Have you ever brought a new phone or car and then all of a sudden you start seeing the exact same model pop up everywhere? You never noticed them before, but now you see them at every turn! Well you’ve got your Reticular Activation System to thank for that, or your RAS for short.
Your RAS is a collection of nerves in the brainstem which filters out unnecessary information and helps prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. Pretty clever really! The RAS will help you to only notice the things that are important to you and that validate your beliefs. So if you have always thought that birth would be painful and traumatic, then your RAS will be looking for stories and information that confirm this.
But here’s the thing… we can change what our RAS is on the look out for. When we do this we start changing our feelings and beliefs. One of the easiest ways to do this for birth is to start using positive birth affirmations. Athletes use this technique a lot but they refer to it as positive self talk. Whichever name you use, it’s powerful.
Using positive birth affirmations can help you to:
- Build your confidence for birth
- Become aware of your own strength and resilience
- Release fears around the birth experience
You can find examples of positive birth affirmations on the internet, Pinterest is a gold mine! You might want to print your affirmations off and stick them around the house, you could scribble them onto post it notes and use them as bookmarks, or set one as your lockscreen on your phone. There are so many ways to use positive birth affirmations and they’re a good excuse to get a bit crafty and creative. Why not make some affirmation bunting? Create an affirmation vision board? Or buy some affirmation colouring in sheets?
Go all out with the crafting or just keep the affirmations in mind, its up to you. Affirmations work really well when you have created them yourself, so here are a few tips to help you write your own positive birth affirmations:
- Write your affirmations in the 1st person (I, Me, We, My baby)
- Use the present tense ( I am prepared for a calm birth)
- Use positive language (can, will, do)
Here are some of my favourite affirmations to get you started:
I take control of what I can and let go of what I can’t – This is a perfect affirmation for pregnancy and birth, there are somethings we will be able to control (our preparation, our mindset, our communication with birth partners and care providers) and there are definitely things that will be out of our control (when baby decides to arrive, how long our labour is, our changing bodies).
I have everything I need to birth my baby– whatever your birth looks like, you have everything you need to get through it. You are enough.
I am calm, confident and in control– a great affirmation for those moments where you feel a bit wobbly, and brilliant to continue to use after birth as you navigate parenthood.
So start using your positive birth affirmations today and see what your RAS lets in, maybe you’ll notice some positive birth stories, maybe you’ll start to feel really excited for birth instead of afraid or maybe you’ll experience a new sense of calm. To learn more about how hypnobirthing and birth preparation can help you have a positive birth visit our website
If you want to find out more about having a newborn baby check out our services page