Birth affirmations are a great way to stay motivated and centered during a birth, especially during the toughest parts when it seems like you cannot take much more. During my first pregnancy, one of the ways that I prepared for birth was to seek out various birth affirmations that I found empowering. I was blessed to have a friend who threw me a Mother Blessing Party rather than another baby shower. At this event, guests were able to write encouraging phrases and affirmations on pre-cut pieces of fabric so that I would have them with me as a banner for the birth. It was incredibly touching to have that banner with me as I labored to bring our baby girl Earthside. I can still remember the labor nurses hunting down tape and helping my friend to hang it up for me in our hospital room as I labored with my first. This time around, we had a home birth. In the weeks leading up to our son’s arrival, we made sure to hang the banner in our bedroom where I would be doing most of the laboring. While birth affirmations help to give mom focus and purpose during birth, sending her helpful reminders of why she is doing this, having this banner was even more motivational for me because it was as though I had all the people who loved me in the room with me cheering me on. Not to mention, if you have a way to display them in your birthing area, they make great photos and keepsakes from your birth.
If you search for birth affirmations on Google, you are sure to be flooded with endless motivational phrases and quotes surrounding birth. One of the things I always mention to my couples is that it is important to find ones that speak to you. Some may find the imagery, such as opening like a flower, profoundly helpful in letting her body relax and open while others may find it....a little too flowery (pun intended). And that is okay. Below are some links to some great birth affirmation resources that range from ones you’d typically find like the flower imagery, to badass birth affirmations to Cesarean birth affirmations (because although birth is inherently safe and our bodies are absolutely capable, sometimes things do not go according to our plans). I would strongly encourage you to explore the various birth affirmations and find ones that you find encouraging and empowering.
Birth affirmation coloring sheets were another way I prepared for my first birthing experience. The growing trend of adult coloring books can also be found in the birthing community. There are birth affirmation coloring sheets that helped me to dwell on empowering affirmations while I also practiced mental relaxation for my upcoming birth. If coloring is something that is calming for you, I’d be sure to check these out!
Lastly, I would like to address that there is some criticism of birth affirmations. There is the idea that birth affirmations, despite having the best of intentions, perhaps can set moms up for failure as well. For example, the mom who spent most of her pregnancy preparing for a natural birth in any way she could and who gathered affirmations such as “My body is made for this” only to end up with a Cesarean. In contrast to the affirmation, she may be left feeling like her body was not able to birth and that she is broken or a failure. While I understand where this view point stems from, I cannot discredit the powerful influence that birth affirmations can have on a laboring mother. One of my goals for the expecting families who take our class is to understand that while birth is safe, it is also unpredictable. We aim to equip our couples with the right questions to ask and to have a solid understanding of the birth process so that if things do not go exactly as they planned, they can still have an empowering and positive birthing experience no matter what their chosen birth affirmations may have stated.
You can find some links below to get you started on your birth affirmation exploration. We hope you can find ones that speak to you, that you find empowering, and that help you to prepare and work through one of life’s biggest adventures. Enjoy the journey!
Love the watercolor look and the more traditional birth affirmations? Here are some Watercolor Birth Affirmations.
Not into the more flowery or earthy birth affirmations? Check out these Badass Birth Affirmations from a fellow Bradley Instructor!
Did the idea of Birth Affirmation Coloring Sheets speak to you? You can find some here.
Need affirmations that reaffirm your confidence in birth? Here are some Fearless Birth Affirmations.
I stumbled across these Cesarean Birth Affirmations too...because sometimes things do not go according to our own plans. I particularly love these because they really reaffirm birth in all forms, and may help mommas avoid the pitfalls of broken expectations with some of the more traditional birth affirmations (see above; ie. “My body is made for this.”).
What are some of your favorite birth affirmations? Did you have any with you at your birth? If so, how did you display them? We’d love to hear from you and add to our own list to share with our students!