As a first-time pregnant mom, I can definitely share that this journey has been challenging to say the least. I was excited to find out I was pregnant, but also knew it meant life was about to change in many known and unknown ways. Even having several friends go through pregnancy in the past few years, I was not prepared for the physical challenges that go with it.
All of the Pregnancy Struggles
It’s one thing to hear or read about others going through pregnancy, but a whole new ball game to experience it yourself. If you, like me, have been struggling with being pregnant, I hope my stories and information will encourage you.
One of the biggest struggles for me has been all of the physical changes to my body and how that has affected my daily life. I started noticing changes the week before I even knew I was pregnant. My breasts ached and were extremely sensitive and painful. Then, starting in week 5, I had morning sickness combined with heartburn that would come in waves every day.
Add to that fatigue, body aches, back pain, leg cramps, hand numbness, mental fog, extra clumsiness, round ligament pain, extremely heightened sense of smell, and changes to my taste and you can see why daily life might be a bit challenging. Plus the constant mental stream of pregnancy related thoughts, fears, hopes, worries, and dreams. It’s a lot.
There are many things I’ve done to stay strong and positive in the face of all of these daily changes. I’ve changed my eating habits, I sleep with extra pillows, I rub lotion onto my rapidly growing belly, and I message friends, family, and other expectant moms for encouragement, amongst other things. But another thing I’ve found helpful is to repeat positive pregnancy affirmations to myself.
How Affirmations Have Helped
Pregnancy affirmations have helped me during my many struggles by providing a positive and encouraging mindset. The affirmations that I’ve been using focus on positive self-talk and self-affirmation in order to build up your confidence, help reduce stress and anxiety, and cultivate a more positive attitude towards pregnancy, motherhood, and parenting.
By incorporating these affirmations into my weekly routine (I would say daily, but let’s be honest here, I have ADHD and do NOT remember to do this every day), I have helped shift my perspective on the long term and appreciate myself, my body, and my baby more. We are capable and strong women, and pregnancy although tough, is something we will get through together.
As I look towards the upcoming labor and delivery stages of my pregnancy (3-4 months away), I also use these affirmations to reduce my stress and anxiety. I am capable. I am strong. I can do this. Affirmations can help you build up your feelings of confidence and trust in yourself.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are statements or phrases that are used to encourage positive thinking and self-talk. People usually use them as a tool to help change negative or limiting beliefs into positive and true ones.
Changing my internal dialogue has been something I worked on before pregnancy. It can be hugely beneficial especially if your internal dialogue is extremely deprecating or negative. One really neat thing about affirmations is that you can personalize them to suit your specific needs and goals.
You can even use affirmations in other ways such as for visualization or meditation. You can choose to make your affirmations start with “I” vs “You”. You can make them as complex or as simple as you need as long as your focus is on believing the statements within the affirmation.
Some examples of affirmations are statements such as “I am strong and capable,” “I trust my abilities,” and “I am worthy of love and happiness.” My favorite pregnancy affirmations include things like “I am strong and capable of managing the challenges of pregnancy,” “I am doing the best I can for myself and my growing baby”, and “I release any fears or doubts about my ability to be a good mother.”
Why it’s Important to Have Positive Self-Talk
When you are struggling with both the physical and mental aspects of pregnancy, positive self-talk can make a big difference. When you have positive self-talk statements in your mind it impacts your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Your internal dialogue and the words you describe yourself and your experiences with effects your self-esteem, confidence, and overall wellbeing.
By using positive self-talk through affirmations, you are encouraging yourself to have a more positive and empowering mindset. This can help reduce your stress, anxiety, self-doubt, and fear while increasing your self-esteem, self-confidence, and optimism.
The words and phrases you repeat to yourself will rewire your brain and shift your whole mindset. This is why I appreciate affirmations so much. I can literally rewire my brain and help form a more positive self-talk.
How to Incorporate Affirmations into Your Routine
As a neurodivergent person, adding new things in to my routine can be its own challenge. Anything that is out of site, will be almost immediately out of mind. So, putting affirmation cards into a box or bag or envelope will not work for me. I certainly won’t remember to pull up a file on my computer and read it every day/week.
So what are some other creative ideas you can try? You can write affirmations on your mirror using glass pen/eraseable markers. If you have whiteboards anywhere in your home that you look at, you can jot an affirmation (or two) on them. For example, I have a whiteboard fridge calendar, meal planner, and birthday chart all of which I read every day.
Another way to actually use affirmations in your life regularly is to come up with your own. Write your own affirmations using ideas you find in this post or online. Pick and choose phrases and statements that resonate with you.
You can write affirmations in your journal or notebook. You can keep a set of affirmation cards by your bed and read them to yourself at night before going to sleep. You can search YouTube for affirmations with relaxing music/sounds and listen to those in bed.
While affirmations will not magically rid you of all of your pregnancy struggles, they can help shift your mindset and encourage you when you are struggling the most. Having reminders that I am strong and will get through this has helped me on the days where I’m laying in bed doing everything I can to keep from throwing up again. They help me refocus on the long-term instead of the hour-by-hour perspective that I sometimes get stuck in.
Here are my favorite pregnancy affirmation cards that I made on Canva. I hope they will help you. You’ve got this momma, and we will make it to the end of our pregnancy journey together!