Language. So often we use words without thinking out of habit or because of cultural norms.
I’m feeling super inspired right now thanks to the insights of one amazing Birth Warrior that I met through the Positive Birth Movement Group I host. She shared her increasing awareness of the power of language and how the words we choose to use can have such an impact on how we feel.
Yes! She is SO right!
I’ve been doing some research into this subject area for some time now – actually in relation to the work I do for Arbonne – but it is so applicable to the birthing world too because it is SO important to watch your language around birth and choose your words carefully. They could have an impact on your birthing outcomes…
Gandhi said that ‘one should always aim for complete harmony of thought and word and deed‘. What he was saying was that one should aim for congruency. I’d like to take that a little further and say that what we think impacts upon the words we use. In turn, this affects how we feel and therefore what actions and behaviours we carry out, and ultimately which consequences we experience as a result. Thoughts and words are therefore at the root of our action and consequences. Have you heard that saying ‘What you think about, you bring about!’?
Scientific studies have revealed that we can alter the resonance, the vibration, of the cells in our brain and bodies with thought alone (although Yogis have understood this for time!). Quantum physics teaches us that like attracts like and therefore it is highly likely we attract into our lives people with a similar vibration to our own. We feel this unconsciously but we express it instinctively and the clues are in our language; “I get a good vibe from him“, “Something about her doesn’t feel right“…etc.
So, lets apply that to pregnancy and labour. If you are using dramatic language relating to your labour that is based in fear (words such as pain, excruciating, terrifying, agony) then you are programming your mind to anticipate such things. Those who’ve read Grantly Dick-Reed’s Childbirth Without Fear will understand the interplay between fear and pain in labour. Fear leads to the production of stress hormones which inhibit labour hormones and negatively impacts upon the contractility of the uterus, giving rise to the sensations of pain.
IMO the Don on the topic of the power of language is Napoleon Hill. In his seminal text Think and Grow Rich he states that ‘autosuggestion is a term that applies to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli that reach ones mind through the five senses. Through the dominating thought which one permits to remain in the conscious mind, whether these thoughts be negative or positive is immaterial. The principle of autosuggestion voluntarily reaches the subconscious mind and influences it with these thoughts.’
What Hill teaches us is that if using language of fear is potentially detrimental to a pregnant or labouring woman, then the opposite is also true; that using positive language of strength, positivity, courage and power will activate the autosuggestion to raise belief, confidence and the ability to cope with labour like a Badass Birth Warrior!!!
Using positive affirmations that build your courage and empowerment will prepare you so well to go into labour from a place of strength as opposed to a place of expectant fear. You can write some of your own affirmations or do some research into Hypnobirthing. And get your partner on board too!
So please watch your language!