The benefits of mindfulness meditation include helping women cope with childbirth pain with less medication as well as their mental health.
There are many types of meditation — you can perform it sitting, lying down, or even walking. But the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) notes mindfulness meditation is central to all forms of the ancient body and mind practice. Mindfulness involves observing your breath or an object or repeating a specific word or phrase while bringing attention to moment-to-moment experiences, even difficult emotions and physical pain, and letting them come and go without judging them.
Research suggests mindfulness meditation may relieve discomfort by activating areas of the brain that respond to pain, according to the NCCIH. Preventing and soothing anxiety and depression are other benefits of mindfulness meditation. So it makes sense mindfulness might help women going through an experience which produces pain and, sometimes, fear and depression — childbirth.
A study from University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), researchers that compared mainstream childbirth education classes with childbirth education focusing on mindfulness skills to reduce fear in pregnant women found it does.
November 14, 2017
Janet O’Dell, RN