This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website
I’ve written before about my birth affirmations and how they helped me prepare for and participate in labor. If you’ve never created affirmations before it might seem daunting at first. I honestly believe they are powerful and more so when they are created by you. I think this process will benefit your birth experience even if you never get to say a single affirmation during labor or delivery. It is the preparing itself that is so powerful. I’d love to share with you how to make your own Birth Affirmations.
What Are Affirmations?
How Do I Create a Birth Affirmation?
- Get to the root of your worry/fear. Give it a name and it already takes some of the power away. For example;
I will be a wimp and not be able to handle the pain of my contractions.
- Restate your worry/fear with an opposite statement.
I will be strong and able to handle the pain of my contractions.
- Make it present tense.
I am strong and am handling the pain of my contractions.
- Affirmations are declarations! They should be short and to the point. Think of writing them on a picket sign. Divide your statement into the smallest divisible parts.
I am strong.
I am handling the pain of my contractions.
- Remove weak or negative words. “Handle” implies barely getting by, perhaps “conquer” or “stay with” the pain of my contractions (some people don’t like the idea of a contraction as being something to overcome as if it were the enemy – consider your thoughts before choosing a word). Pain is negative. It was useful for me to think of them as intense or powerful instead of painful. And I liked to think of my contractions as a powerful wave.
I am strong.
I am riding with the power of my contractions.
- Review your worry. Did you get the meat of it? Was it really that you think your partner will find you wimpy? That is a different worry in many ways. Take a moment to determine if you captured the heart of your true worry.
- I’m afraid I won’t be able to breastfeed and will resort to formula.
- I know I will be able to breastfeed and will not resort to formula. (write the opposite)
- I am able to breastfeed and will not resort to formula. (make it present tense)
- I am able to breastfeed.
I will not resort to formula. (short declarative statements)
- I am a successful breastfeeder. (able could imply that you are still uncertain. You might instead say “breastfeeding comes naturally to me.” Notice I took the second statement out all together. It was all a negative “resort” statement.
- I am worried that I won’t be able to give my baby the best I can through breastfeeding. Perhaps going through the process again would be useful to come up with an additional affirmation – I am doing the best for my baby.
- I’m afraid my labor will take too long.
- My labor will not take too long.
- My labor is not taking too long.
- (already short and declarative)
- My labor is proceeding perfectly.