New research from New Jersey’s Center for Pregnancy Research has recently revealed that mindfulness among parents may lead to a peaceful and less painful birthing experience. The study was recently mentioned in an article from the New York Times and consisted of a trial of 30 pregnant mothers were monitored before, during, and after their deliveries in an effort to control the anxiety that they felt. The results of the study make researchers hopeful that non-chemical methods of pain relief during childbirth can be on the horizon for expectant moms.
At the beginning of the trial, new parents were asked about their fears regarding childbirth. Most of the new mothers, not surprisingly, stated that they feared the pain of childbirth in a very real way, having not ever experienced it before. Researchers then attempted to educate the expectant mothers in mindfulness to prepare them for childbirth. In the mindfulness education classes, certified midwives would attempt to teach mothers to remain alert and focused on the present moment during labor. Midwives stated, during the course, that the key to mindfulness was that new mothers must learn not to focus on events before or after the most current contraction. They were taught that they could overcome their fears about the labor by implementing a moment by moment thought process.
Following their education in the ways of labor and delivery mindfulness, the confidence levels of the new parents were measured according to a survey. By the end of the research experience, mothers were much more confident in their ability to have a peaceful and controlled labor and delivery. According to one midwife, mindfulness creates opportunities for the expectant mothers to discover new levels of inner strength and resources. The mindfulness studies were shown to significantly impact the pain of childbirth for the mothers who attended the classes. More than half of the mothers believe they had a controlled and peaceful birth because of the preparation they received prior to delivery.