Having a baby is an amazing, wonderful thing, but we know that the journey from pregnancy to childbirth can feel a bit scary and stressful at times; this is where pregnancy meditation can be a gamechanger. In fact, did you know that oxytocin, one of the essential hormones in labour and the release of breastmilk, is easily interrupted by an increase in cortisol, our stress hormone?
Meditation has become incredibly trendy over the last few years, but research has shown that it's a proven stress-reliever. In addition, research has shown that practising meditation and choosing a mindfulness pregnancy can help ease childbirth fears, as well as reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety once your little one is here. Not only that, but other studies have also shown that pregnancy mediation can positively influence your baby's temperament once they've arrived! How amazing is that?
In addition, meditation helps to build healthy sleep habits for your little one and healthy sleep habits, happy child! These healthy habits stay with your baby as they grow older and help them to have the best start.
Not sure where to start with a mindfulness pregnancy? Or what might be the best form of pregnancy meditation for you? Then you're in luck! Below, we've put together our favourite pregnancy meditation techniques, as well as 20 of our favourite meditation apps.
Pregnancy meditation techniques
Deep belly meditation
Place your hands on your belly, cradling your baby. Focus on what you can feel beneath your hands. Do you feel warmth, any movement from your baby? Breathe slowly, in and out. If you find your mind wandering, breathe deeper into your belly. If you find that a thought pops up, imagine it floating away like a cloud in the sky. Start by doing this for five minutes every day and increase your time gradually each week. At first, you might feel silly, self-conscious or find yourself with a mind full of thoughts, but over time it'll become easier.
Mantra and affirmation
Our words are powerful. When we say something out loud, it affects our consciousness, and we believe in it. Try saying something like 'Strong mama' or 'Breathe for baby' when you're struggling. This helps you focus on what this is all for, and the same mantra can be used during labour or challenging times during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy meditation apps
If you're a beginner, or you just prefer an instructor or narrator to take the lead and guide you through a meditation, then an app will be perfect for you. Below we've put together a list of our favourite pregnancy meditation apps.
Our Favourite Pregnancy Meditation Apps to Help Relax You and Your Baby
If you're new to meditation and you're looking to dip your toe in for the first time to find some calm, then Headspace could be perfect for you. It has a warm and welcoming design, sleep casts and night-time meditations, as well as ten essential meditation sessions to kick off with. There's also a 30-minute meditation Pregnancy Pack, as well as guided meditations for children as young as three.
Head to the Headspace website to find out more.
With over 1,000 short meditations, Simple Habit is a mindfulness habit that supports busy people, and who could be busier than new parents?
The different meditations are organised by topics like Women's Interest, Family & Kids, Sleep & Stress – you can even search for 'mum', and you'll get lots of meditation options for mindfulness pregnancy, patient parenting, and healthy pregnancy. Plus, you can choose a meditation session by how much time you have.
You can also set a reminder to meditate and keep track of how much time you've spent meditating—making it easier to prioritise your self-care and stress relief!
Head to the Simple Habit website to find out more.
Mind the Bump
We love Mind the Bump for mums-to-be, which is a collaboration between two Australian mindfulness and mental health organisations. Their goal was to give new parents the choice to see more clearly and deal more skilfully with the pressures of being new or expectant parents.
On Mind the Bump, both parents can find calm and clear their minds with tailored and short meditations (none of the meditations are longer than 13 minutes!). They're with you every step of the way from the very first day of finding out you're expecting your little one's second birthday.
Their meditations are categorised by the stage of parenthood you're in and the type of meditation. For example, if you're in your first trimester, you could choose a guided meditation to help you to get comfortable with your changing body. We also love the Informal Practices, which are little suggestions and tips on having a mindfulness pregnancy.
Head to the Mind the Bump website to find out more.
Created back in 2017, Expectful is an excellent meditation app with something for mums at every stage, from those trying to conceive to those in the trenches with teething toddlers! All meditations have been created thoughtfully by a team of psychologists, hypnotherapists, and sound engineers with mums in mind.
