Do you doubt that Caesarean and birth affirmations can exist together? Do you even know what affirmations are at all?
What are affirmations?
More of us are becoming familiar with the use of affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements that when listened to, spoken aloud or silently observed, can reprogram what your mind believes.
There are different ways that affirmations work. They can replace the negative chatter that fills your mind on a day to day basis. This negative self talk reinforces anxiety and fear and by repeating positive affirmations geared around strength, confidence and self worth, you can convince your mind that these statements are fact.
We become, or behave, in the way our affirmations tell us, as long as we use them with enough frequency to really change how we think. Effectively, we can become how we speak about ourselves.
If nothing else, an affirmation used with regularity can be a reminder to stay focused, a motivation to keep going.
Affirmations have become a big part of birth preparation and usually when approaches like Hypnobirthing are used. Incorporating positive affirmations is about developing and maintaining a positive birthing mindset. They usually refer to trusting your body, trusting your baby, releasing fear and allowing nature to take over. Definitely centred around ‘natural’ vaginal birth.
Affirmations and Caesarean birth
So where does that leave you if you are faced with a Caesarean? Can you really have affirmations geared around Caesarean birth?
You have used positive birth affirmations that are geared around vaginal birth throughout your pregnancy. Circumstances have now changed and a Caesarean is required. Has your mindset just gone out of the window? Have all your positive beliefs about your strength, confidence and trust been wiped out in a heartbeat? If you have opted for an elective Caesarean are affirmations a pointless strategy?
I say no.
If your birth preparation has involved exploring all the options and you are aware of all the ways birth can go, then your positive mindset should reinforce your ability to follow your instinct in decision making. Even if the decision is to have a Caesarean.
Speaking personally, I don’t think favourably on any antenatal preparation/Hypnobirthing that puts all its focus on positive birth being vaginal birth only. You are setting up a proportion of women to feel like a failure because you are encouraging women to believe something, then leaving them abandoned if their birth takes an alternative path. One of my favourite affirmations is this:
I focus on the things I can control, and let go of what I can’t
It acknowledges the need for flexibility. It recognises that things change and that we can’t always control everything. But it also encourages approaching those changes with a sense of calm acceptance.
I was recently approached by a member of the anaesthetist team at Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre in Burnley, East Lancashire. She had a mission to overhaul the wall space in the waiting area for theatre. A space where people pause at possibly one of the most anxious times of their life.
She recognised that, in a place where fear could get in the way of one of the most amazing moments, positive words were needed. Powerful stories of great experiences, information to reassure, and words of calm encouragement.
Affirmations for Caesarean
I disliked how absent Caesarean focused affirmations were in birth resources and so I took to my laptop and got writing. Affirmations for Caesarean birth. To be honest, they could fit to any birth. The most important thing, though, is that they don’t exclude any birth. So here they are. My positive affirmations for Caesarean birth.
I embrace decisions I make.
Today I am celebrating my baby’s birth.
I focus on what I can control and I let go of what I can’t.
I look forward to meeting my baby.
My body will heal.
I put all fear aside and welcome my baby with happiness and joy.
I am prepared for whatever path my birth may take.
This is birth, whatever path it may take.
I accept the choices my body and my baby need.
I am becoming a mother, I am a mother.
This is my birth story, it belongs to me.
I trust the people who are caring for me and my baby.
I am a strong and capable mother.
This is the right place and I am doing the right thing.
I have the strength I need to adapt to any changes that may come.
I am grateful that my baby can be born safely here.