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26.08.2014
We asked the doctor’s advice on such important issues as how to give natural birth and create the best possible environment for maternal care. Modern medicine is based on good intentions: we want to save lives and intervene only when needed.
At first the medical experts sought to explain these results through certain changes in the population – babies have become bigger, mothers are increasingly overweight, women give birth at an older age, and so on. As a physician, I want to recommend to my patients only technologies and treatments that are scientifically proven. Those few hundred of my patients who were practicing TM during pregnancy had, as a rule, easier pregnancies, their labor was shorter, and they needed fewer interventions. What are the scientific findings that have prompted you to recommend this technique to your patients? We also know from neuroscience that stress promotes fragmented brain function – the brain starts to work in patches, responding to the most pressing emergency. TM meditation, on the other hand, promotes brain integration, the capacity of the brain to work as a whole. It is important for everyone to be able to deal with the ups and downs without damaging his or her physiology, but for a pregnant woman this is a whole new level of responsibility. Before brain imaging came about we did not know that the future of a child is decided very early, even before birth, and that the state of mind of the mother directly influences the child’s state of mind long after birth. It’s important to work on oneself already before giving birth – to gain confidence and have a feeling of safety, to have good support. The main message from you as a doctor is then that if you keep stress under control, nature will take care of everything else? Now, what is interesting is that the latter is not directly proportional to the physical amount of pain. So, in the context of giving birth, the physical sensation can be very intense, but it depends on how the brain metabolizes it whether it sets you to suffering and fear or stays at a sometimes very intense but yet tolerable sensation! So far the medical community has been focusing primarily on taking care of the objective aspect of pain with the almost routine use of narcotics and epidural analgesia. In any case the mother should always be at the center and in control of her care so that she makes all the decisions. It would be interesting to know how you first came across the Transcendental Meditation technique.
I saw an article in a scientific journal about Transcendental Meditation saying that the technique reduces cortisol levels and oxygen consumption, decreases stress, and provides deep rest that is even more effective than deep sleep! I also believe that TM almost immediately gave me the ability to better appreciate the simple and natural things of life that are the basis of true happiness and satisfaction.
The connection you create with your unborn child through pregnancy meditation is a life long gift of deeper bonding which last a lifetime. Depending on our mother's pregnancy experience, we can be positively and negatively affected physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually by our time in her womb! I have been shown how to directly infuse angelic healing energy into all my digital products so you feel it, so you experience it, so you connect with me and I with you, as if we are sitting in the same room together having a one on one healing experience.
Over the next few years I will focus my energy on making educational videos for you and in return I am asking you to write something on my blog. I would be very grateful if you pass my website address to your social media friends and contacts. I recently attended a seminar titled “Pregnancy, Hormonal Balance & the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Advantage” by Dr. The seminar aimed at increasing our awareness of the effects of stress on the delicate hormonal balances of an expectant mother. For centuries, women have been able to have normal deliveries.  In this modern era, childbirth can be assisted and eased through various interventions. The autonomous nervous system controls the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that produces most of the body’s hormones. Studies have shown a relationship between pre-natal stress and the cognitive, behavioural, and emotional development of the child.
The experience of stress is subjective.  Some mothers go through a very stressful event, yet the baby is not affected while other mothers experience low stress, but are very emotionally affected. At 32 weeks, the natural placenta barrier opens up, and cortisol passes freely from the mother to the baby. If the mother feels chronically stressed or threatened, the musculo-skeletal development of the baby will be emphasized.  If the mother is mostly calm and peaceful, the cerebral development of the baby will be emphasized.
Research has shown that TM significantly decreases the level of cortisol after only 4 months of regular practice. TM is an effortless meditation method popularized in North America by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. With regard to pain, practitioners of TM feel the same amount of pain as the general population, but they report less suffering. Q: Why is labor duration longer now than before if there are more resources to prepare women for childbirth?  50 years ago, women did not receive better education about delivery.


Q: Are there any studies about the effect of combining TM with hypnosis to facilitate labor?
Last Monday, the American Heart Association released a statement concerning hypertension and alternate therapies.
When checked, Shutterstock's safe search screens restricted content and excludes it from your search results. Guy-Paul Gagne is a medical doctor with 30 years of experience in the practice of obstetrics and gynecology.
Gagne, what are the most important issues for you in your work as a doctor, educator and researcher? However, in the past 20 years modern medical maternity care has gone somewhat overboard – doing too many interventions that sometimes probably create problems instead of solving them.
Women need to regain their confidence in their capacity to give birth in a natural and comfortable way. Guy-Paul Gagne: A few years ago researchers in the United States compared two groups of mothers – those who had delivered their babies 50 years ago with those who had done so more recently. But even after correcting for these variables, they could not account for all the differences.
For example, in the last 50 years, mothers have massively entered the workforce – and although this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it also creates tension and strain that may require some adjustments in order to favor better reproductive health. Guy-Paul Gagne: We know from modern research that mother and baby should be considered as one unit during pregnancy, and even for a while after birth.
It can lead to premature births, small-for-date births, longer labor, and more difficult and painful labor, thereby increasing the risk of needing medical interventions.
Which measures should then be taken to combat the harmful effects of stress on both mother and baby? Guy-Paul Gagne: Hospitals and birthing centers should adopt methods and policies that leave the mother in control of the process in a quiet, comfortable, and private environment where technology and drugs are used only to address real problems, never routinely. For example, we could say that mothers ideally should not be working during pregnancy in order to take maximum rest and that they should find the best midwife, doctor and birthing center, but this is not always possible. Over the years I became interested in the scientific research on Transcendental Meditation (TM).
Guy-Paul Gagne: We know from scientific studies that the Transcendental Meditation technique reduces the cortisol level in the bloodstream and creates a deep level of rest – that is very soothing for both mother and baby during pregnancy and labor. This fight or flight reaction was designed by nature to allow us to quickly escape from danger.
It’s the difference between getting caught in a detail and forgetting all the rest or being able to see the whole picture while engaging in a particular activity.
It’s a great responsibility that parents have – to want to give your child the ability to reach their full potential.
Guy-Paul Gagne: The expecting parents can certainly make choices, and there are a number of things they could do. Of all the scientifically researched stress management techniques to use before, during and after pregnancy, I would say that TM is by far the best one. Yet we might not be able to control all external triggers of stress – the ambience of the room, whether the mother feels accompanied and supported, whether there is trust towards the institution – and so it all starts from within.
Guy-Paul Gagne: Nature has provided every woman with everything that she needs to be a mother. The orchestra of hormones which normally would take you through the experience in a pleasant way is kicked out of its balance. Guy-Paul Gagne: This is an important topic because poor understanding of the nature of pain has given rise to a lot of fear and mismanagement of pain during labor. It rather depends on one’s mental state, and can thus be modified and greatly reduced by TM.
We did a meta-analysis on the use of non-drug pain management during labor and were able to show that if we first take care of the affective aspect of the pain, we greatly improve the outcome. However, despite their apparent efficacy, none of these techniques are without side effects, and they often trigger the need for other interventions. The problem with maternity care today is that most institutions, even if they claim to do so, in fact offer very few alternatives to drug intervention.
Guy-Paul Gagne: I was a young doctor in training during the late ’70s and beginning of the ’80s. I said to myself, “That’s exactly what I need!” So, in short, I learned TM because I wanted to improve my performance as a physician. Guy-Paul Gagne: I was immediately more effective in my work, which involves taking a lot of responsibility. Furthermore, it highlighted the responsibility of everyone in the support, protection, and nurture of pregnant women and their deliveries. The mother’s iiiimilk is subsequently awashed with endorphins, which has a calming effect on the breastfed baby. The baby is therefore communicating directly with the mother to find out about the safety level of her surroundings.


The average person is chronically stressed and has a higher stress baseline.  Over time, most people have less ability to respond to an actual threat.
This type of meditation is a process which involves a very specific way of using a mantra which takes advantage of the natural tendency of the mind to settle. It is practiced twice a day for twenty minutes in a seated position, and leads to the experience of restful alertness, which activates and strengthens the nervous system. The iiirelationship between the mother and the baby will be closer up to 3 months after the birth. Prolactin produced during this activity has a positive effect on the quality of sleep iiiof the mother. Click here to learn about Expectful, which offers various meditations for mothers.  This organization also provides support for couples and information on topics such as breastfeeding.
The stress felt by women has made labor and birth longer and more difficult, and it has produced a corresponding fear of childbirth in the medical community and in the general population. I had my first positive experience with Transcendental Meditation with my own family, and relying on the scientific evidence I started gradually recommending it to my patients as well. The research on the impact of TM on brain physiology and stress hormone production is so comprehensive that we can readily apply it.
Will she be able to keep the baby in skin-to-skin contact with her for the first two hours after birth and in the same room thereafter?
It’s the difference between having an integrated experience, a nice experience that flows naturally, or a disintegrated, fragmented one. It’s a very wise and complete system of managing the contractions and the progress of labor, production of milk, and creating the state of euphoria in the mother even if the sensations of labor are intense, easing both the birth and the process of bonding – attachment and love – between the mother and the baby. When the woman is not confident in her capacity to give birth comfortably and naturally, when she is not well prepared mentally, then stress and fear get in very quickly and soon we’ll be talking about the whole cascade of medical interventions. According to the scientific literature, pain has two components – the objective, physiological aspect called the sensory discriminative aspect that can be objectively measured, and the motivational-affective aspect of pain which represents the unpleasantness, the stress and the suffering felt subjectively.
There’s a study showing that after only 3 months of practice, meditation practitioners were having a 50% reduction in their affective interpretation of an acute objective pain signal. The labor is shortened, there is higher level of satisfaction, there is up to 60% reduction in caesarean sections, 21% more likelihood of avoiding forceps or vacuum. We have found that the best results in term of the quality and safety of the childbirth experience are obtained when the affective aspect of the birth experience is addressed first and foremost. This is mostly a consequence of the routine use of epidural that has gradually wiped out all other, more natural approaches.
Being trained as a gynecologist was at the time very demanding and stressful – I regularly had to stay up all night to attend deliveries and emergency surgery.
Back then it was common for me to have to work most of the night on emergencies and then the whole day after that. Gagne, a professor and researcher at McGill University, has a current practice in obstetrics and gynecology. The challenge in our modern world is to know when, and to what extent should we intervene in order to not disturb this natural process. Jean-Guy Gagne explored how the intricate interaction of hormones, the environment, and Transcendental Meditation can affect the wellbeing of mothers and the newborns. Labor and birth today are 2-3 hours longer, and the number of medical interventions is four times higher. There’s now a general belief that birth is hard and dangerous, and that it requires medical intervention most of the time. The hormones involved are the same as during lovemaking, so this is why it should remain undisturbed and unobserved as much as possible. The technique, when practiced regularly, produces this inner silence which stays with you even after the practice session is ended. At the end of the day, it is how the mother’s brain responds to factors of stress that makes all the difference. With this information, we have an opportunity to increase the likelihood that future generations of infants may be happier and healthier. The values and beliefs of physicians and health care professionals are equally significant.
The practice of TM during pregnancy, along with prenatal preparation and good accompaniment during labor, seems to be the best recipe for success. Women seem to have lost faith in their capacity to give birth with no or minimal intervention. Sometimes you cannot change your environment but have to adapt to it, and for me, meditation was a great tool for this.
It gave me more and more creativity and I was able to find good opportunities to improve my personal and professional life.



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