My dear friend Yvette has recently had her first child with her partner Marc and I was so thrilled to be asked to be one of Leela’s godparents. We have so many students who have found meditation to be an invaluable tool in helping them deal with the changes and demands of pregnancy, child-birth and then all the post-partum stress. I am very grateful to Yvette for sharing her experiences with us all.
When did you learn to meditate?
8 years ago
What changes and benefits have you noticed since you began?
There is an effortlessness to my life now. The universe seems to put before me what I need and desire a lot quicker than before, and I feel so much more present. I tend to let life unfold without my mind getting in the way, which uses up a lot less energy!
How long did it take for these to become noticeable by you?
As soon as I started, but there are so many stages that it evolves to – so its always noticeable.
You had been meditating for a quite a while when you became pregnant. Pregnancy brings such change and so many new, unknown demands – how did meditation help you through that time?
It kept me grounded and calm. Your body has so many changes going on and sleep can sometimes be a thing of the past, so it helped keep my energy levels high. I felt like I had so much energy when I was pregnant.
When Leela was born, how did you incorporate meditation into such an intense experience as childbirth?
I used it all through my labour. Of course it felt very different to normal meditation with labour pains happening but it helped me control my breathing and stay calm. It’s amazing how naturally you can go into a sort of “Meditation” when you have such intense physical feelings – it’s a very primal feeling.
How did you find the first few weeks after Leela was born? How was your recovery process? How did meditation help?
There is so much going on physically and emotionally that I found my meditation a wonderful way to ESCAPE and always did it with Leela in my arms. I found her much calmer whenever I meditated (and especially when Marc and I meditated with her together). My recovery process was very quick, I meditated everyday and also had an Auryvedic massage and reflexology once a week which helped my body and mind adapt so much quicker.
Now Leela is five months old and you are breast-feeding, how are you feeling? How is meditation going?
I love breast-feeding and I think it is a wonderful way to bond with your little one. I found if I was relaxed about breast feeding my little girl was as well, but you should never feel pressure about breast feeding. It works for some and not for others. I always drink a lot of water when feeding and have found this keeps my milk supply up.
Meditation is a little harder to juggle with a baby in the picture, but I try to do it as much as I can with her in my arms, sometimes just after I have fed her or while I am feeding her. In the evening I sit with her and close my eyes for 20 minutes before I put her to bed and it’s easy to do when she is napping. On the weekend Marc and I will sometimes take turns to watch her while the other one meditates. Some days she may distract me or I may not have as much time, but I figure 10 or 15 minutes is better than nothing. She has a much better mother when meditation is part of our day!
What is your advice to other mums and mums-to-be who may be thinking they don’t have time to meditate?
It is very hard to imagine how you can fit 20 minutes twice a day into your day with a new baby, but if you start straight away, your baby will soon realise it’s part of their routine as well as yours. Of course there are days when you have to be a little more creative with the WHEN and HOW, so just do what you can without stressing yourself out over it. It’s always good to remind yourself your baby is going to be a happier, healthier baby with a happy mother, so you should never feel guilty about taking the time out to recharge your batteries.