Cathrine Mathiesen

I have everything I need inside me to birth my child

My body knows exactly what to do

I will surround to love, support and deep relaxation

I trust my heart, my inner wisdom

I trust my baby, my greatest teacher

I trust my breath to carry me through

The contractions can never be stronger than me, for they are me

For every contraction I am one step closer to meeting my baby


Throughout labour our body is programmed to produce endorphins that are 200 times stronger than morphine to help us cope. But fear produces adrenalin that obstructs the natural flow of these endorphins. In our modern society, birth have become clinically sophisticated, but emotionally complicated. At what point did we stop listening to our inner wisdom? Our body knows exactly what to do. A woman in coma can give birth. Can we learn to abandon our intellect, forget other people’s stories, erase our prefabricated fears so that our amazing bodies can go ahead and do what nature intended? More than anything else, this is how yoga can help women in labour: increasing our familiarity with, love for and trust of our breath, our bodies and our babies.

Positive affirmations, or Sankalpa, are spoken statements that help counter negative thinking and imagine positive outcomes. They are short, clear and direct. The following affirmations are the sum of teachings and conversations with yoga teachers, hypnobirthing therapists and midwives and they provided great inspiration and comfort during my own births, and reminded me of the most important things along the way. I repeated them every day the last months of my pregnancy.

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