Birth affirmations can make you feel better about labor.
Those who have anxiety about delivery can learn to improve their mindset over time by repeating short, positive phrases.
With that being said, birthing affirmations don’t work for everyone—they can make some feel worse. So, how do you choose affirmations that work for you?
Read on to discover 64 birthing affirmations and how to use them to improve your delivery.
What Are Birth Affirmations?
Affirmations are short phrases you repeat in hopes of improving your mindset. The idea is that by improving your mindset, you’ll improve your outcome.
For birth affirmations specifically, people hope that by repeating a positive statement, they’ll become calmer about delivery and hopefully have an easier labor. It may soothe fears and help you gain confidence about your ability to give birth or be a mother
These phrases can be repeated out loud, inside your head, or written down. You can use birth affirmations daily or just before or during labor.
Do Birth Affirmations Work?
Many people use various types of affirmations but do they work? Does saying something make it true?
Research shows that affirmations can make some people feel better while others may feel worse. First, let’s take a look at the research showing the benefits of affirmations.
Benefits of Birth Affirmations
First, let’s take a look at the research showing the benefits of affirmations.
- A 2016 study found that affirmations can work thanks to neuroplasticity and the brain reward system.
- A 2010 study showed that affirmations can reduce a person’s defensiveness to a threat.
- A 2020 study showed that affirmations improved workers’ performance.
- In a 2019 study, values affirmations and reassuring information were related to lower threat responses.
There’s a lot of research on why birth affirmations can work. Still, they don’t work for everyone. A 2008 study showed that affirmations work but not for people who need them most. Those with high self-esteem felt better. Those with lower self-esteem felt worse after using affirmations.
When affirmations work, many experts think it’s thanks to your brain’s neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity allows your brain to change and adapt. Creating a mental picture of yourself giving birth can activate some of the same areas of the brain as actually giving birth. As you repeat the birth affirmation and instill the mental picture of yourself calmly giving birth, your brain may start believing it. In turn, this can reduce your anxiety about birth and make delivery easier.
In summary, birth affirmations work for some people and not others. While there’s no guarantee they’ll make you feel better, you can try a few and see if your mood improves.
64 Birth Affirmations
Choose birth affirmations that feel believable and realistic.
- I am ready.
- I am prepared.
- I welcome my baby.
- This feeling is temporary.
- I’m grateful I have so many people to support me.
- I trust my body to deliver this baby.
- I can do it because I’m doing it now.
- Contractions mean my baby is excited to meet me.
- I’m stronger than my contractions.
- I’m more powerful than I know.
- I have more strength than I need.
- Breathe in calm. Breathe out discomfort.
- Breathe in trust. Breathe out fear.
- I’m taking this one second at a time.
- This feeling will be worth it when I meet my baby.
- There’s 4 births every second. If they can do it, so can I.
- Contractions are a sign I’m ready.
- Great things come from discomfort.
- This discomfort is a signal I’m birthing a healthy baby.
- I have the power to birth this baby.
- I have the strength to birth this baby.
- I’m ready to receive my baby.
- I’m strong enough to handle this.
- I will have a good birth experience.
- My future self is proud of me.
- A few hours of discomfort for a lifetime of love.
- I’m going through the biggest act of love.
- I’m performing a miracle.
- I can do hard things.
- I am safe with my doctors/nurses/midwife/birth doula
- My body is built for birth and I can handle this.
- I am more than capable.
- I’m doing my best and that’s enough.
- I’m confident in my body.
- My baby is healthy and strong.
- I was made to give birth to my baby.
- This too shall pass.
- Pretty soon, I’ll finally be holding my baby.
- It’s safe to let my body take over.
- I can feel anything for 30 seconds (repeat).
- I replace perfection with trying my best.
- I’m confident in my ability to be a mother.
- Every contraction has a purpose.
- I imagine myself having a healthy labor.
- I’m grateful for a healthy pregnancy.
- I’m grateful for an easy labor.
- I’ve handled tough things before and I can do it again.
- Delivery is like unwrapping the best gift I’ll ever receive.
- Everything I need is already inside of me
- My baby and I are safe. We are safe.
- I’m blessed with great nurses and doctors.
- I surrender to my birth experience.
- I’m letting my mind rest and my body take over.
- My baby takes a step closer to me with every contraction.
- Every wave of discomfort brings my baby closer.
- This feeling is part of the process.
- My baby is leaving my body to be forever in my heart.
- My body might be screaming but my heart is singing.
- These pains are just growing pains of an expanding family.
- I have all the support I need.
- I have all the resources I need.
- I’m already a mother, I’m just finally meeting my baby.
- I might be afraid but I know I can do this.
- Like all the amazing women before me, I will get through this.How to Use Birth Affirmations
Once you’ve chosen your birth affirmations, how do you use them? Here are some ideas below.
Typically, people repeat birth affirmations either out loud or inside their head. For example, you can say your affirmation 10 times daily. Others choose to write out their affirmation repetitively.
Display Birth Affirmations
You can also display your affirmation somewhere you’ll frequently see it. Try making it your computer or phone wallpaper or lock screen. You can also write your birth affirmations on sticky notes and place them on the mirror, fridge, bedroom closet door, etc.
Use Before Birth
You can use birth affirmations for your first time during labor, however, introducing them before labor might be better. In the 2010 study we cited earlier, affirmations worked to reduce defensiveness, but only if they were introduced prior to a threat. Taking a lesson from this study, introducing birth affirmations before birth may work better for decreasing your fear around it.
Choose Affirmations That You Believe
As we discussed above, research shows that affirmations don’t work for people who need them most. That is, people with low self-esteem felt worse after repeating positive statements. From this study, we can take an important lesson: Choose affirmations you believe and that seem achievable to you.
For example, saying “I have a pain-free childbirth” may sound unrealistic and could remind you of delivery pain. Saying “My body is strong and prepared,” might feel more empowering and calming.
Avoid Toxic Positivity
Birth affirmations are supposed to be positive statements. However, you should also acknowledge and deal with your negative feelings. Ignoring the negative and replacing it with positive affirmations won’t work. This is called toxic positivity.
Instead, acknowledge the reality about your feelings surrounding birth. Then work to improve them using birth affirmations that seem realistic to you.
For example, repeating “I’m having a painless delivery” while you’re in pain won’t help. Repeating “I’m strong enough to handle this” is both true and can help improve your mindset, even if you’re in pain.
Pair with Action
Although affirmations can improve your mindset, action is often required to improve a situation. Pair your birth affirmations with other tools to help improve your birth experience:
- Learning more about the birthing process can make you feel more prepared and decrease anxiety. Become comfortable with birthing options and what you can expect.
- If you’re struggling with anxiety about birth, consider speaking to a therapist who can suggest tools to cope.
- Social support. Research shows that your mental health during pregnancy is predicted by your number and quality of social supports. Read: Social Support During Pregnancy: Why It’s Critical & 10 Ways To Get It
- Practically, exercise can improve your experience delivering. Research shows that those who exercise have shorter labors. It may also reduce pain and lead to better outcomes. While exercise in general can help, certain activities can strengthen the muscles involved in labor. Read: 7 Exercises to Make Labor Easier and Less Painful
Summary: Birthing Affirmations
Birthing affirmations are short statements you can repeat before or during birth. The goal is to improve your mindset and mood. You can write your birth affirmations down or repeat them out loud or inside your head. While birthing affirmations work for some people, they can make others feel worse. The best tip is to choose a birth affirmation that you believe and that makes you feel better. Try a few statements and see if it helps improve your mindset.
P.S. Have you tried a fetal doppler yet? These amazing devices allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat before she’s even born.