Positive birth affirmations (that don’t make you cringe)

A few years ago, we wrote a post about birth affirmations and how hypnobirthing suggests repeating your affirmations regularly throughout the last few months of pregnancy to prepare yourself for the safe arrival of your baby. If you find you have fears and concerns about birthing your baby, using affirmations can help to dispel these.

I found some of the affirmations made me cringe, let’s not mention the suggestion that “My cervix is like a rosebud, ready to open” but I have revisited some of the positive birth affirmations that assisted me and that I was comfortable saying out loud.

Positive birth affirmations that don't make you cringe

I trust my body to grow my baby, and I trust my body to birth my baby.

I feel confident. I feel safe. I feel secure.

My baby is healthy and innately knows when to begin labor.

I am proud of my body and I trust it to birth my baby.

Every contraction brings me closer to our baby.

The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you.

My mind has released all fears and trusts birth.

Birth is safe for me and my baby.

This is what my body was designed for and my body knows how to give birth.


We previously said that choosing the right affirmation for you is what will make them work. It is good to choose the ones that you are comfortable with, or write your own but whichever ones you choose, you just need to believe in them.




Self taught hypnobirthing – Jenni’s story

We often hear stories about hypnobirthing classes but what about self taught hypnobirthing, is it as effective? We are therefore delighted to share Jenni’s story about her experience of hypnobirthing during her pregnancy and birth of baby Lucas.

Can you teach yourself hypnobirthing

When I was pregnant I was adamant that I didn’t want any pain relief during labour, including gas and air. I wanted to be at the birth fully without medications impairing my mind. I also wanted to have a water birth in a maternity unit. To prepare myself I listened to hypnobirthing cds whilst I fell to sleep at night, joined an aquanatal class and prenatal yoga.

Both the aquanatal and pre natal yoga helped to increase strength and stamina needed for carrying the extra weight and for when I went into labour. They also helped the flexibility of muscles that become weaker during pregnancy. The poses during yoga released my tension and any anxiety I was feeling. The breathing exercises also transferred into helping throughout labour. The yoga class also involved sound work and massage which relieved tension and aches as well as preparing for labour. Aquanatal exercises really helped with my pelvic floor muscles.

I looked into local hypnobirthing classes but there was no way I was going to pay the ridiculous amount they were asking and also due to my job I may have had to miss some due to my shifts. I downloaded a couple of apps but didn’t think much of them. In the end I purchased a set of 3 CDs from http://www.kghypnobirthing.com/ for just under £20.  CD 1 ‘Relaxation for a Gentle Birth – Colour and Calmness’ helps you prepare for birth and give you optimism and a positive outlook. CD 2 ‘Fear Release before Birth – Confidence and Power’ shows you how to release your fears and achieve the birth that you want. CD 3 ‘More Relaxations for a Natural Birth – Peace and Relaxation’ gives you four further deep relaxations for variety. I think the idea of CDs is to listen to them and meditate during the day as well as putting them on at bedtime but I only used them in bed. I fell to sleep to one each night and if I woke during the night which happened often in the third trimester I would pop it back on to relax me back into slumber land. I can still remember me lying in bed, letting go of any fears and imagining my cervix (sorry for over sharing) opening easily as that is exactly what the female body was made to do. I have a rubbish memory so the CD obviously had an impact as that is pretty much what it said.

As we got nearer to the due date and Lucas wasn’t showing any signs of making a move my midwife offered me a sweep. As I didn’t really want any interference I declined it. Once I got to 41 weeks I knew I had to say yes so I had a sweep but nothing  happened. At this point my anxiety was increasing, I was begging Lucas to get moving and I was crying in panic over the thought of being induced and having to go to a different hospital that I had planned on.

2 days before I got to 42 weeks, I was induced (Feb 14th, Happy Valentines Day) in a hospital I didn’t want to be in. I stayed overnight without D as it wasn’t a maternity unit.  D returned in the morning and my labour pains started to increase. I was vomitting every time I tried to eat or drink. I think D would agree that I wasn’t in the best of moods. At about 3pm my waters broke naturally and we were taken up to the labour unit. Luckily the birthing pool was free and I was offered it. This turned my labour around. The little plan I had in my head throughout pregnancy was coming together. I took CD 3 with me, planning on using it during labour but I ended up being quite happy with Smooth FM so I didn’t ask the midwife to put it on. I loved the pool and I loved our midwives (1 qualified and 1 student). The midwives kind of left D and I to it, just checking on us, which was exactly what I wanted. The water relaxed me so much, the midwife put the gas and air next to the pool in case I decided to have some. I loved that the pool helped me feel weightless, the water relaxed me more and I could freely move when I wanted to. I’m happy to say that I didn’t have any pain relief, including gas and air. Lucas was born naturally at 5.40pm and I put that down to the preparation during pregnancy. The breathing exercises I learnt in yoga, the exercises to prepare my body in aqua and the positive thinking from my CDs. I am not going to say it didn’t hurt but it was an incredibly amazing experience.

Jenni blogs all about her family adventures over at http://chillingwithlucas.com/ if you want to hear more.

Reducing stress during pregnancy

We have recently been introduced to Baby wellness and childcare expert, Angela Spencer, who calls for greater awareness of link between pregnancy stress and health issues in the under 5s. As part of Stress Awareness Month (April 2016), Angela Spencer – creator of the Babyopathy wellness programme  – has called for higher awareness of the links between pre-natal maternal stress, and its impact on cognitive development and psychopathology, both during pregnancy and after birth.

