I've mentioned in previous blogs about the unrealistic portrayal of pregnancy and birth in mainstream media and how that can negatively affect our thoughts and feelings around birth. But what are some ways we can slowly change our brains to think of birth in a positive light? It's that old chestnut again, the POWER OF THE MIND. Honestly, you cannot underestimate the importance your mind has in setting yourself up for a positive birth experience. So, how can reading birth affirmations help us?
Affirmations program your mind to believe what you're reading or seeing. This is because our mind doesn't know what is real or imagined (just like when we watch a sad movie and we cry, we know it isn't real but our mind is empathising with the characters and responding). So when we repeatedly read a birth affirmation or use new phrases to describe birth (intense sensations instead of pain, for example) it is putting new thoughts and beliefs at the forefront of our minds and supporting a new way of thinking about birth.
Birth affirmations, positive images, messages from friends and family and ultrasound photos of your baby can all be beneficial in fostering that positive, encouraging mindset when you're preparing for your birth. But you don't just need to look at them. You need to hear them and read them too! Birth affirmations can even be read to you during labour to keep your mind focused!
When I teach clients the Hypnobirthing Australia™ program, we talk in length about the brain, our sub-conscious and the importance of birth affirmations. I even ask my clients to do a little affirmations project at home. Some clients love the opportunity to get creative and some are happy to print their favourite affirmations from Google. You can then pop your affirmations around the house, on the fridge, your bathroom mirror, pop them on some string and make a lovely bunting or a corkboard which you can then take with you in labour. Just check out this amazing affirmations board one of my clients has made for her upcoming birth with her first baby. There are some Hypnobirthing Australia™ visuals, messages from friends and family, pictures of her baby and affirmations and images that resonate with her. It is just amazing and is published with her permission.