When preparing for labor and birth many will say to read books, take childbirth classes, hire a Doula etc. This is absolutely true and very important but there are a few other ways to help you mentally prepare too. Our favorite thing to remind parents is, "labor begins in the mind". Your mind is very powerful and if there is something that is bothering you, worrying you or if you don't feel comfortable for whatever reason, it will definitely affect you and your labor. This is why it's so important to fill your mind with helpful evidence based information and positive affirmations.
Creating a birth plan is important so that you can write down what you want and don't want for your labor and birth. It's also helpful to have so that your birth team can be on the same page too. This way when you're in the thick of it and things change or progress a certain way then they can refer to your birth plan and remind you or others of what your wishes are. Another great thing to have in your birthing place is affirmations. Affirmations are sayings or statements designed to change your mindset and help you maintain a positive outlook or mood regarding the birth process. Birth affirmations are helpful reminders to give you strength, empower you, and have faith in your body's ability to give birth. Building up your self confidence and releasing fear is an important part of your labor & birth process. You can use them to build a vision board to put up in your birthing area. You can even hang them on the wall in different areas throughout your home or your birthing place too. Putting them up ahead of time will help you create a sort of mantra to keep in mind when you're in labor. It's also helpful for your birth team to use. Sometimes labor can be long and us birth workers like to look at the affirmations and read them out to you instead of telling you that you're doing great 50 times. We know from experience that partners appreciate affirmations so that they can remember what they should say to you too. Writing down some of your fears and turning them into an affirmation is helpful to release those fears. For ex; If you're afraid of the pain, simply say, "My body is strong & can handle anything".
Or; If you're worried about a past birth experience then you can say, "This birth is a different birth & this is a different experience". It may sound like it's not a huge help but I guarantee you when labor gets intense you will appreciate those words you wrote.
Thank you to www.yellowrosecards.com for sending us these beautiful birth affirmations for both birth and vbacs!! All of our moms get affirmation cards in there preparing for birth bags as a sample on how to make their own.