What exactly is mindful birthing?

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

Birthing can be a tricky topic to understand. Here founder of the DBC talks 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 centred and improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

How it works.

Mindfulness strategies can give mothers-to-be the tools to change the way they manage pain during labour 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.

We love the science!

There is a ton of scientific evidence demonstrating that women who take a mindful approach to childbirth preparation can reduce their pain during labour and also reduce the risks of postnatal depression.

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 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 (1). Researchers have also discovered that meditators have significantly lower pain sensitivity (2). Pain reduction can help you have an easier pregnancy, delivery, and recovery, no matter what your birth plan looks like.

1. Marchand, W. R. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 18(4), 233-252.

2. Hofmann, S. G., Grossman, P., & Hinton, D. E. (2011). Loving-kindness and compassion meditation: Potential for psychological interventions. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(7), 1126-1132.

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, labour 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?

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 hypnotised! 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.

When should you start?

We recommend you have your sessions from 20 weeks onwards so you have lots of time to practice your techniques to prepare your mind and body for your birth.

We can also offer a shorter course for Dream Mamas in the later stages of their pregnancy.

To book your course just email us on info@thedreambirthcompany.com or call +447990453910.

Be prepared not scared for your birth.

Have a dreamy day,

Love Clodagh,

Founder of The Dream Birth Company.

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© 2019 by The Dream Birth Company.