By Mark Krassner
Have you ever went to do a quick Google search that lead to hours of internet surfing?
Well, I’ve been there more times than I’d typically admit, but looking back I’m filled with gratitude. Because during one of those search engine adventures, I found something that changed the course of my life forever…
The infamous internet odyssey began when curiosity led me to see what I could find out about meditation’s effects on children. I’d been meditating for two years, and it brought so many good things into my life, I wished I’d taken it up a lot sooner.
And it was through that search that I found a few breadcrumbs of research on how meditation affects pregnancy.
I was fascinated and wanted to know more… but was surprised when my travels lead to a relative dead end. There was almost no good content on the subject!
How could that be?
I intuitively knew there was more, and hired a Ph.D. student to dig for available research on how meditation affects pregnancy and health in general.
It’s this research, and my mom’s struggle with anxiety during pregnancy and throughout my early years, that led me to start a company that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms.
We’re a bit obsessed… and for good reason. We know making our dream a reality is the key to unlocking 3 massive wins for society…
1. Babies that have better mental and physical health for a lifetime
When the Ph.D. student I hired got back to me with all the available studies on meditation and pregnancy, I read about how the practice can do some really important things… like reduce stress, enhance immunity, diminish pain, improve baby temperament & contribute to an overall healthier pregnancy.
But what really gripped me were the studies I read about how very high levels of stress and anxiety can increase the chances of preterm birth, miscarriage, obesity, heart disease, and a pandora’s box of other unwanted physical and mental challenges.
Stress and anxiety is on the rise… over the past 25 years it’s increased by 18% for women and 24% for men. Study after study links stress to a myriad of health problems, and so many women have gone unsupported because many healthcare professionals haven’t understood or acknowledged the importance of mental well being during pregnancy.
Making meditation common during this time will help support women, reduce major risk factors, and contribute to better baby outcomes that can last a lifetime.
2. Introduce more people to meditation
There is too much science out there for any intelligent person to doubt meditation can help them become happier and healthier. So if you aren’t meditating on the regular, my guess is that you’re probably not a skeptic… but simply lack the motivation to go through the uncomfortable process of developing a new habit.
I totally get it.
But the game changes when suddenly your actions affect another person… and that person happens to be your unborn child.
If you’re pregnant, I know the last thing you need is one more person giving you unsolicited advice… especially a man with no children! That is not what I’m here to do.
I’m just saying that if you’re a non meditator that conceives a child, and someone tells you the practice isn’t just great for you, but also great for your baby… well, my bet is that you’d be a bit more inclined to get over the initial discomfort of developing a new habit, and give it a shot.
I’m not saying you’d definitely do it either, just saying you’d be more inclined to. BUT, some people actually would do it, and like most habits, it would go from uncomfortable, to less uncomfortable, to neutral, to enjoyable and effortless.
And then like magic… a meditator is created. And as a bonus for doing something to give your baby a better start in life… you get to experience more happiness and health for as long as you choose to continue the practice.
So if lots of women and couples experience this shift, the world would have a lot more people that are less stressed, sleep better, have more compassion and maintain healthier relationships.
3. A society of children that are raised by more mindful parents
One thing that I often find in conversations with pregnant women and couples is an insecurity that they won’t get it right… and when I pick up on that, I think about how meditation improved my life by shedding away layers so I could make decisions based on what was already there, inside me.
I believe that just like the heart knows how to beat without any training, deep down people have all the tools they need to be incredible parents. It’s something that already exists inside. Meditation is simply a tool that can help unlock that inner knowing, and allow access to everything that’s already there.
It makes me think of the story of Michelangelo and his masterpiece sculpture of David. When someone asked him how he was able to create such an astonishing work of art out of a massive rock, Michelangelo replied that David had already existed inside the boulder, and all he did was chip away at the rock that covered him.
And that is how I think each one of us is. We are perfect and have everything we need inside of us, but sometimes our life and circumstances can hide that from us and make us believe otherwise. Meditation is a tool that can uncover the rock that gets stuck on top of us all.
It’s the shedding of these layers that creates a more mindful parent… and a more mindful parent is more likely to be happy, present and in control of their emotions. Imagine a world where kids grow up around more of that…
Since the initial studies I read, I’ve done a lot more research. It’s clear that a couple’s emotional well-being has a big impact on their baby.
Taking a moment to really connect with a loved one, playing an instrument, exercising and dancing like there’s no tomorrow are things you can do to get into a good mental space. Meditation is just one tool of many that’s available to help you on the journey. And who knows, that tool may just change the word.
Are you pregnant or a new mom?
Expectful is a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of our guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey.
Our mission is to help you give your baby the best start in life. Go to expectful.com and sign up for our free 30-day meditation trial.
To download a PDF of this post, click here.
Originally published at expectful.com