Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond

Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond

by Nancy Bardacke
Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond

Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond

by Nancy Bardacke


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With Mindful Birthing, Nancy Bardacke, nurse-midwife and mindfulness teacher, lays out her innovative program for pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, mindfulness meditation, and mind/body medicine, Bardacke offers practices that will help you find calm and ease during this life-changing time, providing lifelong skills for healthy living and wise parenting.


  • Increases confidence and decreases fear of childbirth
  • Taps into deep inner resources for working with pain
  • Improves couple communication, connection, and cooperation
  • Provides stress-reducing skills for greater joy and wellbeing

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061963957
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 07/10/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 117,913
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

Nancy Bardacke, RN, CNM, MA, is the founding director of the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) program, which she currently leads at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She is also an assistant clinical professor in the UCSF School of Nursing.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword xvii

Introduction 1

1 Everything's Changing! 7

2 Inner Preparation for Childbirth and Beyond 17

3 The World in a Raisin 31

4 The Breath: A Friend for Life 43

5 Practicing Embodiment: The Body Scan 57

6 The Dynamic Duo: Pain and Fear 67

7 Mindfulness Practices for Being with Pain 115

8 The Yoga of Childbirth 137

9 Deepening and Expanding Your Practice: Sitting Meditation 153

10 When You're Walking, Just Walk; When You're Birthing, Just Birth 163

11 Mindfulness in Everyday Life 171

12 A Day of Mindfulness Practice 179

13 Befriending: Mindfulness in Relationship 189

14 It's All About Kindness 203

15 Loss, Grief, and Healing Through Mindfulness Practice 219

16 Causes and Conditions: Navigating What Is 225

17 Your Baby, Your Mindfulness Teacher 253

18 Breastfeeding: A Dance of Connection 269

19 Endings and Beginnings: A Last Class 281

20 Life After Birth: A Reunion 291

21 Birthing a Mindfulness Practice 299

Epilogue 317

Appendix A Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) and Integrative Medicine: A Little More Background 321

Appendix B Resources 329

Appendix C Pleasant and Unpleasant Events Calendars 335

Appendix D Mindfulness Practices 341

Notes 343

Credits 349

Index 351

About the Author 361

What People are Saying About This

Tim Ryan

Mindful Birthing recognizes that no factor is more significant for our national health than how our children are born and raised. Nancy Bardacke offers a vision for how everyone involved in birth and parenting can act with utmost care. Let’s make this required reading in medical education.

Sharon S. Rising

“In Mindful Birthing, science, story, and skill-building are woven together seamlessly engaging the reader to pay attention to the breath and stay in the moment, fully experiencing happiness and joy as well as fear and pain. Expectant mothers and their partners can just “be”. What a gift!”

Mark Williams

“Combining ancient wisdom and modern evidence-based science, the practices in this book will change your life. A must-buy for expectant parents, for midwives and other professionals involved in birthing, and also for any of us who want a glimpse of what great mindfulness teaching can offer us.”

Tekoa L. King

“Until Mindful Birthing, good techniques for helping you experience the unpredictable changes of pregnancy and birth with resilience have not been available. Using the mindfulness techniques in this book, the process of pregnancy, birth, and parenting is transformed from a series of stressful changes to a joyful journey.” -

Barry Boyce

Mindful Birthing is a lovely book. It makes you think and it makes you cry. Give it to any one you know about to give birth. It will change the parents’ life—and the life of their child.”

Andrew Weil

“Bringing mindfulness to the birthing process has everything to recommend it: it can reduce fear and stress and make the experience more rewarding for all involved. All that’s required is to practice the techniques that Nancy Bardacke explains so clearly in this book.

Sarah Wilson

“As a mother to be, I learned to mindfully embrace the uncertainties of birth and parenting through Nancy’s teachings. As an obstetrician, I felt inspired to integrate these methods into my practice. This is at the top of my recommended reading list for all of my patients.”

Douglas W. Laube

“Mindful Birthing develops a unique blend of meditation, yoga and scientific information into a user friendly approach to maternity care and life changes after childbirth. It is a practical way to approach the many potential technologic intrusions that are so much a part of modern day obstetrics.” -

Patricia A. Robertson

“Mindful Birthing is a unique, positive and welcome contribution to the world of birthing. I highly recommend this book to all pregnant women.”

Sharon Salzberg

“This book gives parents and parents to be the tools they need to meet their experience with honesty, compassion, and kindness. A truly valuable resource.”

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