Failure to progress.
This is one of the most common reasons for a cesarean section and augmentation of labor in the United States. What does it mean? It means your apocryphal delivery hourglass is running out of sand. It’s when the scary words that you may have left off of your birth wishes begin to get thrown around. Cytotec. Foley balloon. Pitocin. Cesarean. The word that is often omitted from this list is time. Sometimes a laboring woman just needs more time to get her important work done. Sometimes she just needs to clear her head, and really think about dilating. If neither you nor your baby are in any danger, do not be afraid to ask for more time. If they do not want to grant your more time, ask why. Be in control of your labor and delivery.
I often reassure women about the strength of their bodies. Strength they don’t know they have until they need to use it. What’s stronger, though, is a person’s mind. Some people just need to tell their mind (and really believe and picture what they are telling their mind) what their body needs to do.
So, if you are at the very tail end of your pregnancy, or in a “failure to progress” situation, clear the room, enter a state of relaxation, and make the affirmations (below) your mantra. Your mind is a powerful thing-don’t be afraid to use it:
My body is strong and capable.
I have plenty of time to get this job done.
I am able and willing to do this work for my baby.
With each contraction, I visualize my body opening for my baby.
With each deep breath in, I exhale all the way through my body.
Each centimeter brings me closer to holding my baby.
My body was made to do this work.
I have plenty of space for my baby to come through.
Each contraction brings me closer to meeting my baby.
This process is natural, and I am ready for it.
My labor is progressing exactly as it is supposed to.
My cervix is opening and softening as it should.
I am in control.
My only focus is delivering my baby, everything else can wait.
My cervix is like a flower, blooming and opening beautifully.
The bond between my baby and me is strong and unbreakable, He/she knows how he/she needs to be born.
I am working hard for my baby.
My baby is slowly easing through the birth canal.
I am safe, calm, and ready to hold my baby in my arms.
My body knows how to deliver this baby, just as it knew how to grow this baby.
The power and intensity of my contractions cannot be stronger than me, as they are me.
Inhale peace, exhale tension.
My body will give birth in its own time.
Did you use affirmations throughout your labor and delivery? Please share any that you found helpful.