Medical Proof that Meditation Prior to Birth Reduces Fear and Discomfort in Labor

Jan 19, 2014

A December 2013 study by J Midwifery Women’s Health (published by the US National Library of Medicine) demonstrated that a skills based childbirth education which included mindfulness meditation was associated with improvements in women’s sense of control and confidence in giving birth. Low self-efficacy and high childbirth fear are linked to greater labor pain, stress reactivity, and trauma.

 At postnatal follow-up significant improvements were found in reduced anxiety, as well as lower stress, and less fear of birth. The study suggests the observed improvements in these variables have important implications for improving maternal mental health and associated child health outcomes.

 Beginning in January 2014, Northcenter’s premiere yoga and meditation center, Meditate, is offering a new combined Prenatal Yoga and Meditation Series to their extensive list of yoga and meditation classes. Expectant mothers have a haven in Chicago where they can benefit both body and mind through the term of their pregnancy.

“The study affirms what we have always taught,” said meditation instructor and owner, Andrew Shykofsky. “which is that addressing any anxieties around labor and childbirth consciously in advance of the delivery date in meditation leads to a less fear and less labor pain.”

Meditate initiated the series after realizing that many yoga studios offered prenatal yoga but none were offering prenatal meditation. Meditate’s Prenatal Yoga and Meditation Series consists of a 75 minute yoga class designed with the expectant mother in mind. The session includes attention to a conscious breathing practice, known as ujjayi(OO-JAI-YA), which teaches relaxed and controlled breathing similar to Lamaze, and continues with modified yoga poses aimed to prepare the body for labor while gently building strength and muscle tone.

Following the class, a 20 -30 minute guided meditation session will help the expectant mother cultivate inner relaxation as well as a deeper consciousness and connection with her baby, creating a healthy internal environment for the baby to grow. Guided creative visualization will also aid in helping the mother visualize a safe and smooth delivery.

Yoga mats will be available if needed and no special clothing is required for the meditation classes. Class size is limited to 12 per class so interested attendees are encouraged to reserve their spot by calling (773) 472-9642 or emailing A list of the new, expanded winter classes, including the prenatal yoga and mediation series, can be found at

When:           Sundays, 1:00 pm  — 2:45 pm

Where:        Meditate Yoga and Meditation Center
4237 N. Lincoln Ave between Montrose Ave and Irving Park
Public Transportation: Damen Bus #50 and Western Brown line
Cost:           $99 for 4 sessions

Attendees can register for classes by calling (773) 472-9642 or emailing