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Pregnancy & mindfulness

By Tahnee Knowles founder of Bump & Mind retreats

Congratulations! You’ve taken the test and you’re pregnant. So what next? Beside the onslaught on unsolicited advice from everyone including the stranger you just met while scouring the Waitrose shelves for heartburn relief.

You’ll probably have ordered a load of baby books, claimed your free bounty bag, looked at some cute independent brands for inspiration on newborn outfits and bought the contents of Topshop's maternity line. Have you taken a moment to think about your state of mind? Granted it’s hard to do so when this is probably one the biggest things to happen in your life so far (if it’s your first pregnancy). You have a million and one things fighting for the limelight in your overactive pre frontal cortex. “This brain region responsible for planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior".

Mindfulness during pregnancy isn’t a new concept in fact it’s been around for as long as women have been birthing. “Thousands of years ago, becoming pregnant and giving birth to a child was a sacred practice - a holy experience. Knowledge and spiritual practices for maintaining the vibrations of the womb were utilised by both men and women. These practices created healthy, loving, enlightened relationships, where both the masculine and feminine energies were balanced and respected; and sexual energy was an expression of the highest creative energy. Men and women practiced these ancient processes to purify their Womb Chakras and attract their soul mates to them and to create a blessed child. This is how the ancient sages, rishis, created children with divine consciousness.

So what does mindfulness actually mean? It’s having an awareness of ourselves and what’s around us and the first step in improving our mental well-being. Why is it important? In a world of social media influencers and the extremely high expectations we put on ourselves no wonder we are struggling to be introspect and be present.

When was the last time you sat in a room alone, no noise, no phone, just you and allowed your mind to wonder?

Our brains are incredible and have the possibility to think up the most fantastic things, all the cures for the diseases we currently know where imagined in someones brain first. Are we limiting ourselves and stunting our mental growth by our constant comparison to squares on a feed?

Approximately 33% of mothers who experienced depression symptoms during pregnancy went on to have PND. Approximately 25% of mothers still suffered from PND up to a year after their child was born. A recent study by BMC held a randomised controlled trail in order to find a link between mindfulness during pregnancy and improved mental health in mothers. ‘This study suggests mindfulness training carefully tailored to address fear and pain of childbirth may lead to important maternal mental health benefits, including improvements in childbirth-related appraisals and the prevention of postpartum depression symptoms.’

Bump & Mind Retreats aims to tackle the subject of PND in a sensitive and supportive manner. Using meditation combined with Hypnobirthing techniques to help you achieve a more mindful approach to you pregnancy birth and beyond. We will continue to care for you well after your 3 night stay on the retreat and you can contact the hosts at anytime for support.

For more information on Bump & Mind’s Upcoming Retreat head over to their site now.

Shortly after moving to the Isle of Wight in 2017 I discovered I was pregnant. After researching the benefits of hypnobirthing I realised the importance of a mindful pregnancy and positive outlook on birth itself. During my maternity leave I found myself itching to offer the same experience to other expectant parents. I wanted to share with them what I had learnt in the hope that they too could relax, recharge and reconnect on our little British oasis.

I have since trained as a hypnobirthing teacher and use the renowned KGH training programme with my clients. KGH is a Royal College of Midwives accredited and the original UK Hypnobirthing course. I have been teaching regular hypnobirthing classes the island based parents and to do so is such a blessing. I have developed a Bump & Mind exclusive programme of activities to be enjoyed throughout the duration of the retreat to guide my guests through pregnancy birth and beyond. Expectant parents from all over the UK and further afield can benefit from our full antenatal birth preparation in a truly calming location.

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