comfort measures

Your Doula's Thoughts on Birth Affirmations

Do Affirmations WORK?
Your Doula Shares Her Thoughts!

The body and the mind... the are crazily interconnected. I can't stress it enough. It may sound super lame and cliche, but if you believe you will - you will, if you believe you won't - you won't. 

So, this doula believes that it is of UTMOST importance to wash yourself in positive thinking during your pregnancy and during the labor birthing process to prime your mind, body, and soul for a beautiful birth experience.

doula birth affirmations

If you don't believe that your mind and body are connected, just try doing something intimate (like using the bathroom) in situation that makes you nervous or anxious (maybe out in the open in front of 10 people?). How easily do you think your body would perform? See... I told you... Your body and mind ARE connected!

Some of my doula clients choose to write their own affirmations, while some ask for suggestions from me. You're just a Pinterest search away from finding affirmations that appeal to you. 

Here are some examples of birth affirmations that I use with my clients:


You are enough.
Your body was made to do this.
You are strong.
You are doing this.
Your baby is working with your body.
You are calm, peaceful, and strong.
Slow Down. Calm Down. Don't Worry. Don't Hurry. Trust the Process.
You can and You WILL.

To get the most "benefit" from birth affirmations, I highly recommend that you repeat these DAILY during your pregnancy. 

  • Set a reminder on your phone that pops up with an affirmation at a certain time each day.
  • Post them on your bathroom mirror.
  • Make a recording of you saying them and listen to them in the car or while you're drifting off to sleep.
  • Share them with your partner and have him repeat them to you.
  • Tell your doula which affirmations resonate the most with you and have her remind you of them during your labor.
  • Focus on saying them during contractions.

All of the ways you utilize your birth affirmations will ultimately create a mindset that will strengthen and encourage you in order to make your birth experience the best experience possible.

What affirmations did you use? Did your doula suggest any? Share below!

<3 Your Knoxville Doula & Chattanooga Doula,
Martha Howell

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Music during Birth (and Your Doula's Favorite Playlists!)

During your birthing time, you may want total and complete silence but more than likely during early active labor you'll have some breaks in between contractions when you'd be benefitted by some tunes. (Truth be told, during heavy transition you probably won't care, although every mama is different!)

So, I recommend that you put together some Pandora or Spotify lists for labor. Do three "just-in-case" options.:

#1. Super Upbeat
#2. Calming/Melodic
#3. Inspirational or meditational. 

Don't have time to create a playlist, or maybe you're not picky? No worries, as your doula, I can bring up my playlists for you to choose from! 

Here's what I have on mine (maybe it will give you some inspiration!)

Upbeat Labor/Birth Playlist

labor playlist

I've got some fun catchy tunes from Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, and Ray Charles on the list along with a few contemporaries. This is perfect for super early labor where you are up walking, squatting, and working it!

Calm/Melodic Playlist

calm labor playlist

I've got some of my favorite crooners on this list -- Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, and more. This list is perfect for when active labor is kicking in and you are starting to go within yourself, but you're still "with it" enough to want some melodic tunes playing in the background.

Meditation/Relaxation Playlist

meditation labor

This playlist has zen-like and spa music on it. I personally like this list when a mom is going through transition and still would like some background tunes without words (that might distract).

So, whether you want to make your own, or let your favorite doula use hers, music can be a super useful tool in either energizing you, relaxing you, or tuning out other noises that can be distracting.

<3 Your Knoxville & Chattanooga Doula,
Martha

Double Hip Squeeze in Labor :: Pressure & the Pelvis

Having your partner or doula perform a double hip squeeze during your labor can provide extreme comfort for a baby who is posterior (and help in rotating) and in moms experiencing back pain during labor. But, as always, it may not be magic for you --- I recently had a laboring mama who couldn't even stand for me to touch the area where one does a double hip squeeze!!

So, why a double hip squeeze?

(according to http://www.birthingnaturally.net/cn/technique/hipsqueeze.html)

A laboring mother’s pelvis is stretched by the pressure of the baby’s head bearing down.3 The baby can also put uncomfortable pressure on the sacrum.4 “The hip squeeze pushes the pelvis back into a relaxed position,” which both “relieves the pressure of the stretch” and causes the “pelvis to flare out slightly, allowing the baby room to move around and down.”

How to do it? 

double hip squeeze doula

Keep one hand on each bone and your thumbs pointed toward the spine forming a "W". Push the hipbones "in and up" towards the mother's body, and at the same time towards the mother's shoulders as if you needed to press on the bones and slide them up her back.

As your doula, I'll be glad to show your partner how to do it, or I can do it myself -- or we can take turns! It can be a great technique to have in our toolbox!

<3 Your Chattanooga & Knoxville Doula,
Martha Howell