I can’t think of anything more confronting than giving birth to a child. To feel that vulnerable and exposed I’m sure is a welcome experience for some. Yet for others, it must be downright terrifying regardless of the gift on the other side. And while the birthing process is one thing, the time leading up to it is quite another. The good news is that current research shows that practicing meditation techniques like relaxation and guided imagery might just help women to better prepare themselves and enhance their baby’s overall health in preparation for the big day.
Checkout this latest Massage Mag post which details a recent study on the correlation between the well being of a fetus in utero and the use of relaxation techniques and guided imagery. According to the study, those unborn babies in the group of women practicing these alternative healing methods had changes to their heart rates indicative of good fetal conditioning.
“Generally, high long-term variation and high short-term variation of the [fetal heart rate] indicate good fetal condition,” state the study’s authors.
Results of the research revealed no significant differences among the three groups in terms of fetal behavioral states, fetal heart rate or fetal body movements throughout the study period.
However, the two intervention groups did have higher long-term variation of fetal heart rate during and 10 minutes after relaxation, as compared to the control group. Fetuses of mothers in the guided imagery group showed a trend toward higher short-term fetal heart rate than the fetuses of mothers in the progressive relaxation group. Additionally, more fetal heart rate acceleration could be seen among the fetuses in the control group as compared to the two intervention groups.
Read more on this study using meditation techniques like guided imagery and relaxation to positively affect an unborn baby’s health here.