Childbirth Meditation and Advanced Natural Childbirth

By Newman, Robert | Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Childbirth Meditation and Advanced Natural Childbirth


Newman, Robert, Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health


ABSTRACT: Meditation, childbirth meditation, and advanced natural childbirth are defined. The medical paradigm has been expanding, allowing meditation to be seen as an increasing medical and psychological resource in the West. This has resulted in inevitable influence on childbirth. The physiological and psychological benefits of meditation pertaining to pregnant women who meditate are described. Research on the various meditation hormonal benefits and immune enhancement is summarized. The benefits of meditation impacting the labor process are described. An expanded vision of childbirth anatomy is described in the context of meditation methods designed specifically for childbirth. Directions for childbirth meditation research are discussed.

KEY WORDS: Discipline, DHEA, Endorphines, Enrichment, Meditation, Melatonin, Serotonin, Visualization.

INTRODUCTION

Both the words medicine and meditation come from the Latin word mederi, which means "to cure" (Kabat-Zinn, 1990, p. 163). Meditation is a consciousness discipline that enables practitioners to experience optimal levels of cognitive function and optimal levels of psychophysical health, normally blocked by the mind in its undisciplined activity. Meditation science is based on venerable traditions, primarily Buddhist and Hindu, and has extensive knowledge of short and long term benefits of proven methods transmitted in those traditions. Childbirth meditation is the practice of meditation as an enrichment method in prenatal care and as a valuable postnatal care method.

With the progressive increase of the presence of meditation traditions and traditionally trained meditation teachers in the West in the past 50 years, and with meditation now widely accepted as a valuable health enhancement factor, many thousands of women who practice meditation have experienced meditation benefits during pregnancy and delivery. Many women who are pregnant have had substantial experience of meditation from the various available traditions. Some women who have no experience of meditation seek meditation and yoga methods to benefit their pregnancies. Childbirth meditation is an important subject for research and may impact childbirth medicine.

Advanced natural childbirth refers to new childbirth methods in which meditation practices give women empowering new means to adhere to the principles of natural childbirth. In this article we will discuss specific advanced natural childbirth methods. In describing the method of Womb Breathing, we will discuss a new vision of childbirth anatomy that includes energy body anatomy.

GROWTH OF MEDITATION IN THE WEST

The presence of meditation in Western life in the post cold war era has become ubiquitous. "Meditation ... is fast appearing in unexpected places throughout modern American culture. Secretaries are doing it as part of their daily noon yoga classes. Preadolescent teenagers dropped off at the YMCA by their mothers on a Saturday morning are learning it as part of their karate training. Truck drivers and housewives in the Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center are practicing a combination of Hindu yoga and Buddhist insight meditation to control hypertension [and pain]. Star athletes prepare themselves for a demanding basketball game with centering techniques they learned in Zen" (Murphy, M., and Donovan, S., 1999, p. 1).

The increasing use of meditation in all aspects of medicine has been remarkable. Since the start of the landmark research at the Harvard University Medical School in the 1960s, and particularly since the advent of the medicine/meditation program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMMC) starting in 1979, meditation has been widely researched and used increasingly in medical applications. It is the sign of a vital shift in the medical paradigm. Until the late 20th century medical science was dominated by deterministic, physical evidence-based criteria (also called mechanical, material or physical medicine).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Childbirth Meditation and Advanced Natural Childbirth
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.