A Different Approach to Birth Affirmations
Birth Affirmations are short, positive statements that help to create and encourage confidence. They can be something you think to yourself, say aloud, or even write down on post-its or note cards that you strategically place around your home and where you plan to labor and birth.
I have seen mothers gain confidence from birth affirmations both during pregnancy and during their labors. But I have also seen that regardless of these affirmations, if they do not allow for the unexpected to happen, that this can lead to confusion and self-doubt.
"My body knows exactly what to do."
This is a common birth affirmation, and as a whole, very positive. The intention is to learn to trust and surrender to the surges and sensations that are opening up the body and bringing baby down and out. But what if the birthing woman needed a lot of medical assistance to give birth? She may go on to feel that her body is weak. She may go on to feel that her body has failed her.
That said, can we still use birth affirmations to retrain the mind to let go of the negative connotations with which many of us have grown up?
I SAY YES...but there is more to it.
A More Complete Approach
Affirmations are powerful and solidify what we believe. But they are only part of the story. In order to learn how to NAVIGATE the unknown and unexpected that can happen during birth, invest your time in childbirth education so that you can make informed decisions as they are needed. Choose a team of care providers and support people you trust and who honor your intuition. Watch birth videos of women rocking their births. Surround yourself with people and images that lift you up and strengthen your confidence.
Surround yourself with those things that help you feel excited about birth.
Even with all of this, it is important to remember that you can influence your birth but you can not control it. Letting go and SURRENDERING to what unfolds can be difficult but it is an integral part of birth.
CHOOSE AFFIRMATIONS THAT RESONATE
A quick Google search will yield lots of Birth Affirmations to read and consider. As you write down the ones you connect with, choose to focus on those that leave you feeling loved, accepted and encouraged. Have your partner and family get involved in brainstorming affirmations too, and have them create banners and posters to hang up.
Here are just a few that we at Joyful Roots like:
I am amazing.
I give it my all.
I feel strong.
I surrender all.
I am not alone.
I am loving my baby.
My job is to relax.
Relax, breathe, open.
Each surge brings me closer to my baby.
I will meet my baby soon.
The gift of compassion
When affirmations are used in preparation for birth and during labor itself, they become a part of your story. And so when you are holding your precious little one, and you are reminded of your birth and all the feelings start to come up, continue to speak to yourself with compassion:
I was amazing.
I gave it my all.
I was strong.
I'VE GOT THIS
The benefits of positive affirmations don't end after birth. As you begin to navigate your path as a parent, continue to seek out ways to create and encourage confidence.
THE GIFT OF THANKSGIVING
I am thankful.
I am thankful for this new life.
I am thankful for the experience of birth, for I have grown stronger.
I am thankful for the support that was available to me. I was never alone.
I am thankful for the journey ahead, for I will grow stronger.
THE GIFT OF FAITHFULNESS
I will be faithful to this child and my call as a mother.
I will show up every day.
I will love. I will give. I will serve.
I will rest when I can.
I will care for myself, so that I can care for others.
I will grow in rhythms and balance.
I will be faithful.