When it comes to preparing for natural childbirth, we often think about relaxation practice and breathing exercises. However, it’s important not to neglect the need for emotional preparation as well. Today we’re going to talk about how natural childbirth affirmations can help you develop a positive emotional outlook for your upcoming birth.
What are natural childbirth affirmations?
Birth affirmations are statements that couples repeat over and over to help instill a sense of positivity on a particular subject.
Why are natural childbirth affirmations important?
Positive natural childbirth affirmations are important because positive self-talk has an amazing way of changing your reality. You are what you eat, right? Well, you are what you say you are, too! You will come to believe the thoughts that you repeat over and over, whether they’re positive or negative.
At it’s core, natural childbirth is a mental game. For the vast majority of women, we know that our bodies are capable of experiencing a natural childbirth. People have been doing this for thousands of years, right?! But the goal is not just to have a natural birth. It’s to have a positive mental and emotional experience while you’re doing it! So, on some level, you need to prepare your MIND for birth. You do this through affirmations.
Let me be even more direct. When you believe that you can have a positive birth experience, you’re taking the first step towards actually achieving a positive birth experience.
Acknowledge your fears about childbirth.
An important step in achieving positive self-talk is to first identify the fears or concerns that you have about birth. Most of us have at least one. You can’t ignore your fears, because somehow they have a way of creeping back up on you when you least expect them. You have to acknowledge them and face them head on.
Let me give you an example of an unresolved fear. I have a lot of couples who come to my childbirth classes simply because they “don’t want to have a c-section.” I can definitely appreciate that concern. However, if you’re main goal is not to have a c-section, consider how many times in your pregnancy you’re focusing your energy on the idea of a c-section. Instead, focus your energy on the experience that you actually want!
Turn your fears to strengths using natural childbirth affirmations.
We can use positive birth affirmations to train our negative thoughts into positive, constructive thoughts. Let’s revisit the example of “I don’t want to have a c-section.” Maybe you’re concerned that baby will be too big, or your pelvis will be too small. Maybe you’re afraid of the idea of surgery. But at the end of the day, the core fear is that your labor won’t progress as it should.
So, first acknowledge the fear. Then, when the negative thought comes, replace it with a positive one. You could invent a variety of empowering affirmations to reinforce the idea that your labor will, in fact, progress as it should. Consider the following positive birth affirmations:
“I trust in my ability to give birth.”
“My body knows exactly what it is doing.”
“Birth is safe for me and my baby.”
“Birth will go exactly as it should.”
Positive affirmations encourage flexibility, not rigidity.
Some people feel that positive affirmations set a woman up for emotional failure, rather than success. They argue that you can’t control your birth, so it’s best not to paint a “perfect” picture in your mind of exactly how you want it to play out. However, the best affirmations encourage flexibility, not rigidity.
Notice that our affirmations to face the c-section fear do not say “I will have a vaginal birth,” or “I will experience birth without any pain medication.” Those are outcome driven affirmations. We want to use affirmations that shape our perception of the experience, not the outcome.
When I affirm that “Birth will go exactly as it should,” I’m not determining the outcome. I’m changing the way I perceive the outcome. At the end of the day, I might have a c-section if that’s what led to the safest outcome for me and my baby. But when I look back on that birth, I can trust that my birth went “exactly as it should.” For that baby, maybe it meant a c-section. And that’s OK.
Practice using natural childbirth affirmations.
Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones requires patience and practice. Learn more about positive birth affirmations in your Kopa Birth® natural childbirth class. (Affirmations are covered in detail in the KOPA® PREPARED online childbirth classes as well as in the group 4-Week Course, offered by your local instructor.) As you continue to focus your energy on positive thoughts, you will set yourself up for a truly amazing birth experience!
Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for a natural hospital birth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class and start preparing for your natural birth!
(1) Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association. (2008). Childbirth Educator Training Manual. V.2008. [Georgia]: CAPPA. Print, 92.
(2) Positive Affirmations and Mantras for Your Pregnancy. (2015, September 16). Retrieved from http://www.lamaze.org/blog/positive-affirmations-and-mantras-for-your-pregnancy
(3) The Mind-Body Connection: A Powerful Force (2011, October 24). Retrieved from http://www.lamaze.org/p/bl/et/blogid=16&blogaid=873