We love how Expectful isn't your standard meditation app, it even has meditations and practises specially curated for focusing on forgiving judgement and how to deal with unsolicited advice that comes with pregnancy, so it's a well-rounded app!
The narrator sounds like your best friend or older sister who's guiding you through. It's very relatable and easy to listen to.
Head to the Expectful website to find out more.
This one isn't specifically a pregnancy meditation app, but we think it's one of the best free meditation apps out there! It's absolutely packed with around 12,000 guided meditations, and you can search through them based on your goals, duration, your experience level and even bookmark your favourite sessions.
There's plenty of parent and pregnancy-focused meditations, and you simply need to follow 'interests' such as Pregnancy & Fertility, Mindfulness Pregnancy and Parenting to home in on them. Or use the search feature.
Head to the Insight Timer website to find out more.
Sanity & Self
As a new parent, you're going to be an expert multitasker, so it makes total sense that the apps you use would be a multitasker too! Sanity & Self isn't just a meditation app; it's a wellness app with videos and fitness sessions. It can even give you a little pep talk about self-doubt. Plus, there's also a section of the app that is a private journal just for you and a mum's area in the community section so you can chat with those in a similar situation to you.
Head to the Sanity & Self website to find out more.
Similar to Headspace, Calm isn't only for new parents, but it's a fantastic mindfulness app with thousands of meditations on it. Whether you're a beginner or experienced with meditation and mindfulness, there's bound to be sessions to suit you. Plus, choose sessions from as little as three minutes to a maximum of 25 minutes.
As well as guided meditation, Calm offers breathing exercises, restorative nature sounds, and you can customise your screen to optimise your zen. Not a meditation, but Calm also offers bedtime stories for adults read by famous storytellers, like Stephen Fry.
Head to the Calm website to find out more.
Created by a midwife and yoga teacher, YogiBirth has a fantastic range of features and guided pregnancy meditations. In this one app, you have access to Midwife-led yoga classes, breathing exercises to calm the mind, pregnancy & childbirth education, and advice for birth partners too.
We also love YogiBirth because they donate a percentage of their profits each year to support pregnancy-related mental health charities.
Head to the YogiBirth website to find out more.
What's excellent about GentleBirth is that it has guided meditations for every week of your pregnancy and the postpartum period as well. Plus, it has breathing techniques and positive affirmations.
It's effortless to use with support for every stage of pregnancy and every type of birth from caesarean to twins, and whether or not you choose pain relief.
Head to the GentleBirth website to find out more.
Stop, Breathe & Think
Once you open Stop, Breathe & Think, you're greeted with a friendly cloud that asks, 'how are you?'. And you're encouraged to check in with your physical and emotional wellbeing actively; you can rate how you're feeling on a scale of great to rough. Plus, you can select little face icons to represent your mood. Based on this wellbeing check-in, you'll be recommended meditations to suit your needs. If you don't want to check in every time, you can just set a meditation timer and find your zen instead.
There are about 30 free meditations, with the longest being around 11 minutes.
Head to the Stop, Breathe & Think website to find out more.
The Positive Birthing Company has designed Freya, and it's an app specifically for labour. It helps you time your contractions and offers guided meditations and hypnobirthing breathing techniques to help you relax during birth.
The app will coach you through each contraction with a simple breathing technique. As well as helping you to relax in between with positive affirmations, calming visualisations and guided meditations. The more relaxed you are, the more efficient and comfortable your labour.
Head to the Freya website to find out more.
The Calm Birth app is super simple, but there's where it excels. It's just three meditation sessions designed to support parents-to-be throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
The Calm Birth organisation has been training pregnancy meditation practitioners since 2005, and childbirth educators widely endorse it. We think their app is one of the best free apps around that's solely dedicated to expectant parents and labour.
It's straightforward to navigate, and the three meditations are perfect. Breathe is a 14 minutes long meditation that helps expectant mothers to find energy for themselves and baby. Rest is a body-awareness meditation that can be practised with a partner. Finally, there's Heal, which is 13 minutes and is a breathing meditation that is all about compassion and healing.
Head to the Calm Birth website to find out more.
