What is Mindfulness and is it right for me?

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is simply the awareness that arises when we pay attention — on purpose — to the present moment, with a sense of compassion, non-judgment, and curiosity. 

IS MINDFULNESS RIGHT FOR ME?

Research has shown that mindfulness practice can help bring about many positive effects, but it is not right for everyone. 

 

Some benefits during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum may include:​​​​​

  • Decreased perceived stress

  • Decreased pregnancy-related anxiety

  • Decreased fear of childbirth

  • Decreased tendency to catastrophize pain

  • Decreased symptoms of depression, including the postpartum period

  • Decreased use of non-urgent interventions during labor, including:

    • self-requested cesarean births​

    • epidurals

  • Increased belief in participant's ability to give birth

  • Increased likelihood of unmedicated birth

  • Increased positive mood​

  • Increased mindfulness

  • Higher newborn APGAR scores 1-minute after birth

  • Better infant social-emotional development at 3-months of age than other childbirth education courses

Some other benefits may include: 

  • Improved mental health, such as:

    • decreased stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms​

    • decreased obsessive-compulsive symptoms

    • decreased rumination about the past​

    • decreased worry about the future

    • help in substance abuse recovery

  • Improved physical health, such as:

    • decreased blood pressure​

    • decreased chronic pain

    • decreased inflammation

    • decreased gastrointestinal difficulties

    • improved sleep

    • treatment of heart disease

    • better immune functioning

  • Improved wellness, such as:​​

    • decreased concerns about success or self-esteem

    • decreased emotional reactivity

    • deeper connections with others

    • better resilience 

    • better working memory

    • better focus

    • more satisfaction in relationships

Some reasons why a self-guided mindfulness practice might not be advised:

  • Suicidal ideations​​

  • History of self-harm

  • Moderate to severe anxiety

  • Moderate to severe depression

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Complicated grief

  • History of pregnancy loss

  • History of abuse or assault

  • Practitioner would be affected by drops in blood pressure

  • Practitioner would be affected by drops in blood sugar

  • Practitioner has symptoms that arise or worsen during or after practice

  • Practitioner has other conditions or life circumstances that require extra attention or care

IMPORTANT NOTE: Mindfulness practice should not be used in lieu of medical, psychological, or psychiatric diagnosis, consultation, or treatment. It is advisable to consult a healthcare provider before beginning any new activity that may affect your health or if you have any undesired outcomes associated with your mindfulness practice.

Interested in a Mindfulness-Based Childbirth & Parenting class?