If you've done your research into hypnobirthing already, you'll know that affirmations are one of the techniques used to help mums-to-be experience a calm and positive birth. But what exactly are hypnobirthing affirmations? And how do they work? We spoke to Siobhan Miller, mum of three, founder of The Positive Birth Company and author of Hypnobirthing: Practical Ways to Make Your Birth Better, to find out just how hypnobirthing affirmations can help you.
What are hypnobirthing affirmations?
"Hypnobirthing affirmations are a series of positive statements about pregnancy and birth," says Siobhan. "People usually have them printed on cards to read or on an audio file to listen to. By consciously absorbing the positive statements you are creating and reinforcing new positive associations with pregnancy and birth. And by doing so, essentially reprogramming your mind and changing the way you think and feel about birth, for the better. Regular use has been proven to reduce anxiety and boost confidence."
"You can download a free MP3 of positive affirmations for pregnancy and birth from our website. Simply scroll to the bottom of our homepage and sign up there," advises Siobhan. "My favourites include: My surges cannot be stronger than me, because they are me; Every surge brings me closer to meeting my baby; My birth partner is by my side and on my side; Birth is powerful, but so am I."
How can hypnobirthing affirmations help me during birth?
"The more confident and relaxed you feel going into birth, the better. When you are relaxed you produce a hormone called oxytocin which is the hormone that fuels labour. The more oxytocin you have in your body, the quicker, easier and more straightforward your birth will be," explains Siobhan. "On the contrary, if you go into birth feeling scared and panicked you will produce adrenaline. This will mean your heart rate increases and you enter fight or flight mode where your blood and oxygen is redirected to your arms and legs - so you can fight or take flight! It’s the body’s life-saving mechanism."
"However it’s not all that useful in labour and birth as your arms and legs don’t need the extra blood and oxygen, your uterus does! Without it, the uterus muscles will slow down, your labour may stall, the muscles working hard but starved of oxygen will become more painful and the likelihood of intervention and distress for both mum and baby increases. Hypnobirthing equips people with practical tools they can use to overcome fear so they can go through labour and birth feeling calm confident and empowered," says Siobhan.
Hypnobirthing affirmations to try
Unsure what hypnobirthing affirmations to try? Have a look through our gallery to help you find one you like.