The process of bringing a new life into the world is one of the most challenging and transformational experiences a woman can go through.
I know this first hand because I am mom of four kids.
I consider myself very physically and mentally tough person but I will humbly admit that birth was the most physically and mentally challenging thing I have ever been through.
And while you can’t control everything that happens during labor and delivery, you can control your mindset
Your mind is an incredibly powerful tool that can help impact the way your body and mind responds to the pain and the fear of birth.
Using positive affirmations during labor can physically retrain your brain in how it responds to the fear and pain of birth.
In fact, they can make a huge difference in your entire birthing experience by helping you tune out distractions, cope with the pain, stay calm during labor, and find strength in the moments you need it most.
If birth affirmations seem too good to be true, stick around to learn the science behind these magical phrases and how they can help control your mind during the most challenging day of your life!
What Are Birth Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself in order to manifest change in your life.
They can help challenge and overcome negative or self-limiting beliefs about yourself or your future self.
While they may seem a little farfetched, the truth is that affirmations can be an incredibly powerful way to physically change areas of the brain associated with negative thinking.
The power of affirmations lies in their ability to change your negative inner dialogue and the self-doubt that is often created by fear or anxiety such as during pregnancy and childbirth.
When used as part of a birth plan, affirmations can help you to stay calm and confident throughout the process, from the first contraction to holding your baby in your arms!
How Do Birth Affirmations Work?
Positive birth affirmations help break down negative thought patterns that often manifest during pregnancy and birth, and replace them with positive, empowering thoughts instead.
They do this through a process called “neuroplasticity“.
Simply put, this is the brain’s ability to learn and adapt to new thoughts, beliefs and behaviors.
Neuroplasticity explains how our brains are able to master new skills, learn new things, store information and memories, and even change how we think and feel.
Certain parts of the brain are referred to as “malleable” or “plastic” which gives it the ability to change in response to experiences or learning something new.
Every time your brain processes new information either through experiences or learning, new pathways are created in the brain called , “neural pathways”.
Think of this as water running through a river.
At one point, the ground the water flows through was flat.
Eventually, that water became so strong and consistent that it paved a new path for itself.
This is how neuroplasticity works.
The more you repeat affirmations, the stronger the new neural pathway becomes leading to lasting changes in your thinking and behaviors.
Do Birth Affirmations Really Work?
My mindset was the biggest difference between my first birth and last.
I felt much more mentally prepared because I was equipped with better mental and physical preparation.
Fear and pain are a natural part of the birthing process, but that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming.
Birth affirmations can help you work through your fears and pain by preparing your mind for anything that might happen.
Studies show that training your brain can help lower levels of stress and the perception of pain.
Affirmations can literally train your brain to think more positively and productively about your birth experience.
Use these birth affirmation cards throughout your pregnancy and during labor to help take control of your mind and remind yourself that you are a strong and capable woman.
How Can Affirmations Help During Childbirth?
Preparing your mind for childbirth is just as important as preparing your body.
While affirmations may seem a little hokey-pokey, there is actually science behind how they positively influence our thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviors.
Affirmations tap into your subconscious mind to help turn negative thinking and fears into a more positive mindset.
For many women, the process of childbirth is an incredibly scary, emotional, and stressful time.
In addition to the fear of the physical pain of labor, there is often a great deal of anxiety about the unknown.
“Will everything go according to plan?”
“What if something goes wrong?”
“Am I strong enough to birth my baby safely?”
These are all completely normal and natural feelings.
Affirmations can help to ease some of this anxiety by helping you to focus on the positive.
Even if things don’t go according to your birth plan, hearing affirmations that celebrate your beauty and strength can help you to embrace whatever comes your way.
So whether you’re facing a change of plans or just need a little extra motivation, incorporating affirmations into your childbirth preparation can be an incredibly powerful tool.
How To Use Birth Affirmations
There is no hard/fast rule on how to use affirmations.
Start by identifying your biggest fears or anxieties about giving birth.
It could be something specific such as you’re terrified of the pain, or your birth not going as planned.
Perhaps you want a natural birth with no drugs or interventions.
Once you have identified what you’re afraid of, you can start to choose affirmations that address those fears.
You can also create your own birth affirmations based on your birth plan and the things you hope to achieve.
Then, be consistent with repeating your affirmations either out loud or in your head.
Carry your cards with you throughout your pregnancy, labor, and birth as visual reminders.
You can also write them on sticky notes and put them in places you will see often.
The more you practice affirmation cards, the better prepared you will feel for birth and you’ll be amazed at how much strength and peace of mind they can provide on the big day.
My Favorite Affirmations for Birth
Ok, let’s get to the good stuff!
Here are some of my favorite affirmations.
Fell free to use these positive phrases as they are or change them to make them more personal to you and your baby.
While birth plans may not always go as expected, having birth affirmations ready will help you stay focused on your birth and remind you of your strength.
Every birth story is beautiful and special, no matter the outcome.
Birth Affirmations For Managing Pain
This is when practicing your affirmations truly helps to control your mind.
As labor pain intensifies, take a deep breath and visualize the affirmations you have been practicing.
Affirmations for When Your Birth Does’t Go as Planned
Giving birth can be unpredictable and a birth plan may not always go as planned.
Use these affirmations to help you feel prepared when your birth plan changes.
Affirmations for an Unplanned Cesarean Section
Sometimes birth plans may not go as expected and a cesarean birth may be necessary.
Related: Birth it Up-The Best Course For Your Dream Birth
Final Thoughts on Affirmations For Birth
Regardless if this is your first birth or you’ve been down this road before, the journey of childbirth is one that can be filled with fear and uncertainty.
No matter how much you plan or prepare, there is always the potential for things to deviate from your expectations.
This can be frustrating and even scary, but it’s important to remember that ultimately, your body was made to do this.
Whether you’re looking to reduce fear and anxiety or manifest your dream birth, affirmations can be a powerful tool for achieving your desired results.
So don’t forget to pack your affirmation cards in your hospital bag and bring them into the delivery room to help keep you calm and focused!
You’ve got this mama!
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.