Meditation and Reflection: for the expected and unexpected journeys in the childbearing years.
Updated: Oct 15
Meditation and reflection have been a significant part of my life regardless of where I have lived. I was first exposed to meditation through my Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in religious studies, where I studied Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism. Furthermore, meditation was a significant part of my life when we lived in Australia, and both my husband and I participated in silent retreats, weekly meditations and Tai Chi groups. Reflection and journalling have often coincided along with my meditational experience and I feel strongly that communication and introspection are essential to maintaining honesty with others and myself.
Throughout my life, I have used meditation and reflection to assist me in many personal struggles. Meditation has helped me to cope with the losses our family has experienced through miscarriage and infertility. The quietening of my mind and the focus on my personal needs has enabled me to connect with a higher sense of purpose than the personal tragedy I was living through at any given time on this journey. Personal reflection has enabled me to reflect on and take care of my needs by effectively communicating with others. I work with families who have experienced loss and help them to reflect on their own struggles especially in preparation for a subsequent birth.
I value facilitating meditations for others focusing on pregnancy, birthing, the postpartum period, as well as infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy loss. The quietening of the mind and sitting with grief are essential to anyone travelling the harder path to parenthood. Meditation can help pregnant people and families reflect on their fears and dreams for their growing family when loss has been a part of that journey. This reflection, which often provides clarity of thought, can help with communication between families and care providers to ensure needs are met and practical ways of addressing concerns are fulfilled. Additionally, meditation can help you to bond with your baby prior to birth and get in tune with both your body's and baby's needs. Taking time out of everyday to connect with baby and address any concerns or needs that you both may have can help you to have a smoother birthing journey. Furthermore, meditation can help you to cope with the massive changes occurring within your body. Pregnancy is a time of great physiological changes that have both a physical and emotional toll. Reflecting and integrating upon the bodily changes that occur throughout the childbearing year can help you cope with pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.
Although meditation and reflection are great tools to use during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, they can also be an important tool to use during times of grief and loss. Meditation brings us into higher levels of consciousness which can help us to learn, grieve, integrate and grow from our losses. Reflection can help those suffering from loss take a step back and view their experience more objectively which can integrate the experience for the bereaved. We do not need to overcome our loss or be freed from our grief, we simply need to accept it as a part of our life story, so we can eventually grow within it. Additionally, reflection allows us to experience our grief without being judged by others and accept ourselves where we are at in our loss journey. For all of these reasons, I feel that meditation and reflection should be an integral part of any grieving journey and offer this to the families that I work with.