Pregnancy and the early months of motherhood can be an exceptionally stressful time. Research shows that practicing mindfulness techniqueslike meditationcan significantly help reduce your likelihood of experiencing depression, both before and after baby arrives. Don’t stress about finding a class or carving out tons of time. We’ve gathered 6 apps that will help you breathe deep, relieve tension, and stay present.

The Mindfulness App 
With a five-day guided introduction to mindfulness, this app takes its job seriously. Guided and timed silent sessions range from 3 to 30 minutes, and you can receive reminders and statistics to stay focused on your practice. The app includes both “Freemium” and “Premium” options (paid subscriptions start at $9.99 per month), and both grant you access to guided meditations from various teachers. Within the app, search for Nancy Bardacke’s “Mindfulness for Pregnancy” meditations, which include such specific meditations as a Body Scan, Walking Meditation, Being with Baby Meditation, and Guided Lovingkindness Meditation.

Available on iOS and Android. Learn more on the website: themindfulnessapp.com

Headspace
This app offers an extensive, free “Basics” access pass, but you can subscribe for as little as $7.99 per month and access a vast selection of “packs”(series of meditations) and single meditations. The Pregnancy 30-day pack uses a visualization approach to help pregnant mothers build a strong relationship with their baby while also preparing their mind for the many unexpected (and often stressful) moments that accompany new parenthood. The app also boasts a blog that includes a range of posts about pregnancy stages and how to stay mindful throughout those 40 weeks.

Available on iOS and Android. Learn more on the website: headspace.com

Expectful
For $9.99 per month, get access to guided sessions for conception, pregnancy and motherhood, created by a team of licensed hypnotherapists, meditation experts and sound engineers. Helpful features include extra exercises you can use to keep you grounded throughout your day, guided meditations created for you and your partner, and walking meditations for when you’re on the go. The best part? You can do good while you feel good: For every subscription purchased, Expectful donates a subscription to a pregnant mother in need.

Available on iOS. Learn more on the website: expectful.com

Mind the Bump
This free app supports the mental and emotional wellbeing of individuals and couples from conception, throughout pregnancy, during labor, and through the first 24 months of parenthood. A collaboration between Australian mindfulness and mental health nonprofits Smiling Mind and beyondblue, it is accessible to and intended for mothers, fathers, single parents and same-sex couples.

Available in iOS and Android. Learn more on the website: mindthebump.org.au

Calm
Although this app is not specifically geared toward pregnancy, its material is highly relevant. Topics include calming anxiety, managing stress, deep sleep, happiness, walking meditation, and body scan. It also offers tons of flexibility, featuring all levels of meditation (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) and sessions lasting 3, 5, 10, 15, or 25 minutes. While its free programs are more extensive than the average mindfulness app, you’ll get access to even more resources with either a $12.99 per month subscription or $59.99 per year. Try out the app’s breathing exercises and more than 25 soothing nature sounds to help you sleep or relax—perfect for those days when your aching back just can’t take any more, or when it’s finally time for labor!

Available in iOS and Android. Learn more on the website: calm.com

iBirth
This app’s focus isn’t necessarily relaxation, but it covers all things pregnancy—and there is a great section with powerful spoken affirmations and ideas for calming visualization. For $4.99, you also get access to tools like 21 videos on labor positions (broken down by the stages of labor) to help you find the most comfortable way to hold your body to maximize your relaxation and mindfulness exercises.

Available in iOS and Android. Learn more on the website: ibirthapp.com

What helps you stay calm and centered? Let us know in the comments.

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— Katie Brown

featured image: smpratt90 via Pixabay