Becoming a mama can be kind of scary. You鈥檝e got a whole other person growing inside of you, and you鈥檙e freaking out about everything from those weirdo pregnancy pains to the big birth day to your new identity as mommy-to-be. For many expecting ladies, meditation can be the solution. It鈥檚 a totally natural way to de-stress and get back to the basics of relaxation. We talked to meditation expert Emily Fletcher from Expectful (an online community that helps pregnant women learn and practice meditation without ever having to leave home) about the benefits of zenning out.

1. Bountiful Benefits: So, you鈥檙e wondering how meditation can help you and your baby. Fletcher tells us, 鈥淒uring pregnancy, you are your baby鈥檚 connection to the outside world. Meaning, the way you feel, the emotions you have, and how you react to them create a blueprint for your baby to follow.鈥 If you鈥檙e under a tremendous amount of stress, your baby may experience that stress too. Fletcher also says, 鈥淢editation during pregnancy has been proven to decrease stress, boost immunity, help women to go full-term, get better sleep at night, and reduce pain during labor.鈥 Who wouldn鈥檛 want that?

2. Creating Connections: Fletcher also notes that 鈥渕others who use Expectful also report that one of the most enjoyable and surprising benefits of meditation during pregnancy is feeling more connected with their baby.鈥 She goes on to add, 鈥淢editation helps to turn down the volume on your critical mind and turn up the volume on your intuitive mind. This helps to sort out the relevant information in the constant stream of (sometimes) unsolicited advice that new moms face.鈥

3. The Research Base: Meditation isn鈥檛 something that pregnant mamas use just because 鈥 there鈥檚 plenty of research showing it鈥檚 a healthy choice. Fletcher tells us, 鈥淭here are hundreds of studies that tell us that stress can negatively impact pregnancy. There are thousands of studies praising meditation as the most powerful stress-relieving tool around. So it makes sense that using meditation during pregnancy can help ailments that are exacerbated by prenatal stress.鈥

So, how does it really work? Fletcher explains, 鈥淢editation quickly dissolves cortisol and adrenaline, which are acidic in nature. It then floods the brain and body with dopamine and serotonin, which we call bliss chemicals and are alkaline in nature. The more alkaline the body is, the more hospitable host it can be to the baby. Moving out of fight-or-flight can ease the adrenal glands, which allows your hormones to balance naturally. Having your hormones in check can make all the difference between a dream pregnancy and a challenging one.鈥

4. Doctor Dos: With all the research on the subject, it鈥檚 no surprise that, according to Fletcher, 鈥淭he doctors that know about the benefits of meditation during pregnancy definitely recommend it to their patients.鈥 It鈥檚 just a matter of getting the word out to expecting mamas who could potentially benefit.

5. Comfort and Care: You鈥檝e got odd aches and plenty of pains, and you鈥檙e feeling nauseated鈥 that doesn鈥檛 sound like a recipe for sitting in a stoic pose and meditating. But Fletcher says that comfort is key here. 鈥淟ots of people think they have to be a frozen statue during meditation, so expecting moms can assume it will be uncomfortable. We generally recommend sitting with your back supported and your neck free, but feel free to use pillows to support yourself and experiment with different postures.鈥 As your pregnancy progresses, you鈥檒l need to avoid laying on your back (that goes for meditating or anything else). Fletcher recommends 鈥渆ither sitting up or lying on your left side, if that鈥檚 more comfortable for you.鈥

Have you tried meditation during pregnancy? Share your experience and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Expectful)