Mindfulness can help cope with pregnancy anxiety and stress. Find out how you can embrace a mindful pregnancy and enjoy a connection with the baby in your tummy.
Now that you have learned about your pregnancy, the next few months will be an interesting chapter for you, new mummy!
Amidst physical and emotional changes, mums-to-be often have many questions swirling in their minds about the baby and the pregnancy journey. Pregnancy anxiety hits mums even from the first trimester: How do I know if my baby is growing well? Is it okay for me to drink coffee? Will I be able to handle the labour pain when it happens?
Positive support and advice from your spouse, family, fellow parents, friends and medical experts such as your gynaecologists can help pregnant mums feel more assured about having a new member in the family. When spending alone time with your baby bean, it helps to learn ways to embrace your current state of being and better manage your mental health.
Research has shown that practising mindfulness during pregnancy can help pregnant mums cope with the stress and anxiety. Mindfulness allows pregnant mums to tune in and be more aware of the moment, and lets you enjoy the nurturing connection with your growing baby. Studies also show that mindfulness helps reduce symptoms of prenatal and postpartum depression. Practising mindfulness can also be intuitively done during labour, helping mums stay calmer by being mindfully present in the birthing experience. A happy mum makes a healthy mum and baby! What can you do to enjoy a mindful pregnancy from the beginning?
What is a mindful pregnancy?
In a nutshell, mindfulness is described as the act of being in the moment, on purpose and without judgment. It involves being aware and engaged in the current moment of being, with focused concentration.
Ways to practise mindfulness during pregnancy
#1: Take it slow
As you realise that changes in your life beckon, you may be inclined to fill your schedule to maximise the time before the baby arrives. Now that you are in the first leg of motherhood, it may help to keep it simple with little adjustments as your body and emotions undergo changes to embark on one of life’s greatest journeys.
Try this: Pregnancy can be a timely opportunity to take your time and go slow. The anxious rush against time and ticking those to-do lists make it challenging to embrace the pregnancy – you might even forget that you are pregnant in all that busyness! Slow down, cut yourself some slack and try not to push yourself too hard. This helps to better manage the stressors and expectations, and at the same time encourages a healthy, mindful pregnancy too.
#2: Don’t forget to breathe
Which brings us to the next point – breathing. With hectic work life and the constant rush for time, your breathing becomes short and quick. Quiet moments are often filled with concerns about the teeny baby growing in you, things to prepare for your little one, finding out ways to curb morning sickness and being worried about childbirth and the amount of pain you will experience at the delivery ward – it seems endless.
Try this: Steal some moments in the day to close your eyes, take deep breaths and shut out your mind from other thoughts. Focus on your deep, slow breaths and enjoy the quiet time by “talking” to connect with your little bean. You can even “share” about your day with him/her, and this helps build the mother-child bond too.
#3: Disconnect to connect
Besides the plethora of commitments and engagements the modern mama has, our smartphones and gadgets are literally an extension of us too. While they are inevitably part of our lives, we can choose to disconnect from technology and move away from these distractions.
Try this: Allocate technology time-outs and soak in the state of being to declutter your mind. Start by brushing your teeth mindfully, and focusing on chewing your food when you’re eating instead of checking emails. When you are on your way to work, put your mobile phone away and consciously be in the moment to spend time with yourself and your little baby. The idea is to be completely present and free from distractions.
#4: Rope in your spouse
There may be times where you may feel overwhelmed with the endless preparations for what to expect when your baby is here. It’s easy for our minds to wander off thinking about your child’s future including childcare, the education years and your family’s finances and feel uncertain about the path ahead. These worries add on to the anxiety that you may be feeling, but it need not be. Don’t just keep them to yourself but talk to your spouse and take on a mindful parenting approach together.
Try this: Planning for the future requires being mindfully present in the now. Acknowledge that such topics are simply part and parcel of raising a family. Discuss with your spouse and as you think about your baby’s future, understand that simple steps can be taken to plan and prepare – they are not as complicated as you may think. Break down the steps on what to do, and split the tasks with the new daddy-to-be.
Arming yourself with the PAssion POSB Debit Card and POSB Everyday Card gets you 3% cashback on local medical services at hospitals, medical and dental clinics too, offering more for each dollar spent. Put your mind at ease with the new responsibility of being new parents. Look into setting aside a budget for your baby’s protection plan, the house and your precious belongings too.
As your pregnancy progresses, adapt with your little one who’s growing and changing all the time and let your baby be your mindfulness teacher. Taking time to practice these steps toward a mindful pregnancy helps uplift your mood and appreciate the present moment. Before long, you’ll be enjoying the simple moments of diaper changes and snuggling with your child.
The article is written in collaboration with POSB Smiley CDA to support parents in raising children in Singapore. Apply online for an account today!
Have you experienced a mindful pregnancy before? Share with us how mindfulness it has helped you and your baby!
Deposit Insurance Scheme
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.