Angela says: “Many people are unaware that stress levels naturally become amplified in pregnancy, as our bodies are out under increasing pressure thanks to an influx of hormones. When we are stressed our bodies produce cortisol, ‘the stress hormone’, which causes the fight or flight response and is part of our human nature. A certain amount of cortisol is needed during pregnancy to pass on the natural instincts that we all have. However, too much stress and too much cortisol raises a risk of health problems in your unborn baby.”

Reducing stress in pregnancy

Angela has some top sensory tips to reduce stress during pregnancy and many resonate with the relaxation tips that are found in hypnobirthing.

A sip and a sniff

Aromatherapy can be used safely during pregnancy if products have been developed especially for pregnancy or you are using recommended oils in a vapouriser etc. If you have to travel a lot for your work, or use the trains and underground, it can quickly cause you to feel nauseous or faint. Angela recommends keeping a bottle of lemon essential oil in your bag (as well as a bottle of water to sip) so that you can waft it under your nose to give you an instant mood and energy lift and fight nausea.

  1. Music is food for the soul

Music is one of my favourite sensory ‘tools’ – it can make you happy, it can make you cry, it can help your digestion and it can help you relax. Setting aside a time in the evening each day to play some relaxing music and just sit and absorb it will not only help you to de-stress but from about 17 weeks your baby is able to hear through the womb and will recognize familiar tones and rhythms once born so you are already setting the foundations of a ‘bedtime’ routine

  1. Just breathe

Meditation or mindfulness is a growing trend in managing stress that Angela thoroughly recommends trying to pursue. However, when you are busy and already feeling stressed and pressured some people find it difficult to find the time. She suggests, when feeling stressed and overwhelmed just take a moment for a few deep breaths – complete lungs full of air breathed in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 5 just to re-balance you.

  1. Crystals are a girl’s best friend

Move over diamonds, there’s a new rock in town! Rose quartz is the ‘mother’ of all crystals when it comes to pregnancy. It has a loving, protective energy during pregnancy (and childbirth) and is powerful in healing during stressful times. Many underestimate the power of crystals, and this is one of my favourites. There are some beautiful polished crystal bracelets available now that will work to combat your stress levels during pregnancy.

  1. A walk in nature

The biophilia hypothesis is our inbuilt connection with nature and how this can nurture wellbeing (and aid development and healing). Just a 10 minute walk immersed in nature, a walk along the riverbank or in amongst trees, can have a direct affect on our wellbeing reducing stress and improving our mood. If the sun is shining you get the added benefit of some much needed vitamin D as many of us have a deficiency of this essential vitamin.

Did you find yourself becoming stressed during pregnancy? What techniques did you use?

The alternative maternity bag checklist

We have all seen the essential hospital bag checklists but no maternity bag list of necessities would be complete without with a few special  things that mums would REALLY like to help them keep sane.

The alternative maternity bag checklist

Hypnobirthing music – If you are planning a relaxing hypno birth then your relaxation music is a must. It will include all those triggers that you need to get yourself into a calm and relaxed state to welcome the new arrival of your baby.

A sweet treat – Usually after birth you are given a cup of tea and some toast, so get some chocolate or your favourite treat to reward yourself for all your hard work after labour!

Notebook – A personally created notebook for writing important things down like times of feeds, or just for the general information that nurses and midwives share with you. It will not only be useful but will in later years become a treasured item. Pen and paper may become essential if you need to produce lists for bewildered family members, for all the things that you didn’t think you would need.

Fairy lights – white Christmas lights, or stand alone baby nightlights, can turn out to be your favourite thing. Hospital lights can be very harsh. If it is possible to turn them off you may benefit from using the ambient light from your lights making everything more peaceful and dreamy – perfect for that first nights sleep!

A picture perfect pack – Happy mum and baby photos are an inevitable must. A travel hair brush, dry shampoo and a shiny lip balm can help any new mum to her feel more human for when guests arrive. Hair ties can also help after being in a hospital bed for hours, so moms can tie away the mess. There is no better feeling like waking up the next day as a new mother, then showering, and putting on some easy makeup to get ready for doting guests.

Special siblings – If it is not your first baby then it might be a nice idea to pack a present for the new baby to give their older brother or sister. It is a bonding experience if your children are going to meet in the hospital for the first time, it is easier to pack something nice before the birth than have someone else rush around afterwards for you.

New mum memory makers – You will most likely not feel up to savouring the memories of the birth, but later on you may wish that you (or your family around you), have documented some of the experiences. Take chargers for the camera on your phone. A baby book can be started as you mean to go on.

Bespoke pain relief. – Alongside the hospital recommended pain relief , a hot water bottle can be a help to soothing a backache during contractions, and if has been personalised for you with a special cover, it can be surprisingly great for effective pain relief. Long BBQ tongs can also be a useful addition if you can fit them in your bag especially after a caesarean, as bending down to pick up things can be a painful task.

Essential oils – Witch hazel or lavender can be sprinkled on the maternity towels that new mums need as they can be used to help sooth and calm after the birth. Witch Hazel gel is extra useful for smearing on pads and can ease in soothing stitches and also be used for hormonal skin post birth. These can be teamed with IOU massage gift cards from caring partners.

Lastly, a do not disturb sign may be very useful in some shared hospital bathrooms!

Would you add anything to the list?