Paperback isbn: 9781914110245
Publication Date: June 12th 2023
References and Further Reading
Giving birth is often compared to a marathon, a long journey that requires grit, endurance, pacing and patience, pain management and motivation to stay on track. Despite the wealth of information that is available, women and their birth partner don’t always feel prepared for the diversions that could come up on the maternity journey.
Now imagine how sport psychology could help you?
Dr Carla Meijen explains how pregnant women can use mental strategies commonly adopted by sports people to help focus on their strengths to see the childbirth experience as a positive challenge, not a threat.
Dr Meijen outlines the basic principles of sport and endurance psychology and shows how these principles can be applied to the pregnancy, birth, and post-partum experience. You will learn what approaching this experience as a positive challenge could look like, by drawing on and adding to what you already have in your mental skills toolbox, potentially without even knowing it.
Psychological strategies covered in the book include setting and adapting goals, imagery, self-talk, breathing and mindfulness-based strategies, engaging your social support network, as well as focus strategies such as routines.
In the book Carla draws from interviews with Olympians, world champions, personal trainers, as well as non-competitive exercisers, to give an insight how women from a wide range of backgrounds have benefitted from sport psychology during labour.
You don’t need to be a champion athlete or be involved in competitive sport to use the many benefits of sport psychology. Pregnancy and the post-partum period can be a rollercoaster and this book is aimed at helping you develop and learn about mental strategies to empower yourself during the maternity journey and beyond.
Dr Carla Meijen is an accredited sport psychologist with the British Psychological Society and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, and she works as an Associate Professor in Applied Sport Psychology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. In her research she focuses on the mental demands of endurance performance, stress and emotions in sport and how to turn pressure in a positive challenge. Dr Meijen has provided expert analysis for publications including the New York Times, Runners World, The Sunday Times Magazine, Cycling Weekly, and the BBC. Carla is a mother and lives with her family in London.
Photo credit: Sarah McKenna-Ayers, St Mary’s University/Tiger Bean Media