I haven’t met a single pregnant woman who wants an uncomfortable and stressful time during their pregnancy, birth and transition to motherhood.
In fact, if ever you meet a pregnant woman who beams at you and says “my pregnancy is amazing and blissful” you might think she was completely crazy. Or probably lying. And underneath it all, you'd probably be feeling totally envious and wondering what was her secret.
Pregnancy is an incredible time in the journey of a woman's life. It's a time to celebrate and shine in all your feminine glory.
Yet I’m not suggesting that pregnancy, birth and motherhood will transport you to a fluffy, ethereal world with cherubs playing harps for the rest of eternity. But surely you deserve a little of the bliss? This bliss I’m talking about, is not something we find on the outside, it is not handed-out alongside the pee-cup to confirm our pregnancy at the doctor's surgery. It's something that we must create for ourselves.
It saddens me that for many pregnant women, pregnancy and birth is not blissful. Rather, it's just something to be endured or 'pushed through.'
Yes there are plenty of unwelcome and uncomfortable aspects to pregnancy. You may be quite familiar with your old friend ‘morning sickness’ (which never just greets you in the morning right?). There's the sore boobs, achy back or those restless and sleepless nights. You might've even experienced some of the less common side effects like random, dizzy spells in shopping centres, swollen ankles and hair loss!
Whilst pregnant we tend to focus a lot on the physical side – how the body feels and looks - and it’s not always a positive focus. What can really help us to enjoy the experience more, and even enjoy a bit of bliss, is our mindset. How we think and react is something we can control and nurture. And sadly, it is often completely ignored by both ourselves and those around us.
Doctors and medical professionals are intensely focused on your physical body and your baby’s growth and development. And we want that – that’s why we hire them.
But who attends to and nurtures your mental and emotional state during this period of change and growth? That's up to you.
You can choose to take time-out for yourself by joining a supportive Pregnancy Yoga group. This is where you'll get the time and space to be honest with yourself and consider and share important things that can really make a difference to your mental and emotional state. Things like: your attitude; your worries; how to manage work stress; dealing with your feelings about pregnancy and how it might be to be a mother. Doing this helps you to make conscious choices and thrive in pregnancy! It's invaluable to your overall health and wellbeing.
Too much time is spent obsessing over the best model pram or deciding on colour schemes and themes of nurseries, instead of reducing stress and increasing ‘down time’.
Why shouldn’t you feel great when you are pregnant?! Pregnancy is an exciting and even euphoric time. Don't let society pressures leave you feeling inadequate, scared or just unsure about what's going on.
Pregnancy Yoga is a great way to spend time nurturing yourself, not just feeling good in your body or alleviating the aches and pains, but also giving you space in your mind to leave all the demands, expectations and responsibilities aside.
With a clearer head-space, pregnant and birthing women are able to:
- Make better choices about their own health and wellbeing (and ultimately the health and wellbeing of their unborn baby);
- More positively influence their attitudes towards their changing body and emerging role as mother and carer of a new life and;
- Remain calm and enjoy their pregnancy and birth experience more.
A totally uncomfortable and stressed out pregnancy experience doesn’t have to be your default position. Why not take the opportunity now to shift it?
Can you stop, right now, just for one minute. Close your eyes and in this moment focus on one thing that is great about being pregnant. Notice how that makes you feel.
For more than one minute of bliss and contentment, book into our next 6 week Pregnancy Yoga Course where you'll meet a group of like-minded women who are also keen to have a positive, relaxed mindset.
Alison Hilton is Momentum’s Pregnancy and Postnatal yoga specialist. She has been teaching yoga for 5 years and also works in adult education in the university sector. As a mum herself she realises that bliss during motherhood some days can be when your darlings are peacefully asleep and you can sink back into the couch and have a moment to yourself!