Our mind can be one of our best assets to help manage the pain and anxiety associated with childbirth! And birth affirmations are one of my favorite ways to tap into that mental strength.
Birth affirmations are simply positive words and statements about the birth process that can give you extra confidence, a sense of calm, and even impact your perception of pain.
To get the most out of using birth affirmations during your labor, I recommend repeating them regularly leading up to birth – and actually saying them aloud – I promise it makes ALL the difference.
Then during labor, you can say them out loud, listen to them, read them, or simply think them! But we’ll get more into that below.
Read on to learn all about the benefits of birth affirmations and how to use them!
You’ll also find a list of some of my favorite birth affirmations plus free printable birth affirmation cards for your big day!
- Evidence-based benefits of birth affirmations
- How to use birth affirmations
- Positive birth affirmations
- Download your FREE birth affirmation cards
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Evidence-based benefits of birth affirmations
There has been a lot of interesting research looking at the impact of positive affirmations on a woman’s labor experience.
Studies have considered their use leading up to labor, during labor, while pushing, when someone else says them during labor, and so much more.
And across the board? There is a lot of evidence out there for just how impactful birth affirmations really are!
Let’s take a look at a few specific examples:
Reduced anxiety and fear
Using birth affirmations during labor can help reduce anxiety and fear, which can lead to a more positive birth experience.
A study published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that women who used positive affirmations during labor reported less anxiety and stress than those who did not use affirmations.
Another study found that mamas who use birth affirmations, specifically prompted by flashcards, reported less anxiety and fear during childbirth than those who did not use birth affirmation flash cards (source).
Increased sense of control
When you use birth affirmations during labor you will feel more capable to give birth – and therefore more in control of your birthing experience!
A study published in The Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing looked at the effect of childbirth self-efficacy on perinatal outcomes and found a positive association.
In other words – believing you can do this will quite literally help you do it with a greater sense of control and less fear! (source)
Increased strength and endurance
Another study looked at the impact of birth affirmations when they are repeated by a partner or support person during labor.
These mamas reported feeling “heightened endurance to remain focused during childbirth.” (source)
Using affirmations during labor can lead to better birth outcomes. A number of studies have found that women who used affirmations during labor had shorter labors – specifically a shorter second stage of labor – pushing!
There may be a link between the use of birth affirmations and lower instances of medical intervention as well (source).
How to use birth affirmations
Now that you’ve got the proof that there’s really something to these birth affirmations, let’s talk about all the different ways you can use them!
In the weeks leading up to your due date
Using birth affirmations in the weeks leading up to your due date will help prepare you for a positive birth experience and reduce anxiety. This is where we can really bolster your self-efficacy when it comes to childbirth!
Here are some tips on how to use birth affirmations during this time:
- Choose affirmations that resonate with you: Start by selecting affirmations that resonate with your personal beliefs and goals for your birth experience
- Repeat affirmations regularly: Once you have chosen your affirmations, make it a regular practice to repeat them to yourself every day. You can say them out loud or silently in your mind. Try to use them during a routine or habit you already have in place so that you don’t forget. This might be on your commute to work, as you’re falling asleep, during your morning routine, or after a workout
- Write your affirmations down: In addition to saying your affirmations out loud, writing them down can also be a helpful way to reinforce them in your mind. You can write them in a journal, on sticky notes around your home, or on a vision board. I’ve seen some mamas get really crafty here and then actually bring the board with them to the hospital
- Use affirmations during relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises: Incorporating your affirmations into practice sessions for managing labor pain can be so helpful. This will help you connect with your baby while also reinforcing positive thoughts and beliefs about your upcoming birth experience
Related Reading: Waiting for Labor to Start: What to Do in Those Final Weeks, Days, and Hours
During early labor at home
Early labor, while you’re still at home, is a time to use birth affirmations that keep fear and anxiety at bay as your labor unfolds.
