Using Affirmations During Labor

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Positive affirmations are short, positive statements that can be used during labor by the mother or the support person as a way of creating a positive attitude toward birth and labor pain. Sometimes negative thoughts hinder the body from progressing through labor. Creating a positive mindset encourages the body to relax and let labor progress. Having positive statements helps to have a positive mindset. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19751081 )

photo courtesy of Dhemer Gonçalves

There are many instances where affirmations can be used during a birth, such as, with anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness, fear, muscle tension, panic, to enhance relaxation, to enhance empowerment, help with the desire of control, stress, to enhanced spirituality, etc. 

Here are some examples of simple, positive affirmations:

  1. I am strong and capable woman
  2. I trust my body to know how to give birth
  3. I release all fear, I trust my body.
  4. Every contraction brings me one step closer to my baby. 
  5. I relax, I release, I open.
  6. Breath baby out. 
  7. I am strong and capable
  8. My body will birth this baby
  9. I think I can
  10. Labor pain is my friend
  11. I trust my instincts to do what is best for my baby
  12. I feel the love of others around me
  13. The contractions are a way to hug my baby
  14. My surges cannot be stronger than me because they are me.
  15. I AM doing this.
  16. I trust and believe in birth.
  17. My baby is strong, happy, and healthy
  18. My cervix will melt around my baby’s head
  19. I feel the love of those who are helping me
  20. I am strong and can let my contractions be strong
  21. It is not pain, it is power.
  22. I will meet my baby today.
  23. I am brave, I am fierce, I can birth.
  24. I am calm, My baby is calm.
  25. My cervix opens and allows my baby to ease down
  26. I release my birthing over to my body and my baby
  27. I put all fear aside and welcome my baby with happiness and joy
  28. God is with me during labor, gives me strength and holds me in his hands
  29. My baby is worth it.

Some may decide to not just use simple phrases, but to also use scriptures as their birth affirmations to incorporate their spirituality. Here are some Christian scriptures that can make great affirmations:

  1. Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  2. John 16:21,22 A woman when she is in travail have sorrow, because her hour can come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembered no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
  3. Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself. 
  4. Philippians 4:19 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  5. Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
  6. Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
  7. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
  8. Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
  9. Isaiah 40:11 He shall lead his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs in His arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.
  10. II Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-control.
  11. Psalm 43:4 I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.

Judaism Hebrew words of affirmation:

  1. Kol ha neshamah t’hallel Yah Every soul will praise G*d or Every breath will praise G*d.
  2. Nishmat kol hai t’vareh et shimha The soul of every life will praise Your name or The breath of every life will praise Your name.
  3. Out breath: T’hallel. In breath: Yah.

Positive affirmations from the Quran:

  1. “It is You we worship and You we ask for help” (1:5)
  2. …God is Most Compassionate and Most Merciful towards people” (2:143)
  3. “Prophet, if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided” (2:186)
  4. “God is the ally of those who believe: He brings them out of the depths of darkness and into the light…” (2:257)
  5. “…It is God Who is your Protector; He is the Best of Helpers” (3:150).
  6. “…He does not wrong anyone by as much as the weight of a speck of dust. He doubles any good deed and gives a tremendous reward of His own” (4:40).

Pegan birth affirmations:

  1. Goddess and God in their respective roles protect and guide me as faithful grandparents to this child.
  2. I am one with Goddess in her many forms.
  3. I embrace the change from maiden to mother.
  4. I embrace this day as a form of initiation.
  5. When I internalize my thoughts and feeling today, I do so in my inner Temple.
  6. I vocalize with each surge like the ancestors and kindred spirits that came before me.
  7. Like the deities that came before me, on this day, I become the matriarch of my clan.
  8. All acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. I love this baby and take pleasure in my family.
  9. No uncomfortable sensation lasts forever. The Wheel keeps turning.
  10. I gently open my chakras and pour pure gold healing and calm energy through my body.
  11. As Gaia cradles the Earth, I have cradled you. You are now ready and free to live outside of me.

To use affirmations, start by saying them to yourself frequently during pregnancy so they become a part of your self-talk. The laboring mother can say affirmations to herself or her support can say them to her. 

Sometimes words have the power to create an inspiring and positive birth experience. Affirmations are a way to draw strength from words by giving meaning to the pain, creating a deep connection with what is occuring, bringing encouragement, and easing fears, with a result of the mother laboring more freely, more intuitively, and with more trust. Letting go of the negative can create a letting go effect and labor can progress. 

Check out more information about affirmations at http://www.mindfulmum.co.uk/health/2011/positive-affirmations-for-pregnancy-and-birth/

Resources:

  1. Perez, Paulina. The Nurturing Touch at Birth: A Labor Support Handbook. Johnson, VT, Cutting Edge Press, 2006.
  2. http://www.reclaimingjudaism.org/teachings/pregnancy-and-birth-prayer-while-labor
  3. https://blog.islamiconlineuniversity.com/positive-affirmations-from-the-quran/
  4. https://pagandoula.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/pagan-and-wiccan-birth-affirmations/

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