Mindfulness for Childbirth and Parenting

February 27, 2013 Margaret Bolton

 

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined by Nancy Bardacke, author of Mindful Birthing, as "the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally. It is cultivated through meditation practice and can help you navigate the uncharted waters that lie ahead with more joy, kindness, awareness, calm and wisdom than you might have otherwise. Mindfulness is a universal capacity of the human mind, but unless we intentionally choose to cultivate it, we can spend much of our lives on automatic pilot, sleepwalking through life rather than being fully present for it."

What makes mindfulness helpful for pregnancy? Or parenting?

"Taking the time to learn mindfulness through meditation practice now can help you more skillfully manage the inevitable stresses of pregnancy and the irreducible element of uncertainty of the birthing process. More than that, mindfulness meditation can help you manage the intense sensations of childbirth we usually call pain, increasing your confidence and decreasing the fears that so often accompany this profound journey into the unknown. And mindfulness can help you cultivate lifelong inner skills for healthy living, wise parenting, and loving partnership. " (- Nancy Bardacke)

How do I learn how to meditate to cultivate mindfulness?

The best way to learn is by taking a mindful birthing weekend workshop or 9 week course which are just now becoming available in our area. Other ways to learn are by reading the book, "Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond," or by taking a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class, if there are no Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting classes available in your area.

 

Previous Article
When a belly ache or stomach pain might mean appendicitis

As a pediatric surgeon, I am often asked when to “worry” about abdominal pain. Children often report ache...

Next Article
How much tremor is too much?

Tremor is a normal physiologic reaction to anxiety or stress, but it is not normal to have a tremor when ...