Mindfulness training helps during pregnancy in so many ways and researchers uncover new benefits to this body-mind training technique every day. A group of scientists has discovered that mindfulness training reduces the urge to smoke. This research could help millions of women quit smoking during pregnancy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that smoking is, “one of the most common preventable causes of infant morbidity and mortality.” Cigarette smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for serious complications, such as preterm delivery and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Smoking before conception can also reduce fertility and cause conception delay.
A study published in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that smokers who received a type of mindfulness training known as Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT), cut back on smoking by 60 percent. IBMT involves whole body relaxation, mental imagery, and mindfulness training led by a qualified coach. In this case, the technique works by addressing the areas of the brain that control addiction – IBMT reduces the cravings associated with addiction. Most of the participants did not even realize they were smoking less until they saw the results of a lab test that measures exhaled carbon monoxide levels.
Mindfulness training can help a woman quit smoking before and during pregnancy without causing her to feel the stress of cravings. Stress and negative moods during pregnancy and postpartum can cause preterm birth, low birth weight, complications, and can increase the risk for postpartum depression. Mindfulness training before and during pregnancy can ease stress, decrease depression, and reduce pain during labor and delivery.
Any woman trying to become pregnant or is already pregnant can participate in mindfulness training. This technique is effective for first-time mothers or for women who already have children at home. Reduce second-hand smoke, increase fertility, and improve birth outcomes by using mindfulness training techniques every day.
- University of Oregon. "Mindfulness meditation trims craving for tobacco: 60% reduction in smoking." ScienceDaily, 11 Aug. 2013. Web. 14 Aug. 2013.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PRAMS and Smoking. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2012.
- Yi-Yuan Tang, Rongxiang Tang, and Michael I. Posner. Brief meditation training induces smoking reduction. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print August 5, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1311887110