Affirmations are words or phrases that are positive, validating, and empowering. Used through pregnancy they can prepare women to cope with labor. As well they are useful with managing all forms of stress.
Even if an affirmation is used only during the birth experience for the first time, the right words can turn a stressful or challenging moment around.
Women that are expecting should set aside quiet time to reflect upon what word(s) validate their experience and write them down. They can even begin with a list of the things they dislike hearing and then write down the opposite words.
For example, pregnant women are often bombarded with comments and statements such as:
- You’re so big
- Birth hurts
- You’ll need the drugs
- You might need a c-section
These statements can be replaced with:
- You’re beautiful
- Your body works
- Contractions bring your baby
- Your body is made for birth
And “I” statements help a woman to replace negative thoughts:
- I’m beautiful
- I’m strong
- I can
- I’m powerful
- My body works
- I’m making a baby
Women should take the time to explore what words resonate and work for them personally. It takes practice to internalize affirmations. It is effective to work on affirmations over weeks and months if possible. It is sometimes just about changing the messages that women have been hearing in their minds.
Once they have a list of affirming words, then taking a quiet moment to say affirmations to themselves each day is ideal. They can tape these words to the bathroom mirror or make them a lock screen saver.
As well it is helpful to have some one they trust actually read the words out loud before labor begins. This is useful because sometimes words sound funny or weird when said out loud and will help the expecting mother decide ahead of time what affirmations will and won’t work.
Once the mother begins labor then affirmations are a great tool to keep handy. The father, partner, doula and other support people can write the affirmations down on index cards. When appropriate they can say them to the laboring woman.
The right affirmation can awaken a woman’s inner power source.