Pregnancy is a beautiful, miraculous journey. But we wouldn’t be speaking honestly if we didn’t admit that it can also be really difficult. From physical discomforts to hormonal-emotional roller coasters to worries about the future, pregnancy is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes just acknowledging this fact can help. Another tool that many women find helpful is pregnancy affirmations. But what exactly does that mean? Read on to find out!
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What Are Affirmations?
“I think I can. I think I can.”
Before we talk specifically about pregnancy affirmations, let’s look at affirmations in general. An affirmation is a positive statement that can be used for emotional support or to help you overcome negative thoughts. Remember The Little Engine That Could? When facing a task that seemed too big — climbing a steep mountain with a heavy load — she repeated the phrase, “I think I can, I think I can.” And as we all know, she made it to the top!
Of course, that’s a fictional children’s story, not your real-life stressed-out pregnancy. But it illustrates the power of positive thinking. “I think I can” is a positive affirmation. Pregnancy affirmations are simply positive affirmations, but with a pregnancy-related twist.
The use of affirmations does not suggest that you must pretend to be happy all the time, or that you should deny your feelings. It is important that you acknowledge your emotions, especially during rough times. Still, positive pregnancy affirmations can help ensure that you don’t get stuck in the deep trenches of negativity, worry, or fear. You can help yourself into a better place by choosing some positive phrases that buoy you up and provide encouragement.
Do Affirmations Work?
Not only is there a great deal of anecdotal evidence that positive affirmation works, but science backs it up, too! Studies show that affirmations stimulate the regions of the brain responsible for self-processing, and this type of stimulation is later associated with positive changes in behavior (1). Further, studies reveal that teaching your brain to think more positively about a situation is good for your overall sense of well-being, and self-affirmations have been shown to decrease stress (2).
Ultimately, what you tell yourself over time becomes your “truth.” Pregnancy affirmations have the power to help you enjoy your pregnancy more, prepare for an empowering birth experience, and welcome the unknowns of motherhood.
How to Choose Pregnancy Affirmations
To recap, a pregnancy affirmation is a phrase that you repeat to yourself regularly. You can use it to reinforce your core values, or to provide needed encouragement. There are endless possibilities of positive mantras or phrases, but how do you choose those that would be most helpful for you?
Start By Examining Your Fears
The best place to start is by looking at your worries or fears — the negative things you find yourself ruminating on. If you target those, you unlock the power to eliminate, or at least lessen, some of the stress you’re feeling. For example, perhaps you have gestational diabetes and now you constantly worry that something will go wrong with you or the baby. You may find it helpful to tell yourself, “My body is healthy and strong and knows how to care for my baby.”
If you’re uncertain about ability to handle your new role as a mother, you may benefit from the reminder, “I am strong and capable. I am growing my baby and growing myself into a mother at the same time.”
Keep It Positive!
Just remember that your affirmations should be positive statements. State what you desire to believe or want to happen, and avoid the use of any negative phrases. For instance, the following is a poorly-worded affirmation. “I may fear gaining weight, but I know it is healthy for my baby.” Instead, stick firmly to the positive. “My growing body is beautiful and is nourishing my baby.”
You may find that it’s meaningful for you to craft your own customized affirmations. Or maybe you would rather draw on the experience of what others have found helpful. Here’s a list of pregnancy affirmations that you can use as-is or a starting place inspire your own.
- Pregnancy is a journey and adventure that I choose to enjoy.
- My baby is safe and loved.
- I honor my body exactly as it is.
- I was chosen to be this child’s mother, and I am uniquely suited to care for him.
- My body knows how to nourish, protect, and grow my baby.
- I am strong, courageous, and resilient enough to face this pregnancy.
- My baby is healthy, beautiful, and strong.
- I embrace the changes in my beautiful pregnant body as it grows to make room for my baby.
- I am overwhelmed with the joy of meeting my child.
- My baby is loved, and our bond and connection grows stronger every day.
- I cherish and celebrate the gift of pregnancy, life, and motherhood.
- Carrying this baby inside me is a blessing and a privilege.
- I love my pregnant body.
Affirmations for Pregnancy and Beyond
Positive thinking and affirmations can be a powerful force in your pregnancy and your life in general. As you move through pregnancy and start thinking about delivery, check out our article The Power of Natural Childbirth Affirmations. And remember that your body is designed for pregnancy and childbirth! Everything you need to grow, birth, and raise this child is within you! You are stronger than you know!
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!
- Cascio, C. N., O’donnell, M. B., Tinney, F. J., Lieberman, M. D., Taylor, S. E., Strecher, V. J., & Falk, E. B. (2015). Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(4), 621-629.
- Sherman, D. K., Cohen, G. L., Nelson, L. D., Nussbaum, A. D., Bunyan, D. P., & Garcia, J. (2009). Affirmed yet unaware: Exploring the role of awareness in the process of self-affirmation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 745-764.