Meditation for Beginners

A 5-step meditation plan that will benefit you during pregnancy and beyond.

Meditation for Beginners

There’s no time like the new year to resolve to start meditating. Especially if you’re pregnant or a new mom. We know what you’re thinking: what’s so special about sitting and doing nothing? A lot. Don’t beleive us? We asked certified meditation teacher Danielle Dugan of Pure Yoga (and NYC mom of two) to break down the benefits of meditation for pregnancy and motherhood and give us a 5-step plan meditation plan for beginners.

Why is meditation so important during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, I used guided meditation to find peace with all the rapid changes happening in my body and life and also, to prepare for labor and delivery. The mind is a very powerful thing. Meditation can teach us how to have the mind work for us (focus) rather than against us (chatter).

How can you use meditation as a mom?

I feel that I've never been given a bigger role in life than that of that of “Mom.” At many times, I felt overwhelmed, alone, confused, unsure I was making the right decisions. This is all chatter of the mind, yogis call it Chita vritti. Meditation is a great way to learn to sit and watch the thoughts and begin to recognize they are coming and coming in rapid fire succession. We can learn to take a step back from them and in these moments of separation, we find clarity. In those moments of clarity we realize the details that are stressing and overwhelming are taking our focus away from being present for and loving these rapidly fleeting moments with baby.

I already do yoga or hit the gym! Do I really need to meditate?

I do believe there is a meditative quality to being immersed in any healthy activity we each choose to enjoy. In meditation your choosing to focus your mind and eventually begin to witness it and find a 'separation' from it. 'I am not my constant thoughts.'

How do you set realistic meditation goals?

I try not to think of meditation as another thing on my to do list: a goal, a commitment, etc. It's a ritual I incorporate into my life to maintain the happiness of myself and those surrounding me in my life.

How can I start meditating on my own?

If you can’t find a class, find an app. Or try an online meditation for beginniers. Pema Chodron has some beautiful 3 minute led 'active' meditations.

Can you give us a 5-step plan to start meditating?

  1. Research and try different forms of meditation.
  2. When you find one you enjoy, start with attainable goals.
  3. Be consistent for at least one month.
  4. Try to journal any changes you notice in your behavior, mood, relationships.
  5. Bookend your day: at the start and finish. Add in meditation for just 5 minutes: on the subway, in the shower, standing in line.

Image source.

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


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