Updated: Nov 24, 2022
It's 4.30 am, my little 10-week-old earth angel Mira is asleep, draped across my shoulder after an early morning feeding, balancing awkwardly, precariously, and perfectly like only a newborn who wants to be close to her mama can. Closing my eyes and holding her close, feeling equal parts exhaustion and peace, I am overcome with joy and unconditional love for this little being - so much love - so deep, pure, boundless, and expansive - I am overwhelmed to tears by just how powerful this force and feeling is. It is in these little moments where I am reminded of how deeply spiritual motherhood truly is - just how awesome, nourishing, healing, transformative and magical it is if we allow it to be.
The motherhood journey is beautiful, sacred, and deeply spiritual – and yet our modern lives and societies have stripped away much of the magic and divinity from one of the most potent forms of creation and manifestation in the universe - conceiving, growing, birthing, and guiding new life into this world. We are misdirected from trusting our bodies and our intuition, which can leave us feeling fearful, alone, misinformed, and disempowered. Where communities once banded together to celebrate, support, and raise new life - including caring for and exalting new mamas - we are often forced to figure it out and manage on our own, with limited support, networks, and the space to do the exhausting but crucial work of raising the next generation of human beings.
But our bodies possess divine intelligence,
our feelings and emotions are our teachers and guides,
our intuition is connected to universal source consciousness,
and our desire to connect, share and care from a place of unconditional love is exactly what makes us human.
Spirituality and spiritual rituals for pregnancy can help us to remember the divine wisdom, power, and intelligence of our body-mind-spirit, reconnecting us to ourselves, our babies, and our communities so that we can fully awaken, embrace, trust and surrender to the awe, magic, and mystery of motherhood.
My personal spiritual practice is deeply interwoven into my earthly existence, and I wanted to bring the same holistic approach to my motherhood journey. From acupuncture, creating a birth altar and daily yoga practices, to meditation, mama retreats and cacao -> there are so many beautiful and simple ways you can weave more spirituality into your motherhood journey. Below I share my top 5!
(1) Mindful Movement
Mindful movement is any kind of movement practice that is done in a conscious, aware, and embodied manner. Whether it be yoga, tai chi, ecstatic dance, or walking, these practices not only help to prepare your body physically for pregnancy, birth and postpartum but are also excellent tools in helping to calm and center the mind and moving emotions that might be stored or trapped in the body. Mindful movement brings you into the present moment, by focusing on the breath and bringing awareness to the feelings and sensations present in our body. When we are aware of and connected to our bodies, we can soften, trust, and surrender more fully and deeply, knowing that the divine intelligence of the body is here to help us through all parts of our motherhood journey.
During my pregnancy, I had a daily mama yoga practice and walks in nature. I also danced a lot! My yoga practice really helped me connect body with breath, which was so empowering and energizing during my labor and delivery. It helped me when I really needed to dig deep, be present and give myself over to my body to bring my baby into this world. My nature walks helped to calm my mind and my heart which gave me a lot of inner peace and serenity. And dancing just brought me so much joy, energy and aliveness throughout my pregnancy and post-partum period. it was so freeing and a great release, especially when I was feeling fear, frustration, or stagnation.
Any movement can be done mindfully, so find what works and feels good for you and see if you can bring more breath and awareness to your practice. Some simple ways to start: turn on a favorite song, close your eyes, start to move, and feel what is alive and happening in your body; take a walk alone in the forest without your phone, or find a pre- or post-natal yoga class.
Motherhood is an incredibly powerful and equally vulnerable time – one of transition and transformation. Who we are, our values, beliefs, and the gifts we have and are here to share with the world will all inform who we will become, as mothers, parents and partners in the future. Whether it is meditation, journaling, or some form of therapy, coaching or mentorship, a regular self-reflection practice allows us to connect and get to know ourselves better on a deeper level. They allow us to become aware of and begin to heal the patterns, conditioning and limiting beliefs that might be blocking us from living in alignment with our true authentic nature and our very essence. They can help us illuminate, accept, and integrate the light, dark and shadow aspects of ourselves that make us whole, which is so important as we prepare to bring new life into the world and all of the responsibility that comes with it.
I was fortunate to be working with a beautiful mentor during my pregnancy. Through guided meditation, movement, and embodiment work, she helped me to work through some of my fears around pregnancy - particularly around death, illness, and uncertainty - as well as connecting with my deep primal nature – all of which helped me to trust myself, my body, and my intuition more and to surrender to the mystery of the unknown.
I also shared my fears, doubts, questions, and concerns with my partner regularly, which I believe is really important so we can be fully seen and supported by our partners who are on this journey with us. We also shared stories on how we were raised, our ideas about parenting and how we want to raise our daughter, bringing us closer together not only as (future) parents but as partners as well.
You can start simple by writing out your thoughts and feelings in a journal – how are you feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally in this moment? Just write from the heart. We have so much happening in our minds and that can cause a lot of noise – writing it out and sharing is an easy way to name what is going on and alive within you and gives you a place to start exploring further. Starting this practice during pregnancy can help tremendously in the post-partum period, when the reality and responsibility of motherhood hits us, and it becomes even more important to reflect and share with people we love and trust so we can receive the support we need.
(3) Holistic Healing
Holistic healing is any kind of healing practice that treats the wholeness of your being – on a physical, mental, emotional and spirit level. The motherhood journey is so much more than a simply physical one – and it is often in these other layers and aspects of our self that need love, attention, support, and healing, whether it be from trauma, conditioning, limiting beliefs or blockages. Massage, acupuncture, reiki energy, crystal healing and sound baths are a few beautiful holistic healing modalities.
Acupuncture was and remains key for me throughout my pregnancy and post-partum period. I had regular acupuncture sessions prior to my pregnancy to help re-balance my hormones. When my partner and I decided we wanted to try to conceive, my acupuncturist used specific protocols applied just prior to my ovulation to aid my fertility (and after three sessions I was pregnant!) I continued to see my acupuncturist throughout my pregnancy for relaxation. And from week 35 on, another protocol was applied that helped soften and open my cervix and prepare me for labor -> I went into labor the day after my acupuncture session in week 36 and the overall delivery was fast and the surges manageable (and I am convinced the acupuncture played an important role!). I continue to go to sessions in post-partum, helping me to ground and restore my energy and rebalance my hormones.
There are many alternative healing modalities out there and it is important to do proper research, get good recommendations and always consult with your primary care physician and midwife prior to doing any sessions to ensure you keep yourself and your baby safe and healthy.
(4) Sacred Rituals & Ceremonies
Sacred rituals and ceremonies, sequences of activities combining actions, objects, words, and gestures often performed at a special occasion, are powerful ways to bring deep connection to the self and the collective. They are an opportunity to celebrate, give thanks, ask for guidance, and manifest our desires. From creating your own birth altar or drawing a ritual bath infused with herbs and crystals to slowly and mindfully sipping a cup of cacao or having a birth or baby ceremony, sacred rituals and ceremonies offer an opportunity to pause give thanks and call in the gifts and guidance we are seeking from a source much greater than ourselves.
To prepare for the labor and birth of our daughter I created a birth altar, adorned with supportive and healing crystals, offerings of water and chocolate, a candle, incense, and letters from loved ones. I sat with eyes clos