5 Tips to Find Bliss During Pregnancy
Bliss can be described as extreme joy or happiness. Pregnancy can be a joyful time in many people’s life. However, many times anxiety and racing thoughts can creep into a person’s mind for many soon to be parents out there. This is a precious time to bring awareness techniques into your life and become more physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced. By connecting with yourself and your baby – you will be able to rest easy knowing that you are supported and cared for throughout the entire process. By taking a holistic approach to pregnancy, you will take care of the mind, body, and spirit to allow you to feel fulfilled and happy about whatever bumps may come down the road (literally!). By incorporating these aspects you are cultivating a harmonious start to your pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
1. Bring Awareness to your Body
There are many techniques you can do to help facilitate this process. One easy way is just by doing a simple yet powerful body scan to see where you are currently in your body. Lying on the floor or on a couch with your eyes closed, just start bringing awareness into your body. Start at your toes and move slowly up scanning your legs, into your hips and abdomen, chest, neck, and head. From there, feel the presence of your shoulders and arms, down to your fingertips. Do this slowly by feeling each part of your body and staying where you feel you may need more attention to an area. Do you notice any numbness, tingling, or pain sensation? Is there any place that you really cannot feel with your eyes closed? Stay with that. You may notice you will get more in tune and connected with your body through this. Do this on a weekly basis.
2. Practice Breathing or Pranayama Techniques
Now we all know breathing techniques are very important leading up and during labor process but by consciously working on the breath can help you throughout your pregnancy as well. Breath is a powerful tool to bring you back to the moment and relieve any anxieties or worries in your mind. When you start to get anxious you will notice your breath will automatically become faster and shallower. Deep abdominal breaths that fill your abdomen with air will bring oxygen to your body and mind. Make a conscious effort to take 10 deep belly breaths filling the abdomen with air and letting it go. Do this on a daily basis.
3. Prenatal Yoga
Now that yoga has grown in popularity because of its many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits – prenatal yoga is geared towards new moms throughout their pregnancy. This can relieve both physical ailments such as back and hip pain, fatigue, and nausea and it allow your mind to gain focus and clarity to cherish each moment of pregnancy. It will also help to reduce any stressors and prepare you to be a more mindful, kind, and caring parent. Do prenatal yoga at least on a weekly basis.
4. Intuitive Eating
Being properly nourished is important for overall health but now your nutritional intake is affecting not one, but two people! During pregnancy, you may have certain cravings that your body is signing that you need. Listen to the signals – if you are craving sweet foods incorporate more sweet potatoes, apples, squash, peaches, and berries into your diet. If you are craving salty foods add more sea salt, seaweed, soups, and broths into your diet. Sour foods often can relieve nausea and cramps or spasms, such as lemon, pickled vegetables, and vinegar. The flavors and nature are important in Traditional Chinese Medicine dietary therapy. They create a more balanced internal state, which leads to happy and healthy moms and babies. Eat 80% of your diet following whole simple foods and indulge on snacks 20% of the time. Follow this on a daily basis.
Developing a meditation practice is one of the absolute best things you can do for yourself and your children. If you have a more peaceful and calm state, your baby will too. This practice of awareness can help both you and the baby while they are in your womb, as well as once the child is born into the world. By developing a simple and easy to use meditation practice you are lowering your state of anxiety on a daily basis. You will learn to react less and love more. An easy meditation to start with is a seated or lying down position, with the eyes close, start to just focus your awareness on your breath. Begin by letting the breath become deeper and longer and filling your entire body with this breath. When your mind starts to wonder – just bring the awareness back to the breath. Allow the mind to come and go in its natural state, not trying to change or adjust anything. When you feel you are straying from the breath just guide yourself naturally back. Sometimes, counting to ten (with each full breath being one count) can be helpful for many people. Once you reach ten, begin back at one. Start with a 5 minute routine and lead up to a 20 minute session per day.
Katie Edwards is a South Carolina based Acupuncturist, Yoga Instructor, and Herbalist. She is the Founder of The Center of Bliss, LLC in Greenville, SC where she is committed to helping people live a healthier and more holistic lifestyle. She specializes in treating women’s health issues and infertility. Visit www.thecenterofbliss.com for more information and upcoming programs and retreats.