TLDR: Birth affirmations are positive affirmations you can say to yourself while you’re pregnant and then in labor to help you build your confidence for giving birth. A doula explains why they’re so useful and shares a beautiful list of birth affirmations to use.
As you move through your pregnancy, you’re probably looking for ways to prepare your body and mind for your labor and delivery experience. As a doula, I help people identify and practice the tools and coping techniques that they want to use during their labor. Birth affirmations are often at the top of the list along with breathing exercises, counter pressure, and positioning (think Spinning Babies1 ).
Why are these comfort measures so popular? They’re super flexible, require little or no special equipment, and can be used in a variety of different environments (think home, hospital, birth center, or even an uncomfortable elevator ride or long drive in the car).
If you’re not yet familiar with using affirmations, they’re simply positive, short phrases you can speak to yourself to help build your confidence. You can see why they make sense for pregnancy, labor, and birth.
How to Use Birth Affirmations
Here are my top doula tips for using birth affirmations:
Bring your whole heart. Focus when practicing your affirmations; the more you believe in these statements, the more powerful they will become.
Practice, practice, practice. Create a plan to practice your birth affirmations daily or a few times a week leading up to your birth. Find an affirmation meditation you enjoy, then write them in a journal, practice with your partner, doula, or support person. You can even record a voice memo practicing your affirmations to listen back. Practicing them during your pregnancy will make using these affirmations during labor more effective.
It’s not all or nothing. There’s a common misconception that affirmations or hypnobirthing tracks are only helpful for people planning for an unmedicated birth experience. Not true! Affirmations can be a great tool to complement other forms of pain management in your plan (think about that drive to the hospital before you get an epidural).
Eyes on the prize. Once your contractions pick up, channeling your focus on affirmations will be more challenging. Print out a copy of your affirmations, save them to your phone, or pack affirmation cards in your bag—this will give you a visual point of reference to help keep your focus on your affirmations as you ride the waves of your labor.
Now that you’ve got a sense of how affirmations work, where can you find the right positive messages for you? If you’re new to using affirmations, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.
I asked Kristen Rose Hanna, mom of two and a meditation guide and yoga instructor, to share some of her favorite affirmations to build your birthing confidence and use during labor.
Here’s what she had to share:
Birth Affirmations for Your Body & Baby
I am designed to birth my baby.
My body knows how to give birth.
My body is intuitive and wise.
My baby is intuitive and wise.
I trust my body and my baby.
Birth Affirmations for Confidence
I release fear and worry.
I trust that my baby’s birth will happen at the aligned time.
I accept the path my baby’s birth takes with love, peace and ease.
I trust you, baby.
Birth Affirmations for Relaxation
I will flow through birth, allowing my body to unfold organically.
I will accept all sensations as they come.
I know each sensation is going to bring me closer to meeting my precious baby.
I relax and my baby relaxes with me.
Birth Affirmations for Strength and Resilience
I am fierce and flexible.
I am strong and capable.
Birth is powerful so I will allow it to empower me.
I breathe deeply and I am calm.
I surrender effortlessly.