You may have heard of Positive Affirmations but you might not be sure exactly what they are or how they can support you and your partner during labour and birth. This blog should give you some more information to find out how you can use affirmations to have a more positive birth and postpartum experience.
What are Positive Birth Affirmations?
Positive Birth Affirmations are statements or phrases that you read or repeat to yourself frequently and are designed to motivate and inspire. In the context of birth, they can help you to overcome fear and negative thoughts you may have about birth to allow you to feel more confident and positive about your upcoming birth.
Why use Positive Birth Affirmations?
Research has shown that repeating Positive Affirmations has long-term benefits for your mental and emotional health. The practice helps you to challenge negative thoughts and emotions in your everyday life and feel more positive. Changing the way you think can also change the way you behave and feel too.
This is particularly relevant to a birthing context because most of us have grown up in an environment where birth is seen as a terrifying, painful and dangerous experience. If you think about all the times you have seen or heard about labour & birth in films, TV and even in stories from your friends and family, it is usually portrayed in this overly dramatic way. This is because, if birth was portrayed as it often is – long, monotonous, quiet and calm – then it wouldn’t make great TV or a gripping storyline!
However, because of this, many pregnant people now doubt their own natural ability to give birth to their baby and believe that their birth will be painful and frightening. So to counteract this, positive birth affirmations can be really useful for altering your perspective on birth and replacing negative thoughts and beliefs with positive ones. Once you have released your fear of childbirth then you are free to harness your confidence, strength and resilience and stay in control of your birth experience!
How do I use Affirmations?
Start by Searching online, looking at Tiger Stripes Instagram page or thinking up your own positive affirmation statements that particularly resonate with you. Then write these down or print them out and stick them up all over your house where you can’t miss them. It might help to move them every few days to make sure they don’t blend into the wallpaper!
Read them to yourself as often as possible during your pregnancy to start to train your brain to think in a more positive way about birth and replace any negative feelings you may have.
Use the Affirmations when you are in labour, read them to yourself, have them playing on a recording in the backgrounds or ask your birth partner to read them to you. They will help you to keep calm, focused and confident in your positive birth experience.
Some people even find they help them feel happier and calmer after their birth too. So there really is nothing to lose and everything to gain from trying positive birth affirmations!