top of page

5 Incredible Benefits of Mindfulness for Mothers



The benefits of mindfulness never cease to amaze me. These practices can be anything from meditation, breathing intentionally, gratitude, consciously sipping your coffee and so much more. Simply focus your attention on one thing or activity as an anchor and keep coming back to that each time your mind wanders off. You can do this for as little as a few minutes or longer if you have the time. There are no shortage of ways to practice mindfulness and the positive effects that these simple habits can have on your brains and lives are powerful. 


What I find even more interesting are the studies done on the effects of mindfulness for mothers. It’s no secret that mothers deal with an enormous life change through pregnancy and early motherhood. They also manage a heavy load of stressful circumstances while learning new skills to care for their babies, the unpredictability of a baby’s routine, the dreaded sleep deprivation and figuring out their new identity as a mother. Each stage of their child’s life brings changes for the mother to adapt to as well. 


Thankfully the outcomes of these studies indicate that regularly practicing mindfulness can be extremely beneficial to support a mother’s wellbeing during this intense period of her life. Here are a few outcomes that stand out to me the most:


Reduced stress and anxiety  

Finding moments of mindfulness and relaxation allows the nervous system to move out of the stressed ‘flight or fight’ state of your sympathetic nervous system and into the more calm ‘rest and digest’ state of your parasympathetic nervous system. This is where your body and mind are able to relax. The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it is to come out of the heightened ‘flight or fight’ response and into a peaceful place of ‘rest and digest’. 


Less reactive

When you practice mindfulness, you start becoming more aware of your inner thoughts and emotions. This can be confronting at first, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes to quickly recognise when you have big emotions arising. This is particularly helpful when you are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed in a challenging parenting scenario. Instead of being reactive and yelling without meaning to, practicing mindfulness allows you to notice the feeling arise and pause prior to reacting so that you can respond more consciously. 


More accepting

Another outcome of mindfulness is being able to accept the present moment without judgement. As all mothers know, parenting can be unpredictable. You can make plans and have everything perfectly set up and things still may not to turn out as hoped. When you learn to accept situations and emotions as they are, you can process them without judgement and let go of what you cannot control more easily.


Increased self compassion

This outcome of increased self compassion is actually a beautiful byproduct of acceptance. Recognising your thoughts and  feelings without judgement, no matter how unpleasant they may feel, allows you to manage them with love and acceptance of yourself. This can also help reduce feelings of shame and guilt that can arise in motherhood when you are overly critical of yourself. Self compassion is the antidote. 


Strengthens mother-baby bond 

Studies have also found that when mothers practice mindfulness, they may be more aware of their babies cues and needs. This could be a result of being more tuned into the present moment and less distracted by external factors. While being present with your baby allows you to soak up the precious moments with them, it may also help you be more in tune with and responsive to their needs. This can help to build trust and secure attachment. 


These are some incredibly powerful outcomes that can greatly improve a mother’s wellbeing as well the wellbeing of her children. If you like the sound of these results and want to experience them for yourself, mindfulness is so easy to start implementing into your daily routine. As mentioned above, there are many ways to start practicing mindfulness with whatever time allocation you have available. 


I personally love guided meditations that allow me to switch off and let someone else's voice guide me into relaxation. There are plenty of guided meditations that can be found for free on YouTube. I’ve included my 5 Minute Gratitude meditation to help you get started here.

Sources:


Roy Malis F, Meyer T, Gross MM. Effects of an antenatal mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting programme on the postpartum experiences of mothers: a qualitative interview study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2017 Feb 7;17(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s12884-017-1240-9. PMID: 28173769; PMCID: PMC5297192.


Potharst ES, Aktar E, Rexwinkel M, Rigterink M, Bögels SM. Mindful with Your Baby: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Effects of a Mindful Parenting Group Training for Mothers and Their Babies in a Mental Health Context. Mindfulness (N Y). 2017;8(5):1236-1250. doi: 10.1007/s12671-017-0699-9. Epub 2017 Apr 13. PMID: 28989548; PMCID: PMC5605590.


Corthorn, C., Milicic, N. Mindfulness and Parenting: A Correlational Study of Non-meditating Mothers of Preschool Children. J Child Fam Stud 25, 1672–1683 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0319-z


Perez-Blasco, J., Viguer, P. & Rodrigo, M.F. Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on psychological distress, well-being, and maternal self-efficacy in breast-feeding mothers: results of a pilot study. Arch Womens Ment Health 16, 227–236 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-013-0337-z




Recent Posts

See All

Kommentare


bottom of page