Here are some tips on how to use birth affirmations during early labor:
- Choose affirmations that are calming and reassuring: Select affirmations that will help to calm your nerves and remind you that your body knows how to give birth
- Repeat affirmations during contractions: During early labor, you may experience mild contractions. Use affirmations to distract you from the discomfort and keep you focused on the positive aspects of the birthing process
- Use affirmations to visualize a positive birth experience: Visualization is a powerful tool for reducing anxiety and increasing feelings of confidence. Use your affirmations to visualize a positive birth experience, imagining yourself calmly and confidently giving birth to your baby
Related Reading: Breathing and Relaxation Techniques for Your Birth
While laboring in the hospital
Using birth affirmations to manage the pain of labor when you are in active labor at the hospital can be very effective.
Here are some tips on how to use birth affirmations during this stage of labor:
- Choose affirmations that are empowering: During active labor, the pain of contractions can be intense, and as you get to “transition” – even overwhelming. Choose affirmations that will help you to feel empowered and in control
- Repeat affirmations with each contraction: During active labor, contractions are typically more intense and frequent. Use each contraction as an opportunity to repeat your affirmations to yourself. This can help to distract you from the pain – or embrace the pain – and focus your mind on positive thoughts and beliefs
- Use affirmations to visualize progress: Visualizing progress can be a helpful tool to stay motivated and focused during labor. Use your affirmations to visualize yourself moving closer to the end of labor with each contraction. For example, you might repeat the affirmation, “Each surge brings me closer to meeting my baby.”
- Have a support person help you: Having a support person to remind you to use your affirmations during active labor can be helpful. They can provide encouragement and help you to stay focused on your goals. This might even be something to explicitly list on your birth plan!
When you’re pushing out your baby
Using affirmations to manage the extreme pain associated with pushing out your baby during labor is so effective!
Here are some tips on how to use affirmations and vocalization during this stage of labor:
- Choose affirmations that focus on your strength and ability to birth your baby: During the pushing stage, it can be helpful to choose affirmations that remind you of your strength and ability to birth your baby. Some examples include: “I am strong, I am capable, I can do this.” and “My body knows how to give birth.”
- Use vocalization to manage pain: Making vocal sounds during labor can help to manage pain and stay focused. Experiment with different sounds, such as low moans or high-pitched tones, and see what feels most comfortable and effective for you
- Use affirmations and vocalization to synchronize with your body: As you push your baby out, use affirmations and vocalization to synchronize with your body. This can help you to stay connected to the birthing process and feel more in control. For example, you might repeat an affirmation like, “I am pushing my baby out with strength and determination,” while making low vocal sounds with each push
- Enhancing motivation and determination: The pushing stage can be physically exhausting, and birth affirmations can help to enhance your motivation and determination to keep pushing. By repeating affirmations that remind you of your strength and ability, you can stay motivated and committed to bringing your baby into the world
Positive birth affirmations
- Each contraction has a purpose
- Breathe in strength, breathe out confidence
- Breathe in peace, and exhale tension
- I am proud of myself, however this birth unfolds
- Relax my body, release the tension
- Every contraction brings me closer to meeting my baby
- Every wave of discomfort brings my baby closer to me
- I’m opening up and baby is coming down
- My body knows what to do, I trust my body
- My body is built for birth, I can do this
- I am surrounded by strength and positivity, I am safe
- I am more powerful than I know
- This is productive pain, I am strong
- These contractions are powerful, and I am stronger
- My baby is coming, I am ready to meet them
- I am capable of birthing this baby
- I can do hard things, this too will pass
- This feeling is temporary, it won’t last forever
- My baby is coming down and out, my body is moving them down and out
- Soon my baby will be in my arms
Download your FREE birth affirmation cards
Simply click the Natural Birth Prep Pack image!
Birth affirmations are a very powerful tool for managing pain and anxiety during birth. By using positive statements to stay focused and calm, you will feel more in control and confident during your labor.
Combined with other natural pain-coping strategies, birth affirmations will help you have a positive, empowering experience!
Continue to learn about managing the pain of labor with these resources: