Anyone can receive many benefits from meditation during pregnancy, and all of those benefits—calmness, communion, centeredness and more—are especially important at this special time in life. Meditation practice can help you get through, not only the challenges of pregnancy, but also those of delivery.
However, meditating while pregnant can have its challenges. Here are some tips on how to work with them.
Challenge: Sitting Upright Comfortably
Solution: Do some prenatal yoga postures to make your body more comfortable. Experiment with different positions. Try supporting your back with cushions. Although sitting upright is considered the ideal way to meditate, it may be necessary to recline in the Princess Pose (see below) to be comfortable. It’s better to be comfortable than to meditate on discomfort!
Challenge: Staying Awake
Solution: During pregnancy, you tend not to have as much energy as usual. Prenatal yoga asanas can help with keeping your energy levels up. Take naps too. You may also need to shorten your meditation time temporarily.
Challenge: Feeling Nauseated
Solution: Sometimes prenatal yoga asanas will lessen the anytime-of-the-day “morning sickness.” If it’s severe enough, of course ,you will not be able to meditate until you feel better. Focus on being comfortable (see “Sitting Upright Comfortably” above) and simply practice the AUM technique if you know it. Otherwise choose the easiest technique for you to practice and just do it—nothing fancy!
Challenge: Difficulty Taking a Full Breath
Solution: Both the size and the position of the baby can make taking a deep breath difficult. Once again, prenatal yoga asanas can often help to create the feeling of more space and aid in getting a deeper breath. Sitting with good posture also helps. Above all relax. Being tense constricts the very areas that need to loosen up to give you the fullest breath possible. When practicing, feel okay about the breath being shorter: e.g., Even-Count Breathing may need to be 3-3-3 instead of your usual 8-8-8 (or longer). If you practice Kriya, your Kriya breaths may need to be shorter too.
This Too Shall Pass
Remember: all of these challenges are temporary. Your meditation experience can be different day by day throughout the pregnancy. If you go with the flow and are content with doing just what you’re able to do, your meditation practice can be very rewarding throughout pregnancy.