It was a seemingly average day during my second pregnancy. Everything was going well when I opened my email inbox to find a snarky email from a coworker. Typically I would have shaken it off and quickly bounced back to my happy-go-lucky self.
Unfortunately, at 37 weeks pregnant calm, cool, and collected was not my response. A feeling of frustration and rage boiled up inside me. My skin was crawling as I fired back. The dust settled and the guilt crept in. At that moment my emotional stress had been so overwhelming that I wasn’t able to cope.
It was a whole new ball game. Exhaustion, morning sickness, and neck pain all added up leaving me feeling less than level-headed.
I’ll never forget the time I showed up at my friend’s wedding 3 minutes late. The noisy car ride with a toddler and a sore pregnant body all came to a head when I looked at the clock. Tears streamed down my face as I tried to take a few deep breaths before we joined in on the festivities.
As you might have guessed, I was clearly struggling to manage the stressors that came up during my pregnancy. Work, finances, and exhaustion just to name a few. Not to mention that I worried daily about how my stress was impacting my sweet developing baby. I was terrified that she was swimming in a steady stream of negativity and concern instead of living in a safe place that would allow her to thrive.
Thankfully, I found relief in a guided meditation practice. At first, the idea of sitting quietly on my meditation pillow for 10 or more minutes wasn’t appealing. All that silence left me feeling even more stressed out because I felt so restless.
However, guided meditation is different than traditional meditation because a calm voice talks you through your practice. Reminding you to breathe and relax, as you sit, walk, or try to fall asleep as stillness and peace set in.
If you’re having a hard time managing your emotions while pregnant you’re not alone.
Research suggests that many women experience low to moderate stress during pregnancy, with some women experience higher levels of stress that have the potential to make day-to-day functioning difficult.
For me, meditation is a tool that has made motherhood more manageable because it is easy to squeeze into my day and it fits into my budget.
I also appreciate that there is scientific evidence that meditation works.
Put simply, it can help your nervous system chill out so that your mind can find clarity while your heart rate and pulse slow down. Leaving you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to conquer the rest of the day.
Initially, meditation helped me cope with stress and anxiety in the moment, leaving me feeling more relaxed and present. But with time and practice, I built up a savings account of calm to use when encountering unexpected emotional stressors throughout the day.
Over time, emotions can stabilize with more consistent practice. I generally meditate every day for about 10 minutes. For me, this means fewer mood swings and more joy.
It didn’t just help me feel better. Meditation is also linked to benefits for your baby. I gradually began to notice a stronger bond with my baby even before she was born after doing the connection meditation.
I will always remember how it brought me a profound feeling of inner peace and closeness to take a few minutes each day to connect with her. As if I could relax, let go, and trust that my body was perfectly designed to bring her into the world.
If you’re struggling with emotional stress trying new tools like guided meditation can be a good place to start. Meditation has been the simplest way to support my mind, body, and baby.
If you’re curious about trying meditation, consider giving Expectful a trial run.