Advice & Tips

Mindful Birthing

Mindful birthing can be a tricky topic to understand. Here founders of the Dream Birth Company talk us through how mindful birthing is having a major rebrand and the benefits to mums not only during pregnancy but for parenthood in general...all evidence-based research. 

Learn what exactly is mindful birthing and how you can be mindful and mentally prepared for a dream birth and beyond.

What is mindful birthing?

Mindfulness is a modern, non-religious practice that focuses on paying attention to the present moment. Its practice can make us calmer and more centered and improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

We love science!

According to the NHS, at least 1 in 10 women experience postpartum depression, although the prevalence may actually be much higher as it so often goes undiagnosed. Mindfulness practices have been associated with reduced depression during and following pregnancy, which may improve the psychological health of both mother and baby.

According to the NHS, at least 1 in 10 women experience postpartum depression, although the prevalence may actually be much higher as it so often goes undiagnosed. Mindfulness practices have been associated with reduced depression during and following pregnancy, which may improve the psychological health of both mother and baby.

A study of a group of people who attended a four-day mindfulness meditation training found that they were able to decrease the intensity of painful stimulus by 40 percent. Researchers have also discovered that meditators have significantly lower pain sensitivity. Pain reduction can help you have an easier pregnancy, delivery, and recovery, no matter what your birth plan looks like. Mindfulness heightens levels of melatonin, which improves our quality of sleep and mood, meaning that both mother and baby feel calmer and rested.

In an era where we talk a lot more about fear of childbirth, anxiety in pregnancy and postpartum depression, The Dream Birth Company uses age-old methods reworked for today’s digital generation to address fear and anxiety head-on and teach expectant parents how they can experience a Dream Birth and beyond. Birth does not have to be an experience of fear and extreme pain.

How mindful birthing was born

Mindful birthing is an adaptation of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a program started in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to help patients in a hospital setting cope with pain.

Since then, hundreds of research studies have shown that mindfulness-based programs alleviate depression, anxiety, stress, pain and more.

The Benefits for Dream Mamas

Research from the University of Oxford has shown that mindful birthing may hold the power to transform and ease the experience of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, as well as the relationship with the new baby after birth.

By making meditation part of your daily routine, your baby bump is sharing all of the magnificent benefit too. A highly referenced study by the Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in India found that for 169 pregnant women, a daily yoga and meditation practice significantly improved birth weight, reduced premature births, and lessened the overall medical complications for newborns.

Who is it for and when?

Our course is designed for both parents; teaching each of you what to focus on and guiding you through your responsibilities, ensuring that you are both fully prepared. No hippy-dippy magic or parents being hypnotized! Simple, modern and digital. 

We are not anti-drugs or medical intervention, they are such great tools to have and sometimes absolutely necessary. We have helped parents prepare planned c-sections and prepare for all types of births so whatever path your birth takes you will have the tools to relax your body, calm your mind and help you let go of fear and tension.

How it works

Mindfulness strategies can give mothers-to-be the tools to change the way they manage pain during labor and birth. Fear and resistance can sustain and inflame physical pain, so by learning to relate differently to the discomfort that may surround intense physical sensations – to welcome it and work with it – women can reduce the likelihood of being overwhelmed and losing control. 

Beyond pain management, mamas to be will benefit from the core principles of mindfulness – acceptance, letting go and trusting – which can help them to prepare for whatever path their birth takes them. Cultivating the skill of awareness during pregnancy – which is the ability to notice thoughts and feelings as they arise – also allows expectant mothers to observe any fearful stories that the mind may be creating about birth from a more objective standpoint, and therefore identify with them less, which can help to reduce overall stress and anxiety.

How can you remain mindful beyond birth?

These techniques aren’t reserved just for the delivery room. In fact, many mothers find our tools and techniques useful long after their babies are born.

Recent research by BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth also shows that mindfulness may offer important maternal mental health benefits following childbirth. In 2017, pregnant women who undertook in an intensive course based on the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) education reported benefits including improved psychological adjustment and reduced postpartum depression symptoms.

Learn more about the Dream Birth Company

“Mindfulness is something I draw from every day,” Clodagh says. She points to how mindfulness has helped her in overwhelming mama moments— “by simply focusing on my breath I can feel more centered and balanced. It’s taught me to respond instead of react. As a busy new mama with my work and travelling, meditation has become my self-care” she adds, “I think I handle stress a lot better. I feel more resilient and can adapt to new circumstances with ease. Biggest lightbulb for me was realising self-care is not selfish, it's essential in order to take care of the most precious thing in my life - my baby.”

“It’s really a way of life,” says Marie-Claire who reiterates how useful mindfulness is not just for pregnancy and birth but for parenthood and daily life. “The techniques are incredibly powerful when you strengthen your mind to the point where you can give birth without any pain relief that is definitely a skill you want to hold on to! As a new parent, you need that strength and self-belief to trust your instincts and do what’s best for you and your baby”

Learn more about The Dream Birth Company

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