Birth is physically challenging, but it also takes a mental toll. Practicing birth affirmations is a simple but powerful way to prepare your mind for labor and delivery.
As a doula, I help families identify and practice coping techniques for labor, and one of my top recommendations – along with massage, movement, and breathing exercises – is birth affirmations.
Why birth affirmations can help
Positive thinking can strongly impact our perception of pain. Birth affirmations help us think about labor pains as quick, meaningful steps towards the end goal of meeting our baby and encourage us to stay relaxed and calm as we ride the waves of surges and contractions.
They are also great because you don’t need any extra tools and can use birth affirmations anytime.
Curious about birth affirmations but not sure where to start? Here are your questions about birth affirmations answered and a list of amazing ones to practice.
What are birth affirmations?
Birth affirmations are specific statements that promote positive thoughts and emotions. In a birth setting, these statements often remind the parent of their strength, how natural this process is, and that they are getting closer to meeting their baby with every contraction.
Birth affirmations can look different for everyone. Some parents may want to incorporate words or phrases of personal importance, such as their baby’s name, comforting scripture, or musical lyrics.
How can I effectively use birth affirmations?
1. Practice, practice, practice
Don’t wait until you are in labor to try using birth affirmations for the first time.
Tape some up on your mirror or fridge where you will see them every day and practice saying them out loud to yourself in the car, shower, or wherever feels most comfortable to you.
I know it can feel incredibly awkward to talk aloud to yourself, so practicing can make it start to come much more naturally before the big day arrives.
2. Include your partner
I cannot stress enough how important it is to include your partner in your birth affirmations. Please give them a list or a few birth affirmation cards that they can practice so that they are prepared to use them with you during labor and birth.
I have witnessed many times where affirming words from a partner helped bring the laboring person back to a positive headspace and give them the push they needed to ride the following few contractions.
3. Bring a reminder for yourself
As labor progresses, you may find it more and more challenging to pull your affirmations from memory. Prepare a physical list of your favorite affirmations, some affirmation cards, or save some on your phone to bring to your birthing place as a quick reference when needed.
18 birth affirmations to try for free
Now that you have a better understanding of what birth affirmations are and how to use them, here are some of my favorites that can be used as-is or tailored to fit your specific needs and desires:
Birth affirmations for strength
- I am strong and capable.
- I can do anything for 60 seconds.
- Birth is powerful, so I will allow it to empower me.
- I believe in my power and my strength.
Birth affirmations for grounding
- I am safe, secure, and strong.
- My baby trusts me, and I trust this process.
- Everything I am feeling is normal.
- This is the day we’ve been waiting for.
Birth affirmations for relaxation
- My mind and my body are relaxed.
- I release fear and worry.
- I stay present and breathe deeply.
- With each breath in, I breathe in peace and trust.
- With each exhale, I breathe out tension and stress.
Birth affirmations for your body and baby
- Each surge of my body brings my baby closer to me.
- I trust my body to know what to do.
- I trust my body and baby.
- My baby will come at the perfect time.
- I cooperate with my body and baby.
More free birth resources you might enjoy
- Browse: Postpartum Affirmation Cards
- Download: a free, printable birth affirmation card deck
- Read: 10 Tips for Giving Birth with More Confidence
Also, you can connect with the author of this article, Kara, and save 15% on her virtual doula services. Just mention that Hello Postpartum sent you.
Kara is a full spectrum doula and founder of Bump-to-Birth Doula Care. She cares for growing families both virtually and in-person from pregnancy to postpartum with an inclusive, evidence-based, and empowered approach to doula care. After having two babies of her own, Kara felt called to help others feel confident and supported through their journey to parenthood, now providing childbirth and newborn care education, nutritional support, and hands-on care during labor and birth to parents of all kinds.