Health & Wellness

Mindful pregnancy and transitioning into motherhood

Courtney Rupertus

Having a child is likely the most life altering experience you can have, and many women have a very clear picture in their minds of what pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting will be like. However, we are often disappointed when our perfect picture doesn’t translate into real life.

There can also be a lot of fear surrounding what life will look like after baby is born. Some are looking forward to changing diapers, feeding, and seeing what the baby will look like, but many are often worried about how their lives will change.

This is not to say that motherhood won’t be an incredible experience, there are just too many unknowns to be able to manipulate every moment and it might take some time to adjust your expectations.

The lovely thing about the human gestation period of approximately 42 weeks is that it allows us to also transition, slow down, and begin to gently slip into the new pace of motherhood in a mindful way if we choose.

Motherhood truly begins the moment you decide to conceive a child because from that moment on, you start to take better care of yourself, make decisions a little more carefully, and really think about the fate of those decisions and their impact on your life and, if you are expecting, the life growing inside of you.

Many moms dive into motherhood head first, and wake up one day wondering what happened to that cool, independent person they used to be. It sounds crazy, but motherhood does shake things up, and it can be hard to hold on to the dreams and goals and hobbies that you had before.

The process of letting go and surrendering to the process of growing a baby, birthing a baby, and tending to the needs of a baby can sometimes seem passive and submissive, and new mothers can often feel overwhelmed by all they feel they are giving up.

In order to make this transition a little easier, make friends with your independent self. Make some goals that are just for you. Many moms wait for a better time to try their hand at self-fulfillment, but the very best gift you can give to your children is the gift of your best self. Take an hour a day to focus on something that is just for you, no matter what, and your whole family will reap the rewards.

When pregnant, it's imperative that a woman listens to her body; to rest when it needs to, to nourish itself as needed, and to put her feet up when her body is not feeling up to moving.

Practicing the art of putting yourself first, and doing what feels right by you, is a practice of mindfulness during your pregnancy and beyond. There are no written rules about how to care for yourself or your baby – your intuition will know what to do.

The more we listen to our bodies and trust ourselves, the happier we will be and the easier it will be to transition into parenthood. The confidence that mindful parents exude is so apparent!

Practicing mindfulness sounds so serious, but it can be both fun and healthy! Yoga, meditation, cooking and savouring a meal, napping, reading, cuddling your partner, bathing, or lounging are all acts of self-care and mindful activities that can connect you to yourself while pregnant and eventually as a new parent.