One tool I like to offer during birth classes is the use of birthing affirmations. I have a list of favorites that I hand out and I also encourage couples to create their own affirmations that hold personal meaning for them. An affirmation is a positive phrase that you repeat to yourself. Some women like to cut these phrases out and post them around the house to read during pregnancy (such as on the mirror in the bathroom or on the wall in the bedroom). The affirmations can then “sink in” and when labor comes, they are part of your mental vocabulary of birth. Also, some women in labor find the use of rhythm to be a useful tool (humming, singing, swaying, rocking, etc.) and repeating a soothing phrase can be part of this rhythm.
Another use of affirmation is to have your labor support partner read your favorites aloud to you as you labor.
Some favorites from my list are:
- I trust my body to know what it is to do.
- I feel confident, I feel safe, I feel secure.
- My mind is relaxed; my body is relaxed.
- My body is made to do this.
- This present moment is all I have to be with.
- My body knows how to birth our baby.
The corresponding affirmations for a partner to use:
- Trust your body to know what it is to do.
- You are confident, You are safe, You are secure.
- Your mind is relaxed; Your body is relaxed.
- Your body is made to do this.
- This present moment is all you have to be with.
- Your body knows how to birth our baby.