Positive Birth Affirmations
Once you have found out that you are pregnant, you might have booked your antenatal class and have started thinking about the nursery. But what else could you be doing in the meantime to start reframing birth in your mind as something that you are feeling prepared, capable and confident for? Well positive birth affirmation cards are a great start to having a calm birth.
What are positive birth affirmations?
Simply, they are positive statements or phrases that are used to challenge any negative or unwanted thoughts about birth. The science behind positive affirmations is called Self-Affirmation Theory and is based on what is helpfully described as ‘Positive Psychology’.
Studies have shown that we can change unhealthy habits, reduce stress and perceive otherwise ‘threatening’ messages as being less so just by telling ourselves (affirming) positive statements.
It is thought that we can influence the narrative we hold about ourselves; that we are flexible, capable to adapt to different circumstances (such as birth) and if we value something enough (like a calm, positive birth experience) we can internalise the positive statements.
These are my top 5 reasons to use affirmations when preparing for birth:
Start a habit of being positive about birth. Taking 5 minutes out of your day to think about a positive statement can keep you on a path of feeling confident and even excited about birth.
Reframe any fears or negativity in the subconscious. Most people don’t give themselves the time or space to imagine what a positive birth might look or feel like. Once you have read the statement and thought about it, your subconscious mind will continue to digest the information even if your conscious mind has let it go. You will be more likely to counter negative thought patterns about birth and replace them with positive thoughts and feelings associated with birth if you repeat and use affirmations regularly.
Build up your self-confidence & self esteem. We can change the narrative about ourselves just by using affirmations. We can remind ourselves that we have achieved tasks in the past, that our bodies are strong and that birth is a normal, physiological event.
Daily mindfulness tool. Put aside a few minutes everyday to be mindful. Switch off from the world, be in the present and focus on the statement. Notice what comes to mind, any thoughts or feelings that may come up, let them drift off.
Useful for Birth partner. Useful during labour as a tool to focus on during contractions, your birth partner can read them out to you as a reminder of how well you are doing and to keep you calm during birth.
Affirmations are different to mantras in the way that they are focused on improving or changing something in a positive way rather than being generic, feel good statements. For affirmations to work you have to really believe and be motivated to have a positive birth experience. It has to be something that you really value.
They require regular practice, so aim for the same time every day, to make long-lasting changes to the way you think and feel. I would also suggest watching positive birth videos, reading positive birth stories and visualising what you want to happen in order to cement the positive ideas, as well as using hypnobirthing to gain knowledge about the birth process and releasing deeply held fears.
You can now purchase Hey Mama Positive Birth Affirmation Cards to support your birth preparation here.