5 ways to boost your confidence about giving birth

1. change the conversation.

Beautiful pregnant bellies are often seen by others as invitations to share birth stories. Although the intentions for sharing may be sincere, most birth stories shared in our culture focus on pain, fear, and complications. Stories that breed self-doubt and fear of childbirth. Women who have given birth have incredible wisdom and by asking a few simple questions, you have the power to change the conversation and access the wisdom you really want and need to know. Confidence-boosting questions could include:

  • What helped you most when you gave birth?
  • Was there a point when you thought you couldn’t do it? What helped you through that moment?
  • If you could do give birth over again, what would you do the same? Is there anything you would do differently?
  • What do you wish you had known before giving birth?

2. surrender.

This is big. To surrender means to fully let go of how you think things should or wish them to be and accept them for how they truly are. It’s learning to trust – trust the journey and trust yourself. Trust that you can let go of the deep desire to understand and/or be in control and be okay. You can be in the unknown and be okay. It’s listening to the quiet voice inside you – your inner knowing – telling you to take a deep breath, let go, accept and be present. You’ve got this, no matter what.

In life, we are often playing tug-of-war with how we think things should be and how they are, so there are plenty of opportunities to practice letting go of the rope

breath let go trust image

3. empty your mind.

Every pregnant woman holds her own ideas of what childbirth is like or how it should be, perhaps an idea of ‘the right way’ to give birth. Women are bombarded with messages around what’s normal and what’s ‘right.’ Unfortunately, most expectations, ideas and beliefs are shaped by fear-inducing portrayals of birth in media and other people’s experiences of giving birth. To build confidence about giving birth, it’s important to do some ‘inner work.’

Emptying your mind, which could mean spending time journaling about your expectations surrounding birth, creates space in your mind {and heart} for all possibilities for YOUR birth experience. It’s time to let go of ideas that limit possibilities and create fear while nurturing ideas that build confidence and excitement for your birth. Why is this so important? When we change the way we view birth, the way we birth can change. Learn more about emptying your mind in the book, Birthing From Within.

change the way we view birth

4. all you need is love.

Our thoughts are powerful. They have the power to influence how we feel and how we behave, including the choices we make. Although we can’t always control our thoughts, we can control our response to them; therefore, our power is in the response. Thoughts of fear and doubt about giving birth are natural and very common. When in doubt, choose love. Respond to thoughts of doubt and fear with thoughts of loving kindness. Remind yourself of your strength, courage and ability to ‘handle’ however your birth unfolds. Remember: You’ve got this, no matter what. Nurturing loving thoughts such as practicing affirmations or mantras on a regular basis can be a powerful tool for building confidence. Write them out, stick them in obvious places around your home where you soak them in everyday, and don’t forget to surround yourself with these positive messages on baby’s birth-day.

5. don't hate. meditate.

The benefits of meditation, especially while pregnant, are many. Meditation could mean a few moments of stillness or deep breathing. It could mean a guided meditation. Meditation is about being fully present and aware of your thoughts, feelings and sensations in your body. It’s an opportunity to relax the mind, relax the body and nurture those thoughts that build confidence, while letting go of those that do not.

At rebirth wellness centre, we offer a weekly Confidence in Birth Class on Mondays from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, 256 Central Ave, London, ON. The class starts with a group discussion followed by a guided meditation. Partners are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Call 226-663-3243 to reserve your spot, or register online. Cost is $5 per person.