Words Matter… Especially in Labour & Birth

Words Matter!…Especially in Labour & Birth

Words Matter!...Especially in Labour & BirthWords are powerful and the way we use them can directly affect how we think, feel, behave, the actions we take and how we relate with others. A particular word can carry a deep energetic blueprint that whether conscious or unconscious can create a cascade effect.

But why does this matter during Labour and Birth?!

For a moment if you were to close your eyes and say the words either to yourself or out loud “contraction” 

Notice what happens…

  • How does your body feel?
  • What sensations occur?
  • What emotions bubble to the surface?
  • Do you associate the word with a memory?
  • What other words do you associate with the word “contraction”?
  • Perhaps its squeeze, clench, tense, narrow, pain?
  • What does your body instinctively want to do ?


Now complete the exercise again and instead of “Contraction” say the word “Surge”

  • Did you notice a difference?
  • How did it feel compared to the word “contraction”?


Most people associate the word “surge” with a wave..a feeling that comes to a point and then dissipates. Even though these two words are used to describe the exact same experience they both create a different expectation, reaction and response for a woman during labour. With a simple change in language we can instantaneously create a different response mentally, emotionally and physically and therefore possible outcome.

 As you will learn in the Hypnobirthing Australia™ Positive Birth Program, it is important for birthing mothers during labour, to feel deeply relaxed in order to be able to release, let go and allow their bodies to open up and to shut down the neocortex part of their brain, which allows their instinctive ability to birth naturally to take over.

How we use words during this time can either greatly support a woman in this process or can have a detrimental opposite effect.

When a woman’s fear response is activated, her body goes into a flight or fight response which causes blood flow to be re-directed away from her uterus and towards her limbs to prepare her to respond to the perceived threat. This can have a huge impact on her body and her progress of labour. Her surges may become irregular, slow or even stop which may begin ‘the cascade of medical intervention’. 

So, how can we start the use of words as a powerful tool to support us during labour?

First step is awareness. Let’s become more aware of the words associated with labour and the effects it can have on our mind and body. In the Positive Birth Program ™ we provide you a Parent Folio full of resources including a list of common words used during labour and the more empowered alternative to create a different relationship with our birth experience.

Second step is communication. Communication between partners allows you both to be on the same page and allows your birth partner to support you by being able to ensure your birthing space feels calm and safe, allowing you to drop in and relax. Communicating your birth preferences to your caregivers is also a great way to help them have your back on the day.

Last step is preparation. The words we use are habitual, especially when we have heard them being said time and time again by our friends, family, our community and even in movies and tv. It takes time to change habits. Affirmations are a great way to rewire our brains and how we talk to ourselves about birth and labour. In the program you will also learn how to create an anchor word with your birthing partner, that when said will help deepen your state of relaxation.

If you’re ready to learn how you can use the power of language to empower you in having a positive calm birth contact today to book in for your Hypnobirthing Australia™ Positive Birth Program.

This blog is written by Suzy Volokh who is both a Pregnancy & Matrescense coach and a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner in Victoria, South Melbourne. CLICK HERE for more details. 

For all other locations for face-to-face classes find your closest Practitioner here.

We also have online options available. Click here for further info.

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