Childbirth may not be your idea of a good time. But what if we told you that you could spend the rest of your pregnancy training your brain to make it easier, more beautiful, and maybe even enjoyable?
Crazy-talk, right? Well, let us introduce you to the concept of ‘birth affirmations’.
These are sayings or statements that you repeat to promote a positive mindset about birth. Birth affirmations are a proven way to help the labour process, both from a physical and a mental standpoint. Studies show that they decrease stress, increase well being, improve academic performance (in case you’re up for some calculus during labour) and make people more open to behavior change.
If you’re keen to give them a try, here are 10 epic affirmations that will help you redefine birth and mentally prepare for labour.
#1 – Many women have birthed before me. Many women will birth after me.
How empowering is this thought? Women have been birthing babies forever. Your mother, your grandmother, and your great-grandmother are all connected by the incredible experience of childbirth. As all women are.
When in labour, think about the other women who are sharing this journey with you right now. With an estimated 385,000 births around the world each day, you’re never alone in childbirth.
#2 – This is my sacred birthing space.
A lot of women find it useful to create a beautiful birthing environment. This may include a carefully curated birth playlist, candles, affirmations stuck on the walls, comfortable blankets and clothing, or any special comforts you can bring with you to hospital (or set up at home if birthing there).
Create a sacred space for yourself and soak in the magic of the birthing experience. There’s nothing else like it.
That said – this may not be possible if your birth plan goes to sh*t. But you’re not the first to experience that, and you can still use these other affirmations to carry you through.
#3 – I trust my body.
Oooh yes! We love this.
Your body was perfectly designed to bring babies into the world. It knows what it’s doing – even if you don’t! But a good birth class and education can really help you understand the phases of labour and what your incredible body is doing.
Labour is f*cking hard and painful. But the pain is a sign things are going as they should. Trust that. Trust the process. And trust that your body can do what it was created to do.
#4 – I trust birth.
Birth happens even when you don’t actively make it happen. (Even when you wish it would STOP happening.)
The shape of your pelvis, the hormones your body creates, the powerful muscles that push your baby out – it’s all perfectly designed to birth babies.
Beyond this, the doctors and midwives attending to you have delivered hundreds of babies (just this week alone!). Trust them to know what to do and how to step in if you need help delivering your precious babe.
#5 – I relax deeper with every surge.
This is an amazing one to use to manage contractions during labour. Many women visualise the ocean, contractions acting like waves that rise and fall. You may picture yourself as a surfer, gracefully riding the waves, or as a peaceful bystander observing them from the shore. You may even be a deep-sea diver, swimming deeper and deeper into the experience.
#6 – I am strong. My body knows.
You are. And it does.
#7 – I let go and surrender.
If you tend to err on the side of perfectionism (aka you love being in control), this affirmation can help you relax and learn to go with the flow. Surrender. Be at peace. Soak this experience in and just ‘be’.
#8 – Inhale: “I open”, Exhale: “I let go”.
This is a beautiful example of a mantra you can call upon during pregnancy or labour. Often repeated silently, mantras work in the same way as affirmations, helping to rewire your neural pathways and overcome subconscious fears.
#9 – I am calm and centred.
Here’s another mantra you can repeat to yourself when feeling fearful about birth or pregnancy. Draw your energy inwards.
#10 – I step into my power to birth my baby.
YES! You are strong and powerful, mama. Look at you go!
She Births provides this beautiful affirmation as an example of a ‘Sankapla’.
“A Sankalpa is a resolve or resolution which can be simply a positive statement of who you already are or more of a specific intention or goal. A sankalpa practice starts from the radical premise that you already are who you need to be.”
These amazing affirmations have been pulled (with permission, of course) straight out of the She Births Free Pregnancy Guide. It’s a valuable and did we mention FREE online course that includes affirmation exercises, yoga practices, recipes, and other very cool labour prep stuff.
Expert contributor: Nadine Richardson
Nadine is the creator of She Births® – the World’s only scientifically verified antenatal course. She has shared the unique methodology, where science + soul come together, with over 6000 families. Nadine is a mother and has been a childbirth educator, labour assistant (doula) and prenatal yoga teacher for over 20 years. She lectures and runs workshops for midwives, doctors and health professionals. Get your Free She Births® Pregnancy Guide at shebirths.com
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