Pregnancy has me practicing all the self-love tools I learned in my mid-twenties, when I was in the midst of a pretty potent transformation. Transformation is tenuous, ongoing. All the way from birth to death, we’re constantly changing. Sometimes this change is more noticeable. Pregnancy is one of those times.
After a recent doctor’s visit sent me into a mental spiral, I had two options: continue spiraling, which could lead to potential harm for myself and my baby – or, take hold of the narrative.
Thankfully, I chose the latter.
I started with journaling. By hand. In a notebook. My energy was so frenetic that I couldn’t even type out my feelings; I had to pen them. I started asking myself questions: What can I do to process these emotions? Then, I started challenging my fears: So what if I gain weight rapidly? So what if I am getting big fast?
Simply asking, “So what if [name of fear] happens?” reduces its charge. But it doesn’t mean it completely leaves your body.
I realized I needed to do some serious EFT work. I started imagining myself as my EFT practitioner: How would she walk me through this? What language would she use? By stepping into her shoes, I was able to write out an entire EFT session for myself. This temporary transfer of authority allowed me to relax and focus on a solution — versus stewing in the panic and anxiety of my emotions.
Then, I started a round of tapping. At first I read what I’d written verbatim, but as I got more comfortable, I started improvising based on what I was really feeling. I finished my tapping with a deep breath. Then I went through another round, this time opening myself up to how I’d RATHER feel, and allowing my energic field to soak up that new, more invigorating story.
These are not tools I made up; they are tools I learned from an experienced EFT practitioner. I will link her info below.
After the tapping, I realized I wanted to share about it with my peers, so I made a post on Instagram. This is always nerve-wracking, opening yourself up to commentary (and conversation), especially when it’s a vulnerable topic.
I was surprised by the conversation it generated from both pregnant and non-pregnant friends. And even men!
Body image is complicated. We judge ourselves so harshly based on a set of made-up standards that we either created or agreed to. We equate body with self. We forget that who we are isn’t confined to a body, or even relegated by it — that who we are is the intangible self.
Even after the EFT and the uplifting conversations, I wanted to make sure that I was truly inhabiting a mental space of self-love and respect.
So, I started practicing affirmations. Affirmations are another way to take back the narrative. It’s a story you read to yourself. And this story becomes the place where your mind dwells.
To my pregnant mamas, I’ve created some pregnancy affirmations to embrace your changing body during this truly transformative time. Please say them out loud or quietly to yourself. Amend them, add to them. Whatever you need to create a protective cushion of peace around you and your baby.
(I like to start off with the big picture, and then work my way down.)
I am whole and healed.
I fervently love and accept myself exactly the way I am.
I am in awe of this changing body.
I delight in seeing my belly grow, because it means baby is growing, too.
I can’t wait to meet my baby.
I am such a good, loving mother.
I nourish myself in all ways: body, mind, and spirit.
I speak kindly of myself and to myself.
I am fond of the woman I am becoming.
I welcome growth and change.
I am excited my partner gets to witness my body do amazing things.
My partner loves my changing body.
My partner loves this baby.
I am fully supported, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
I easily tune in and connect with my baby, their needs, and my needs.
I don’t have to be everything to everybody; I can be what I need for me.
I am comfortable tending to my own needs.
I let others tend to me, too.
I receive their love deeply; I welcome and treasure it.
I let their generosity break open my heart.
I live with gratitude for the love that is all around me.
I invite more love and connection into my life.
I let go of any heavy burdens that occupy my mind.
I know exactly what my baby needs.
I trust myself to take care of my baby and myself.
I am forming such a beautiful connection to my baby even now.
I am growing into the woman I’ve always wanted to become.
I love and accept myself for who I am, right now.
I love and accept myself for who I’ll be in all phases of life.
I celebrate the life within me.
EFT Practitioner: Jaime Kalman of Inspired Healing And Awareness.
Cover Image photo by: Alexander Krivitskiy (Unsplash.com)