Preparing for your upcoming birth journey and looking for tools to empower yourself? Birth Affirmations might be a perfect tool for your birth prep tool box!
Chances are, if you have been on any social media apps like IG or Pinterest, you have most likely already seen a few examples of positive birth affirmations. I have an entire birth affirmation board on my own Pinterest from my previous pregnancies. Yet, what exactly are these affirmations and can they actually be helpful during labor and birth?
Let’s start out with understanding what an affirmation is in the first place. Affirmations are short and powerful statements that encourage positive thinking and self-empowerment. Many people find that using positive affirmations can help them in reducing or preventing negative and sabotaging thoughts.
Affirmations can be powerful tools of self-empowerment and grounding. Similar to how a mantra grounds and assists someone in their meditation practice. Being able to repeat a comforting statement that reminds you that you are safe, supported, and on a journey to meet your baby can help keep your mindset from spiraling to a negative place. This negative spiral could initiate the ‘Fear and Pain Cycle’. This cycle causes people to feel pain more intensely when they are scared.
Birth Affirmations can be a positive way to remind yourself of the birth that you are working to achieve, but it is important to remember that they are helpful, positive words of encouragement, not concrete plans of how birth may go. What exactly does this mean? You may use the birth affirmation “I am opening for baby” but in reality you may be having a difficult active labor where dilation is occurring slower than you had thought it might. Things are not lining up the way you had planned and you are feeling defeated. This is why birth affirmations need to be flexible as well as positive and encouraging.
As a Doula or parent, we cannot predict how a birth may go, but regardless we can do our best to make sure the birthing person is feeling supported and informed along their entire experience. So yes! Birth affirmations are fantastic tools, but ensure that they are flexible.
It is totally okay if you lose sight of your positive mindset for a moment, this is where your doula and partner comes in to support you. As a birth doula, I am aware of my doula client’s preferred affirmations prior to active labor, that way if I notice them venturing away from their safe and secure feelings, I can gently remind them by repeating their birth affirmations and breathing with them. In my experience, this form of support normally encourages my client right back to feeling supported and away from that Fear & Pain Cycle. (Not sure what a doula is? Click here)
You can also hang up birth affirmation cards, posters, or artwork in your birth space to help visually remind yourself what your birth affirmations are.
You can use your birth affirmations verbally by repeating them or by your birth team repeating them with you. Find a few affirmations that you can really connect with prior to your labor beginning.
You can also create artwork with the affirmations that you feel the most supported by and hang it in your birth space. The process of creating the artwork with intention can be a powerful memory to draw upon during your labor journey.
If you don’t have time to create artwork for your birth space or maybe feel a little shy of displaying your artwork, you can also purchase premade birth affirmations to hang in your space!
This is honestly up to you! Like I mentioned above, creating birth affirmation artwork with intention can be a powerful experience to connect you with the upcoming journey of birth. The memory of creating your art can also be something you can draw upon during labor. Yet, if you are unsure about hanging up the artwork, you can create it and keep it somewhere personal and hang up premade cards in your actual birth space. It is really up to you and what makes you feel the most comfortable!
There are so many wonderful places that you can find birth affirmation artwork and cards. Etsy in particular is FULL of cards! It is a difficult choice to pick between all the beautiful varieties and artists.
Hypnobirthing Place UK has a page full of cards you can use.
This Etsy shop has birth affirmation coloring pages.
Below are also a few links to birth cards you can purchase online!
Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma City Bereavement, Birth, & Postpartum doula who serves her Central Oklahoma community. She is also a midwifery assistant with Holistic Birthing Services and planning to begin her student midwifery journey in 2022.
To learn more about Jenni, please click here.