Preparing for childbirth can be…daunting! Sure, you can read all about the stages of labour, you can ask your mum friends a zillion questions, you can devise a well-researched birth plan, but truth be told, you really do not know how labour and delivery will go until you are in it. Scary? For sure. The unknown has a way of rattling the nerves. But there are things you can do that will take the edge off your worry and leave you feeling empowered. In fact, a 2020 report found that using positive affirmations during labour can reduce anxiety. It is thought that affirmations may prime two parts of the brain to more efficiently regulate emotions. So, no matter the birthing experience you plan for—or the one you get—having some positive affirmations in your back pocket can truly help you to get over the finish line a little easier. 

How to Use Positive Affirmations During Labour

Since your recall skills may not be up to snuff during the throes of labour, consider writing your favourite positive affirmations down. They can be in a journal you take with you to the birthing centre, they can be scrawled on a giant banner you hang in your hospital room, they can be in a folder inside your or your partner’s phone. And know that the positive affirmations that worked for, say, your birthing class buddy, might not be the ones that works for you. And that is a-okay. Affirmations are a very personal thing. Go with the affirmations that speak to you—and that do not focus solely on the birth you hope to have. Instead, allow the positive words to spotlight you and your ability to persevere and emerge on the other side of your labour and delivery journey with a happy bouncing baby.

Labour and Delivery Positive Affirmations to Consider

Again, do not expect all of the positive affirmations below to resonate…because they will not. Simply hone in on the ones that feel right. Those will be the ones that work.

I am strong and capable. 

You already know this, but it does not hurt to remind yourself. This short and easy-to-remember positive affirmation can be used whenever, but especially before and during the birthing process. 

My body knows how to do this. 

Your body was made for this. It already knows what to do…all you need to do is allow it to happen. 

Each wave of pain will bring me closer to my baby. 

Some mums-to-be add a little visualisation here, too: Picture your baby tumbling toward you on those waves. 

It is okay to have a plan. And it is okay if that plan has to change.

Yes, have a birth plan. But remember, if your plan changes, that may be your body or your baby talking to you…and you should listen.

This is my body and my journey. My priorities matter. 

Your pregnancy and your childbirth are yours. Your wishes matter. Does this mean you should ignore the advice of your doctor or midwife? No. It simply means your voice deserves an attentive and respectful ear.

My baby and I are a team.

…And youse got this!

I will breathe this baby out. 

Easy to remember now and later…when you most need it.

My body possesses all the strength I need. 

Deep down inside, you have all the tools. You really do.

I am prepared to meet any turns and changes my body and baby take during this process. 

Learning to adapt is one of the biggest musts of parenthood…and it starts now. 

I have good people around me, who I trust. 

Your delivery room will radiate with the guidance and support you deserve. Trust that.

I can do anything with an endpoint in mind. 

This affirmation works well when there is an exact time limit involved. For example, once your water breaks, you have 24 hours to get the baby out. “I can do anything for 24 hours.” 

Being afraid of the unknown is normal, not shameful. 

'Birthing without fear' is a trendy phrase, but is it actually helpful? After all, to fear and doubt the unknown is natural. There is no shame in your feelings! Use your fear to your favour: After all, conquering that fear will feel utterly amazing.  

Women all over the world will be giving birth at the same time as me. 

…And when you are in the process, 'Women everywhere are doing this right now.' What a gift to feel the bonds of sisterhood stretching across the globe. You are not alone, not at all!

A change to my birth plan is not a failure. 

Nothing is constant but change, right? Asking for an epidural is not a weakness. Having a cesarean section is not a sign of defeat. Learning to adapt and becoming flexible is a sign you are ready for the parenthood journey.

I will rest and breathe when I need to. 

Yes, your team is there to support and guide you…but you are in control. And you will tell them when you need a breather. 

Meeting my baby will be worth everything that comes before. 

Pain, fear, sleeplessness, anxiety… it will all be worth it. Trust. 

Any support or intervention that I choose is part of my process. 

It is okay to make choices you did not expect to make. It is still your birth and your journey.

Birth is a miracle. 

You created a new person who you will meet so soon. Is that not the coolest thing ever?

I have trust in my abilities and trust in my choices. 

You know you can do this. And you know that you are capable of making the best decisions to support yourself and your baby. 

Every birth is a valid birth. 

Whether you are at home with a midwife, squatting in a birthing pool, or laying down in a hospital bed, go in knowing—and come out knowing—that every birth is a victorious birth and you are an absolute badass for doing it. 

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.