Affirmations are uncomplicated tools that literally change our thoughts, therefore changing our experience and as a result, will change our lives for the better. They are simple truths that we can reintroduce into our lives, either by repeating them aloud while charging them with prayer or powerful intention, or written with the same energy behind them for us to take in through our eyes.
In preparation for my birth, I got reacquainted with the practice of using positive affirmations. I began journaling later in my pregnancy, and within those pages, I wrote messages to my unborn child that I intend on sharing with him when he gets a bit older.
I tucked beautiful images into its pages, along with leaves, flower petals and photos of me with my family and in my favorite places. I watched for things around me that created more peace and more confidence within me and I created affirmations from these.
I jotted down bits of lyrics, gems from my conversations with friends, guidance from our midwife and most especially, insights from my own experience of myself during the bloom of my first pregnancy.
Affirmations helped me ground my mind when I felt any fleeting fear and uncertainty come up and they also strengthened my confidence when I was feeling strong and capable of laboring and birthing my child into the world on our terms.
As my women friends are becoming mothers themselves, some for the first time, some for the fourth, I continue to use affirmations in my daily life, but I now extended this practice to include my friends in their pregnancies and their births ahead of them.
I was cozied up with my little one today, sharing a snuggly afternoon nurse and watching the leaves falling from the trees outside when I began thinking of our dear friend who is newly pregnant and over-the-moon excited about this new life within her.
I was reflecting on my favorite affirmations from my pregnancy and offered a few up to bless her way ahead. And then it got me thinking, what if all of us who care deeply about birth used birth-positive affirmations, not just for ourselves, our family, and our friends but offered them up with our most sincere intentions for every woman, every child, for every birth.
I feel like so much is possible for us all in our births and the healing of our collective experiences. I also know that my intentional practice of encouraging positivity in my mind and body during my pregnancy - here are some ways that I did this - served me well throughout the pregnancy, but especially during our birth and now as a mother.
I also know how much goodness I feel in myself when I bless another mother's way with my prayers and loving support - it feels wonderful to be a part of it all!
So, let's give it a go together!
Let's all lend some heart to a subtle, yet irrepressible shift toward healing birth by beginning with our thoughts and emotions surrounding birth. I hope that you join me in offering up affirmations with heart-held intentions to benefit everyone around us - men, women, and children. We must all be included and touched to heal our collective idea of labor and birth.
Here is a list to start us off in our work together. Please use the ones that hold the most significance to you and that touch your heart. Add your favorites, say them out loud, speak them silently in your mind, write them down and read them often, share them with others, share them with everyone. Let's do it, let's create more birth goodness in the world one thought, one mind at the time, beginning with our own:
• My body is beautifully and wonderfully made.
• My heart and body know exactly what my baby needs, my mind is learning.
• I am a powerful, loving and creative being.
• My pelvis releases and opens as have those of countless women before me.
• Good strong contractions help my baby come into the world.
• My body contains all the knowledge necessary to safely birth my baby.
• My baby knows how and when to be born.
• Birth is a safe and sacred experience.
• My baby will be born healthy and at the perfect time.
• I am a strong and capable woman.
• I am a powerful, loving and creative being.
• I am willing to meet myself with kindness in all that may arise.
• I accept this labor as my labor and believe it is the right one for me and for my baby.
• I feel the love of those around me.
• I proudly step forward and take my place within the collective of motherhood.
“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material