a place where you feel comfortable and secure. Look around in your surroundings and affirm to yourself that you’re safe. You can either choose to close your eyes or maintain a soft gaze without focusing on a single object or point.
Feel the support of your chair or bed and feel the ground holding you down. Then, take a few deep breaths and begin to relax as you bring in more oxygen to your body.
Now, begin to notice the sensations in your feet—the warmth (or cold), pressure, and weight that it holds. Notice its heaviness or lightness.
Then bring your attention to your back and the sensations you may feel in that area. Be a witness to whatever comes up—ache, comfort, or pulsation. After a few minutes, you can notice your tummy area and the baby’s movements or any sense of tightness.
Now focus on your hands, then on your jaw afterward. Allow your body to soften every time you feel any sort of tension. After you’re done scanning, feel your whole body and thank it for its strength.
Take a deep breath and exhale all the tension out. Now slowly return your attention to your surroundings and feel the space you’re occupying. Once you’re ready, you can usher yourself out of the meditation.
5. Practice mindfulness with a cup of coffee
This might seem like a mismatch at first since we drink coffee to buzz us up and meditate to ground us down. And for pregnant mommas, a healthy cup o’ decaf coffee can be your perfect mate for this exercise.
Meditation can be about practicing to be intentional—whether it’s with small or big tasks. And starting to fill the simple things in your routine with intention can eventually bloom into being purposeful with the more complex decisions you have to make.
How to do it: Feel the cup in your hand and feel the shift in temperature in your palms. Now smell your coffee and notice the aroma. Take a sip and feel the warm (or cold) sensation coming down your throat.
Pay attention to the taste and how it plays in your tastebuds. Notice the simplicity or the complexity of the flavor. Witness how your mind and body respond to these sensations you experience.
6. Practice acceptance
Assuming an attitude of acceptance helps us detach from labeling our experiences as good or bad. Doing this frees us from unnecessary resentment of things not going our way.
And in the journey of motherhood, not everything goes as expected. Acceptance isn’t resignation; it’s simply seeing things for what they are and deciding where to go from there.
How to do it: You can either do this with a pen and notebook or just come as you are in your meditation space. Once you’re ready, take some deep belly breaths. Then, begin to state in your mind (or in your notebook) what you feel. This is a simple way to acknowledge your situation.
Observe which part of your body feels tense and visualize your breath reaching those tight parts. As you continue breathing deeply, tell yourself that “It’s okay, you’ll be okay.”
Now start to feel curious about your feeling or situation. Try to trace its causes and the lessons it’s trying to teach you. Maybe that curiosity can help usher you into acceptance.
Then try rating your level of acceptance for this feeling or situation on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest). Gently ask yourself what you need to do to boost that number.
7. Connect with nature
Simple and complex patterns exist in nature. As do trees grow and bear fruit, you too grow and carry life in your tummy. Isn’t that amazing?
Connecting with nature can make you realize your oneness with other living things, which can help you appreciate the wonders of pregnancy and life itself.
Connecting with nature can make you realize your oneness with other living things, which can help you appreciate the wonders of #pregnancy and life itself.CLICK TO TWEET
How to do it: If you live near a nature park, you can visit and sit near a tree. (If you don’t, just try envisioning a tree in front of you.) Place your hands in your belly, take deep breaths, and focus on the majestic presence of the living tree. Listen intently to the white noise it makes as the wind blows through its leaves.
Notice the strength of its trunk and the beauty of its leaves and flowers. Try to recognize those good qualities in yourself, too. Stay in this appreciative state for 10 minutes.
8. Team up with your partner
Two heads are better than one. It’s a beautiful bonding and healing experience to meditate with your partner.
Meditating in tandem can strengthen your bond and make way for more openness and acceptance in your relationship.
How to do it: Sit facing each other in a cross-legged position. Place your one hand in their chest (heart area) and let them do the same. Your other hand should be in your belly to feel the rising and falling of your tummy as you breathe.
Now take deep and synchronized breaths together. Relax into each other’s touch and nearness. Focus on your breathing together and allow thoughts and sensations to flow without judgment. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. Finish it off with a tight embrace.
9. Connect with your inner child
Remember how you were as a child when life was so uncomplicated? You enjoyed playing and discovering new sights, things, and sensations.
Our inner child is a part of us that’s pure, joyful, and curious. It doesn’t take things too seriously and personally! Connecting with our inner child can help us see our adult life through the eyes of a child.
How to do it: Spend your free time doing things that you enjoyed as a child. Did you enjoy coloring, writing, or gardening? Make time for those hobbies again. You don’t have to do them perfectly or try to monetize them. Just do ‘em for your own pleasure!
Another way to do this is to surround yourself with children. We adults can learn from them, too. Their no BS attitude and zest for life can empower you to embody your childlike nature.
10. Write a letter to your unborn child
You haven’t met your baby yet, but the bond you’ve built may be the strongest one you have with anyone yet. You may feel so many emotions and have so many hopes for your baby, so write them down.
Tell them everything. Spill all your feelings in writing, and maybe someday they’ll read this and understand the beginnings of your journey to being their momma.
How to do it: Address your baby in the letter and consider sharing these things with them:
- How you found out when you got pregnant and how you felt
- How it is in the world currently and how that can impact them
- What excites you about being their momma
- What values do you want them to grow up with
- What dreams do you have for them
- What promises do you wish to keep for them
When It’s Time to See a Doctor
If you feel too overwhelmed, depressed, and stressed out to the point of thinking of harming yourself or your baby, talk to your doctor immediately. There’s only so much you can do to manage the stresses of life and pregnancy, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when things get out of hand.
RELATED: Anxiety During Pregnancy (What You Should Know & How to Cope)
There’s only so much you can do to manage the stresses of life and #pregnancy, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when things get out of hand.CLICK TO TWEET
Milksta Momma’s Takeaway
Meditation can be a good practice to cultivate in pregnancy and even through postpartum. It can help us manage the load of womanhood and motherhood and support us in connecting to the life force: our breath.
It’s normal to have many responsibilities as we take on this path, but a consistent meditation practice can remind us that we are still the captain of our bodies and that life, despite its twists and turns, is still worth living. Take care of yourself, momma!
This mom-powering piece is curated by multiple contributors: Lian Delos Reyes, founder & CEO of Milksta, and research & content specialists Nicole Saldaña and Rose Jane dela Cruz.