Book Review: Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year
By Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D.
New Harbinger, 2009
200 pages, softcover, $16.95
Reviewed by Molly Remer, MSW, CCCE
Written for pregnant women and for mothers embroiled in the intense rite of passage that is baby’s first year, Mindful Motherhood is a practical and simple guide to the practice of mindfulness during everyday life. “Mindfulness is moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness of your present-moment experience…so that you can be connected to your baby even in times of distress, be less overwhelmed by distressing emotions and less caught up in negative thought patterns, and enjoy the simple pleasures that suffuse each day of being a mom.”
The book is composed of many small chapters each containing a 5-10 minute exercise readily incorporated into daily life with a baby. It also includes a line-drawing illustrated “mindful motherhood yoga series” of gentle, basic poses, which are an excellent prelude to meditation.
Mindful Motherhood is rooted in attentiveness to needs of the child, present moment awareness—whether comfortable or uncomfortable—and radical self-compassion. “Mindful motherhood, above all, is a way of approaching your experiences during pregnancy and early motherhood with gentleness and friendliness.” The author models this gentle and friendly approach throughout the accessible, supportive, and important guide. What a lovely gift for a woman approaching new motherhood, or for any mother seeking to explore present-moment awareness in everyday life!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.