It’s go time. Labor has begun and you’re doing a great job resting when you can, staying hydrated, and notifying your doula and care provider of any major changes. You have prepared well for a natural childbirth and are enjoying the anticipation of meeting your little one soon!
Then come the contractions that really require your focus. You have practiced various relaxation methods throughout your pregnancy and know what your favorites are. Your birth partner and doula remind you of your birth affirmations to help you stay centered and focused on the task at hand: taking each contraction as it comes, then letting it go as soon as it’s done. One by one, the contractions bring you closer to meeting your baby.
When the going gets tough in labor, it can be really helpful to have some affirmations you’ve rehearsed with your partner and doula, to ground you and remind you of your goals. Practice repeating these to yourself daily so you’re used to hearing them. Here are several of my favorites:
- Each surge brings my baby closer to me.
- I can do anything for two minutes.
- Around the world, thousands of women are birthing with me.
- My baby and I are safe.
- That contraction is done. Let it go.
- I’m going to rock this birth.
- I am about to meet my baby!
- I relax and allow the process of birth to unfold.
- My baby and I are working together.
- I am strong; my body is powerful.
- I breathe deeply to my baby.
- I AM doing this!
- One contraction at a time.
- I’ve carried this baby with love and I will birth this baby with love.
Which affirmations resonate with you? You may already have go-to words that bring you comfort – perhaps scripture or a favorite quote about strength or childbirth? It’s also a good idea to note the affirmations that make you uncomfortable, as that may mean it’s an idea you don’t believe about yourself already.
Repeat them until you believe them. Have your husband or partner become familiar with them, too. This can be a great connecting activity as you prepare for childbirth.
Some women make “flash cards” for their birth team to read aloud to them, or for them to flip through and focus on during labor. During your pregnancy, you can hang them on your bathroom mirror to practice as you get ready each morning. I’ve even seen banners made at baby showers: each guest gets a banner piece to decorate and write an affirmation on, then the pieces are attached to a string or ribbon. The mom hangs the banner up at home and may even bring it with her to her birthing location as a special reminder of her affirmations, made by her friends and loved ones.
Have you used affirmations in your pregnancy and birth before? Which ones are your favorites?