By Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of PAM
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, with me reminiscing about being pregnant, you know that I can get a bit sentimental. But for those of you who can remember, and if you would just get honest, you would admit, that feeling your baby kick and move inside your preggo belly is pretty AMAZING!
OK, so perhaps in the middle of the night when your growing fetus has the hiccups and wakes you up, not as magical, but all in all, every move is a mini internal celebration on so many levels.
I didn’t feel anything until 19 weeks, and then it was motion city. I remember seeing her when I would have my monthly OB exam (my doctor was a self-admitted ultrasound addict, and I was a nervous first time pregnant mom-to-be that was all too happy to have him check her via ultrasound EVERY visit!). She was always moving and looked at times as if she was swimming. It was hysterical to watch, and fun to feel. There is an old wives tale (thank goodness for those old wives BTW) that once a pregnant woman hears the heartbeat of the fetus, for the first time, the bond immediately occurs. Of course I remember that first medical visit and the heartbeat, but I must admit here before you all – I finally felt a deep connection when I felt her moving inside of my belly.
I was teaching a regular weekly prenatal yoga class the entire time I was pregnant at Golden Bridge Yoga in Hollywood. It was incredibly fun to teach that class while pregnant and share experiences with all the fellow students and moms-to-be. I would lead a breathing meditation at the end of the class that was so delightful.
Here it is:
- Sit on the floor in a comfortable position, legs “criss cross”, use a pillow or folded blanket to prop up your bottom if needed.
- Spine straight and eyes closed and focused on the space between your brows
- Take a deep breath in and out while placing your hands on your belly
- Continue to consciously breathe, at a pace that is comfortable (do not hold your breath) making sure to inhale and exhale consciously and feel yourself connecting to your baby
- Continue for at least 6 -10 breaths or longer
- If you like, visualize your baby growing happily in your belly and visualize your body as a vessel made to provide this space for her to thrive
- On your last breath inhale a little deeper and exhale a little deeper
- Slowly open your eyes, and role your shoulders and wiggle your toes
- Do not stand up right away, take time and take care that you are balanced
Even while typing that I went right back to that feeling, you know, THAT feeling of what it was like. I can totally transport myself back to that mystical time of her growing in me when I remember that breathe series.
If you don’t have the time to breathe…
Think about that last sentence before you agree and move on to my next list of ideas. I mean really, you don’t have the time to breathe? Anyway, it is a busy world, and some of us even complain about time to do that which we don’t even consciously think of every few seconds. But, ladies please, we must have time to breathe if not, we would be, um, dead.
Some other ideas to connect during this magical time with your growing baby:
- Salt scrub in the shower on your belly (I’m Taurus and totally vain, so I did this in an effort to reduce the possibility of stretch marks – I didn’t get any, probably genetic luck, but in case you are superstitious, I used Yogi Tea Salt Scrub which is no longer a part of yogi tea but looks like it is part of the sunshine product line – google it).
- Lather on the belly oil – Breath with your belly and baby while applying belly oil either after shower or before bed. I loved putting oil on and I tended to use simple plain organic coconut oil or sweet almond (no additives necessary).
- Hand on belly while walking and consciously breathing – sounds silly, but it not only helps you maneuver the constant challenge of the change in your center of gravity and balance while preggo, but also a way to sneak in a private moment with baby
Now that you know my secrets and favorite memories about feeling my daughter moving in my belly, take a deep breath (you are going to whether you are conscious of it or not) and make a mental note that “these are days to remember, never before and never since I promise will the whole world be warm as this and as you feel it you’ll know its true that you your are blessed and lucky and you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you” click for the YouTube video: Thank you Natalie Merchant.