I Tried a Meditation App to Shift My Mindset During Pregnancy—And Here’s What Happened
Meditation is quickly making its way into people’s wellness routines—being used as a tool to treat everything from sleep issues to stress and anxiety. And while the practice isn’t new to me, I had no idea how big of a role it’d play in my fertility journey.
You see, once I finally decided I was ready to have a baby (ahem, hubby had been ready since our honeymoon), I was all in. I wanted to be pregnant right away. What I didn’t realize is that it can take time, patience and a whole lot of waiting.
After six months of trying to conceive with negative pregnancy tests, we finally got the two pink lines we’d been praying for. We were going to be parents… and we were ecstatic! Unfortunately, the celebrations quickly ended in an early miscarriage, and we found ourselves right back to square one.
My Problem: Anxiety Around Pregnancy
The whole trying-to-conceive journey can be full of many emotions, and after my miscarriage, my anxiety went into over-drive. While I tried to stay positive and tell myself, “It’ll happen when it’s our time,” it was hard to shake those feelings of hopelessness, grief and fear.
Friends and family would try to help by saying things like “It just wasn’t meant to be,” or “It’ll happen when you stop trying,” but at the time those words went right through me—I didn’t want to hear it.
In that moment, I knew I needed to stop listening to everyone else and go inward; it was time to quiet my mind and focus on me.
My Solution: Expectful, a Meditation App for Fertility and Pregnancy
A friend told me about Expectful, a meditation app for fertility and pregnancy, so I downloaded it right away and signed up for a free trial. I figured, what do I have to lose?
Once you create your account, you choose which phase you’re in—ranging from preparing to conceive, pregnancy and motherhood. Since I was deep into the trying to conceive phase, I chose “preparing to conceive” and was quickly greeted with a slew of meditation options.
I love that each meditation is catered to your journey, carefully crafted by a team of hypnotherapists and meditation experts. As stated on their website, they’re “creating a world in which meditation is as common as prenatal vitamins”—and I was here for it.
Each and every day, I vowed to make time to meditate, even if just for 10 minutes. I loved the variety of topics, particularly those focused on overcoming challenges (like a personal favorite, “Moving Past Fear”).
Meditation quickly became a favorite part of my day, and I enjoyed taking a mindful moment to myself to wake up my body or quiet my mind before bed. Each week, I became less consumed by the pressure of getting pregnant, and slowly began to trust my body more and more.
The Results: A Healthy & Mindful Pregnancy
After three months of daily meditation with Expectful, I found out we were pregnant again! Needless to say, we were overjoyed to start our family of three, but I knew my journey didn’t end here. In fact, it was just the beginning.
After confirming the pregnancy with my doctor and lots of celebrating, I gleefully switched the Expectful app over to “First Trimester” and got right back into my daily dose of meditation. My go to were “Preparing for Sleep,” “Trusting the Body,” “Connection” and “Beginning the Day.”
During this time, my meditation practice was monumental. While I knew I couldn’t control the changes in my body—including the three months of severe “morning” sickness that actually lasted all day—I knew I could control my mindset. And making time to meditate was a huge piece of the puzzle in staying positive throughout my pregnancy.
Turns out, it’s doesn’t just feel good; science shows meditation during pregnancy can reduce stress and anxiety, increase connection, promote a healthy pregnancy and even reduce pain during labor. Score!
Whenever I felt overly fatigued, worried or just plain old sick, Expectful was there for me—right by my side through thick and thin. During the early days when I couldn’t yet feel those reassuring kicks, the app helped me develop a bond with my growing baby girl through breath work and visualization.
And during those last few weeks when I started to get a little impatient (it was a hot summer and I was carrying around a watermelon-sized bump), Expectful reminded me to slow down, breathe and be in the present.
Now that my busy baby girl is almost one, I’ll admit I don’t make as much time to meditate these days. However, I’ve realized that everyone has the time to quiet their mind—and it all starts with a simple breath. Expectful gave me that time, which was the greatest gift I could have asked for during my journey.
Want more anxiety-relieving tips? Check out these 9 ways to implement mindfulness at home, or this guide to practicing mindfulness without meditation.