You may have heard of affirmations but will they work for you? This post will explain all about birth affirmations, why they’re such a powerful tool and how to apply them.
(+ Grab your free affirmations at the end! Yay!)
Most of us don’t realise the power of our minds until it comes to a life-changing experience like giving birth.
In fact, we seem to wonder hazily throughout life allowing our subconscious to control 99% of our thoughts, feelings and actions.
Not only that, we live in an era in which we’re so often distracted by screens, music, entertainment that it’s a challenge to stay quiet and observe ourselves.
While it may be inevitable that our subconcious brain dictates the majority of our thought process, there are steps we can take to becoming more conscious and present.
Because to be able to practice and integrate affirmations into everyday life, we first need a breath of consciousness.
Why use affirmations?
Your mind absorbs tons of information in one day.
What it doesn’t do, however, is filter those thoughts. It doesn’t know what’s beneficial for us and what’s not.
Affirmations work by repeating words and phrases to our mind. Replace the buzz with some powerful phrases.
If you start using affirmations early on in your pregnancy, your mind will be so used to using them that you’ll only need to prompt it and it will remember what to do.
How to write them
Affirmations are the most powerful when you use the first person when you write them ‘I’.
This way you put yourself in your own shoes and it allows you to imagine yourself in the state of the new affirmation. Writing them in the present tense will also help.
You also want to make sure that your affirmations are positive so rather than ‘no fear’ for example, ’empowered’.
Tip: keep them short and easy to remember.
You can write them on little prompt cards and take them with you to look at when you’re out the house.
You don’t always have to say them aloud, though it can be easier. But if you’re in a place full of people, simply repear the phrase loudly in your head.
Ready to go through the next steps? Let’s do this.
First step: observe
You wouldn’t start a fitness regime without first making some changes to your diet and nutrition.
It’s important to make some small changes in your day-to-day thinking to be able to allow the magic of affirmations actually work.
So, the first step to take is to become the observer of your thoughts. Choose the times of day in which you’re doing tasks that don’t need a lot of brainpower (cooking, cleaning for example) and just listen.
All of us are prone to complaining, but what is it that puts you in a bad mood?
What do you say about yourself? Do you get annoyed when you mess something up? Be a little kinder.
I suggest starting with little things, then dig deeper as you go along.
This process will help you understand limiting beliefs that you have about yourself and your ability to give birth.
Second step: free yourself of negativity
The next step is to get in a positive mindset.
This is not as easy as just saying to yourself ‘Be positive!’ so be patient.
Again from the process I mentioned above you might see thought patterns emerge that are negatively influencing you.
BUT it’s not only down to you and your mind – we soak in a lot of what other people say, even if we don’t want to.
Be particular about who you hang out with during your pregnancy.
Choose friends that will uplift you and make you feel good, and that positive energy will go a long way.
If a certain friend has her opinions on your pregnancy and birth that you don’t want to hear, politely tell her that you prefer to talk about something else – or start seeing her less.
Set boundaries! Choose your village, and go with it.
Third step: brainstorm your affirmations
Now you’ve done some of the prep work, it’s time to have a think about your affirmations.
For this, you need to also identify what exactly you’re worried about in the first place.
(I like to call this retraining the brain, and I have a whole module that goes into this in my course)
Every woman is different and will view birth in a different way so get specific about your fears.
You then can counteract those fears by writing a positive affirmation about it.
No time to write your own? No worries, I’ve thought of that too!
For example: Imagine my fear is people seeing me naked during my birth.
Counteracting affirmation: ‘I feel ready to share my body privacy to birth my baby with confidence’
Tip: Grab a piece of paper, mark a line in the middle so you have two columns. Write the fear on the left, affirmation on the right.
Step four: Narrow them down
Your next job is to narrow down the affirmations you’ve written and choose the ones that speak to you the most.
In other words, choose the ones that you don’t mind seeing multiple times druing your birth.
Something you might want to consider, which is what I did, is to then take the affirmations you’ve chosen and re-write them as 1-3 word phrases.
I found this easier to digest whilst I was busy laboring. Also I found that concentrating on just one word made the visualization process so much easier too.
Let’s take the affirmation we used earlier and the emotion felt behind it.
Notice how I mentioned ‘with confidence’? How can we phrase this better?
If the fear is actually feeling embarrassed, then the word that we can take out of it is ‘Confidence’ or ‘Grace’.
I had a fear of tearing during my birth, so some of the words I used were ‘open’ and ‘breathe’.
5) Download your affirmations
I have some affirmations that I designed especially for my readers.
I gathered these through many chats with other pregnant women, my own experience and affirmations that have stood out to me.
Print them out, colour them in, use them as a starting point.
Birth Affirmations are a great way of calming your fears before and during birth.
That said, they’re not the only tool you can use, and it’s best to use them as an addition to other relaxation methods such as:
- Sound Therapy
- Prenatal Yoga
These are concepts I go through in my course, so if you’d like a more in-depth mental preparation for your special day, check it out here.