A bit different to your traditional meditation app, Sway uses the motion sensors in your phone to guide you through movement-based meditations. You're guided through slow, continual, and deliberate movements whilst it plays soothing sounds. Sway is all about retaining focus, and if you lose focus, Sway helps you recalibrate and come back to the movement.
When you're finished, there's a gentle chime, and you're congratulated on completing your daily meditation. It's almost like a video game for zen with six levels of mindfulness. If you skip a day, you're knocked back a level.
Head to the Sway website to find out more.
Mindful Mamas has a meditation for pretty much your entire journey as a parent covered, with meditation sessions for trying to conceive, all the way up to parenting teenagers.
There's a lovely pregnancy series to work through and links up with your pregnancy trimesters. In addition, there's also a dedicated playlist for labour and birth.
Head to the Mindful Mamas website to find out more.
So much more than just a pregnancy meditation app, Baby2Body encourages a mindful pregnancy with a whole feast of wellness features. It's just like having a meditation practitioner, personal trainer, nutritionist, and wellness coach in the palm of your hand.
As well as meditation, Baby2Body offers a daily workout that you can do from home that is tied to your fitness level and what stage in your pregnancy you are at. An extra bonus – it comes with helpful nutritional advice too.
Head to the Baby2Body website to find out more.
We love Meditation Studio because it's an absolute treasure trove of meditations for everyone in the family, with a collection specifically for mums and even a children's meditation collection available!
Plus, the pencil-doodle design of Meditation Studio might be enough to fill you with zen. You can browse by collections or theme, for example, Be Healthy.
Head to the Meditation Studio website to find out more.
My Mindful Midwife
If you're hoping to stay as present as possible during this amazing time and have a mindfulness pregnancy, then My Mindful Midwife could be the app for you. As well as guided meditation and relaxation sessions, My Mindful Midwife also allows you to track your pregnancy in the same place.
What we love about this app is that it's been created by Anneke, a practising midwife, and Emilia, a hypnobirthing instructor, so you know that it's been created by experts who work with parents like you every day.
Head to the My Mindful Midwife website to find out more.
Anxiety Solution: Calmer You
Whilst this app isn't explicitly aimed at pregnancy meditation or expecting parents, it's an excellent app if you struggle with anxiety or stress. Plus, it has a digital gratitude diary which can be wonderful as a reminder of all the good things in our lives when things are feeling a bit overwhelming.
The app has over 70 sessions covering mindfulness, meditation, breathing tools, sleep stories, and fitness routines. We think it's perfect for meditation novices that may need a bit more support with their mindfulness journey.
What we particularly love about Anxiety Solution is that it has a 28-session course to help you understand and reduce your anxiety—using techniques such as mindfulness and cognitive behaviour therapy to help you tackle your anxiety.
Head to the Anxiety Solution: Calmer You website to find out more.
Portal: Escape into Nature
This app isn't your typical guided meditation app because it doesn't include any guided meditation at all! Instead, the app transports you around the world, helping them chill out with the assistance of some of nature's most relaxing sounds.
If you find nature soothing, then this mindfulness app could be the one for you. We found the calming scenes and nature sounds particularly relaxing for clearing a racing mind at night before bed, allowing us to drift off easily. So, if you struggle with a frantic mind and find your inner peace whilst in nature, Portal could help.
Head to the Portal: Escape into Nature website to find out more.
Another app that isn't solely for pregnancy meditation, but it's an excellent option if you've never tried meditation before and you want to give it a go.
With Balance, you're taken through the basics, using simple language and techniques that help you to focus on your breathing and your awareness. You can tailor your sessions to be just as short as three minutes, so you can always fit at least a short session into your day.
We also loved the skills sessions that take you through breath focus, breathing control and body scanning – all of which are essential skills for pregnancy and labour.
Head to the Balance website to find out more.
So, there you have it! Our 20 favourite meditation apps to help you to have a mindfulness pregnancy.
There are many proven benefits to meditation and mindfulness; it's stressbusting and can help you to control your breathing through pain or difficult situations. However, it's also an excellent way for you to find some time to yourself in your day and build in some self-care. Whichever pregnancy meditation app you go for, we hope it supports you in your journey and helps you to feel more mindful and present.