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from the book. . .

page 189, CONCLUSION


“This book is designed to help you spend more time in this moment, whether with your baby, at work, with your partner, or walking down the street. Even with only a little practice each day, you can develop the skill of mindful awareness —learning to observe all the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that come and go in an endlessly flowing river of experiences, both as a mother and in the rest of your life. And as you become more aware of awareness itself, of the vast and limitless space in which all of your experiences happen, you may begin to find a sense of peace and well-being that is not dependent on circumstances. This awareness is who you are. You are the one who is aware of all the contents of your experience—each time you hear the baby coo or cry, each time tears well up within you, each time your heart swells with joy at the sight of your healthy, happy baby —you are the one who knows all this is happening. And when you locate yourself in this knowing more and more, it can make all the difference.”

 

About Mindful Motherhood

Mindful Motherhood is an educational program developed specifically for pregnant women and new moms. It teaches a set of practices and ways of being based upon the principles of mindfulness.


Mindfulness is a practice of being aware of your experience, from moment to moment, allowing it to be just as it is without evaluation or judgment. Over time, mindful awareness of your experiences as a mom, whether they are internal (mental, physical, or emotional) or external (situations with your baby or others), allows you to more and more often approach each experience with curiosity and compassion, for yourself and for others.


Mindful awareness recognizes that each experience is temporary, and with practice, you can learn to ride the waves of everyday life, allowing each one to arise, peak, and pass away, as all experiences do. Mindful awareness can help you notice and derive greater enjoyment from the simple, subtle pleasures of life as a mom – the way the light shines on your little one’s fuzzy head, or the grasp of his hand on your finger - no matter what else may be going on.


The Mindful Motherhood training uses several approaches to integrating mindful awareness into everyday life as a mom, teaching practices like mindful awareness of breathing, mindful awareness of the body, and mindful movement in the form of the Mindful Motherhood yoga series. In addition to these practices, Mindful Motherhood translates theories of mother-infant bonding, child development and the science of well-being, particularly as they relate to mindfulness, into easily accessible concepts that you can integrate into your everyday life during pregnancy and early motherhood.



Mindful Motherhood shows how the fundamental principles of mindfulness such as acceptance, nonjudging, beginner’s mind, and present-moment focus can be applied to the experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood. And most of all, the Mindful Motherhood training is about finding realistic ways that mindful awareness can be gently and compassionately woven throughout the fabric of each day, since the last thing most moms need is something else to put on their to-do list!


Mindful Motherhood is a way of approaching the ups and downs of pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood with open eyes and an open heart. While it may sound simple, for most mothers it’s not easy. It involves learning new skills and seeing the world in a new way.

With practice over time you are more and more often able to meet what is happening as it is and to make a choice about how to respond that is based on the actual situation and your values, rather than reacting unconsciously or habitually. Each time you do this, you very literally transmit that capacity to your child. Your baby senses that he is safe, that you are solid, and that his own overwhelming experiences are not overwhelming you. Your capacity to remain present and connected lays the groundwork for your baby developing a strong and secure sense of self.

“Mindful Motherhood contains what so many other parenting books omit: the consoling information that each mother has the ability to know, deep within, how to care for her child. Mindful Motherhood is a gem."
    — Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom