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Find Your Prenatal Zen With These 5 Free Meditation Apps

For many women, being pregnant isn't all cute bump-cradling photos and sweet moments of counting baby kicks as you lounge on the couch. There are moments that can be taxing emotionally and physically. No matter which trimester you're in, now's a good time as any to try these free meditation apps for pregnant women to help keep you calm and centered before, during, and after childbirth.

Between the physical symptoms you deal with when expecting (like nausea, headaches, and body aches to name just a few) and having to figure out the logistics of raising a child, the prenatal period can be stress-inducing. There are many benefits to meditating during pregnancy to help with this anxiety. Practicing mindful meditation has been shown to reduce stress significantly, lower feelings of depression and anxiety, and boost positive feelings of happiness, according to Harvard Health Publishing. It gives you the tools to step back from your emotions and learn how to deal with them in a more constructive way.

In fact, a 2015 study in the journal Early Human Development concluded that when women meditated during pregnancy, they were able to more effectively read baby's cues, respond more positively, and they even perceived their baby as "easier."

So breathe in, breathe out, and get your prenatal zen on with these free pregnancy meditation apps.


Stop, Breathe & Think

Stop, Breathe & Think allows you to check in with yourself emotionally each day and offers meditation sessions for a really intentional experience. Each time you open the app, it asks, "How are you?" Then, you rate your mind and body on a scale of rough to great and add up to five emotions you're feeling. The app then analyzes your self-assessment and recommends exercises accordingly.

While this app does offer a paid package for $58.99 per year, you can take advantage of about 30 sessions (just look under All Sessions) for free. Most sessions are under 15 minutes, so you can definitely make time for them.

Download available on iTunes or Google Play


Let's Meditate

If you're looking for a basic app and just want to chill out and meditate, try Let's Meditate. It's completely free with no ads to boot.

It's simple interface is straightforward and allows you to choose a meditation track and just hit play. There are lots of videos to choose from that range from lengths from a few minutes to 40.

Download available on iTunes and Google Play


UCLA Mindful

Don't expect to find lots of cute graphics and aesthetically pleasing interfaces on the UCLA Mindful app. This is strictly about meditation. Developed by the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the University of California, it was created by people who know what they're doing.

There are about a dozen different free exercises to choose from in English and Spanish, and they range from about three minutes to 19 minutes long. There are also longer podcast meditations about a half hour long offered weekly.

Download available on iTunes and Google Play.


Insight Timer

Insight Timer offers significantly more free options than most other apps: there are over 30,000 meditation tracks and videos. This app stands out because it makes you feel like you're not alone. After each meditation, it tells you how many people were meditating with you at that same time.

There are also over 2,000 free talks and podcasts that feature motivational life advice when you need even more of a pick-me-up. It's a solid option for anyone, whether you're starting out or have already honed your meditating skills. There is a paid option as well that gives you even more access if needed.

Download available on iTunes and Google Play.


Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind offers hundreds of different meditation options that are organized into different programs to help you pick what you're looking for. There are programs for mindfulness, relationships, work, and sleep, so you can really find exactly what you need.

Most of the meditations range from about 5 minutes to 15 minutes, but there are longer ones for up to 45 minutes. And since it was created by a nonprofit, it's totally free.

Download available on iTunes and Google Play.