Affirmations not only influence our mindset, but can have a profound impact on our pregnancy and birth outcome.
To realise just how important affirmations are in pregnancy, and how it can influence our mindset, it is important to realise that affirmations are, “…every thought you think and every word you speak … All of our self-talk, our internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. You’re using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. You’re affirming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought”. Louise L. Hay
Whether you realise it or not this constant stream of internal thoughts forms your belief patterns about yourself and the world around you. These beliefs then determine what actions you take or do not take. They determine how you respond to your environment and the choices that you make day to day. We all have beliefs, habits and values stored in our unconscious. Some we are aware of and some we are not. When it comes to birthing, unfortunately from a very young age, our unconscious has been bombarded with images and ideas about birth that simply are not true. We are taught to believe birth is a painful, a medical emergency, full of drama, screaming and waters breaking at the most inopportune time.
Consider the two scenarios below, both women are using affirmations (whether they realise it or not!).
Woman A, has been saying to herself, pretty much from the time she found out that she was pregnant, that birth is something to be feared, a painful experience she must endure. She clearly has a negative perception of birth. When it comes to her birthing day, it becomes an almost self-fulfilling prophecy – she is expecting pain, and at the first sign of discomfort she will have confirmation of her belief – birth is painful. Most likely a mum in this situation will feel dis-empowered as she may not have investigated too far into birth preparation outside the hospital classes, which can often instil more fear themselves. If intervention is offered she will most likely agree to it without questioning possible risks. Most likely, a mum in this situation will look back on her birth experience as being negative.
Woman B, is a little bit anxious about birth, it is a great unknown, but she has a profound sense that this is a natural, normal life experience. She seeks out an independent childbirth class because she knows she wants to be as empowered as possible for her birthing day. Daily she intentionally recites affirmations such as “I put all fear aside as a I prepare for the birth of my baby,” “I feel confident; I feel safe; I feel secure,” “I trust my body to know what it is to do,” “I am prepared to meet any turn my birthing takes.” When it comes time for her to birth her baby, if she has a sign of discomfort, again it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – she is expecting to need to use her mental strength to move through labour, so she might say to herself, I need to go deeper within my birthing body and use the tools and techniques I’ve learnt as I’m prepared to work with my body. She has an underlying belief that birth is safe and her body is made for this experience. If interventions are suggested, because Woman B sees herself as in control of her birth, she will likely question if the intervention is necessary and the risks and benefits. Woman B, regardless of if she decides to accept the intervention or not, will look back on her birthing experience as positive. She was an active participant in all the decisions in her birth.
Our thoughts are the basis of all of our behaviour
A continued exposure to the birthing affirmations result in changes in behaviour, habits, actions and reactions, you begin to truly believe and accept what the affirmations say. This is why HypnoBirthing Mums as part of their Rainbow Relaxation MP3 (provided by your HypnoBirthing practitioner) listen to affirmations daily in the lead up to their birthing day. Mums are also encouraged to print out their favourite affirmations and place them in a prominent space in their home/work and to read them out loud as often as possible.
Most people have heard of the Law of Attraction. It is a theory that like attracts like, that what you focus on is what you get, be this a positive or negative experience. It sounds very simple but for 99% of people, the Law of Attraction doesn’t work. This is very simply because their conscious mind and unconscious mind are not in harmony with each other.
During our HypnoBirthing course, we examine why this is and parents experience a very powerful exercise to clear these unconscious beliefs, leaving their mind open to the possibility of a positive, gentle birth.
Affirmations play a very important part in this process as the continued exposure to the affirmations result in changes in behaviour, habits, actions and reactions. Basically you begin to truly believe and accept what the affirmations say.
Affirmations during birth keep you motivated and your mind focused on the goal of birthing your baby. They change the way you think and behave. Affirmations keep you positive and energised.
There are some rules when it comes to writing affirmations, that’s why the HypnoBirthing Institute have done the hard yards and come up with a range of affirmations, perfect for the pregnant or labouring woman.
We wish you a positive birthing day!
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
Written by Natalie Jones and Michelle Clift