Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Birth Affirmations


A few weeks ago I was visiting with my lovely midwife, and we were discussing mental preparation for birth. She suggested to me that I think of, and write down a list of positive ideas about labor and giving birth -- making sure to write them in the present tense, as if I am experiencing those things at that moment. I am to go back and read them everyday, as part of my preparation. The idea behind this activity being that a person's mind, conscious and subconscious alike, will attach to those thoughts a the person fixates on, and make them a reality. This goes for negative thoughts, as well as positive. Our goal specifically then is to help make a positive birth experience by believing it will happen; by repeating the positive desires I have for my birth, as if they are happening in that moment.

I latched onto this idea, but didn't immediately write my positive thoughts down, (mostly I just forget to do things these days... my brain has temporarily checked out I think). Just a few days ago as I was reading my scriptures I decided it was time to get to making this list. I said a prayer, and began writing. As I did I felt so much power and love from God. He really does love his daughters, and wants us to have good experiences.

I thought it might be a good idea to contact my sisters and ask them what their favorite positive affirmations would be. Their thoughts have been wonderful, and have been added to my own. I thought that I might share my list of birth affirmations here.

My Birth Affirmations:
  • I am full of grace from my Savior
  • My baby is healthy, strong, and wise
  • My body is strong, and knows how to birth my baby
  • My mothers and grandmothers are with me while I am laboring. They support and strengthen me.
  • My body is wise, and knows how to birth my baby
  • I am relaxed and open
  • My uterus is strong and healthy, and is functioning as God intended
  • My uterus continues to stay in my body, where it belongs (I had a slight uterine prolapse with the birth of my son.)
  • My uterus births my children with grace and ease
  • I am holding my new baby
  • Contractions are good, I yield to their strength
  • I am huge
I stole the last one from Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, p.248. She tells of a first time mother who was incredulous that a baby could exit the mother's body through such a small opening. Ina May told her, "You're going to get huge."

I will quote Ina May here (pardon the weird formatting):

"One week later, her son's bottom was just coming into view after seventeen hours of labor. Before his butt pushed directly against her perineum, her vagina enlarged and opened to an extent that astounded me. I had seen this phenomenon in women who had already had seven or eight children, but never before in a first time mother. Judy's vagina would easily have allowed the passage of a baby considerably bigger than her seven-pound eight-ounce sone without a tear.
Some days later when Judy and I were talking about her birth, I told her how surprised I had been to see how open her vagina became without direct pressure on her perineum. (I was still amazed.) Judy said, "I used that mantra you gave me."
"Mantra?" I repeated, uncertain of what she meant.
"I kept thinking while I was pushing, I'm going to get huge. I'm going to get huge!" she said."

Isn't that amazing?


As I was writing my list of affirmations I began having contractions, good strong contractions. They came about every 3 minutes, and though I am only 32 weeks along, I was not frightened. I know my body was reacting to the positive thoughts I was focusing on about birth, and that gives me tremendous joy and hope at the thought of giving birth again. It was a very lovely spiritual experience for me.

Do you have any positive thoughts to add to my list?


  1. Great list!
    My favorite affirmation was always that with each good birthing wave/contraction, I was one step closer to holding my new baby.

  2. My sister-in-law keot saying "ow" so her doula told her to add a "t" to the end and say "out" Not in a forceful way, but in a way that the baby is and will come out :)

  3. Wow, poor grammar and sentence structure, sorry!

  4. I definitely thought a lot about the women in my life and in my heritage, and how all of them had travailed just like myself and how their bodies performed beautifully. Not just women, but animals too. I watched quite a few animal and human birth movies before going into labor. :)

    I've said it before, but the greatest lesson I learned from my labor is that love is the only perfect anesthetic. Expressing love and feeling love during my labor was what made it so positive an experience. It really does counteract pain because it helps the body to relax and open.

    You and your baby already have it made. I can't wait to meet the lucky little lad/lass.

  5. Don't have that baby yet, Melissa. ;)

    Did you know Ina May wrote another book in the last year or two called, "Birth Matters"? I haven't read it, but of course, it's got great reviews.

    I loved reading these affirmations. Thank you for sharing them. There were a few words in particular that really helped me during my second labor: down, out, release, and especially open. I am quite sure that repeating "open" out loud (coupled with prayer) sped up my transition beyond expectation.

    During both my labors/births, I felt a great general gratitude, for the experience and for the people around me. That feeling really helped me, so you might add to your list phrases like "I am grateful for this child," "I am grateful for this contraction," etc.

    I think you'll go first.

  6. Wow, it has been a while since I checked you guys' blog. I love this post. I wish I had used more affirmations during my labor, these are great! I didn't really have a specific affirmation I used, I was just kind of visualizing what was actually happening inside my body with each contraction and remembering that it was helping my baby come out. When things started getting really intense I verbalized a long and low "aaaaahhhhhh", to help stay relaxed (I think I remember Meredith saying something about low humming) it helped me tremendously. I probably could have used some affirmations in my arsenal to help keep me grounded as I was going through transition in the car as we raced to the birth center (we waited a bit too long to head there!). I panicked a bit at the thought of having her in the car (which made me lose my focus and previous state of relaxation) and we arrived at the birth center with me in crazy-lady-in-labor mode :) Fortunately I only had about 10 more minutes of that craziness after our arrival at the birth center before I was holding Nora in my arms. Even after all that I can still say that I LOVED giving birth naturally, it was such an amazing experience for both Jayson and I. I will definitely be doing it again! I have you ladies to thank for steering me in that direction with your inspiring stories and insights into natural birth, so THANK YOU!

    1. You were in transition in the car -- you are AMAZING! :) congratulations on the new little babe!