I hesitate to make suggestions of what to say to a birthing woman because silence is so important and I wouldn’t want an attendant to be saying these things and disturbing the woman’s concentration. Birth is an inward journey. It is a deep reckoning with one’s own silly mind. The woman has an opportunity to recognize that she is something much greater than her thoughts and the survival ego if she is left to sort through her own inner journey.
One of my clients shared something funny after her birth about her inner struggle. She had reached that point where she didn’t think she could go on and she said out loud “I JUST CAN’T DO IT ANYMORE!” No one commented or argued, we just waited to see what would happen and, of course, a little baby came out of her body shortly after that.
What she told me later is that when she made that remark, immediately, the “voice” inside of her said “Leslie, you doorknob, you HAVE to do it!” How wonderful that she was able to be her own best life coach and how funny that you would call yourself a doorknob. My own inner voice usually refers to me as an a–hole! 🙂
Having said all that, these are some phrases that can lift the spirits of a woman in the birth process:
“It’s safe to let go”
“You only have to do this one”
“Breathe right down into it, it’s safe to go there”
“Breathe oxygen down to your thighs, that’s it. . . breathe in oxygen and breathe out with loose lips.”
“What you’re doing is ancient. . . your mother, your grandmother and your great grandmothers all the way back have done this. They’re all proud of you tonight.”
“If you’re doing this well now, I know you’ll make it through. Each sensation brings you closer to holding your baby in your arms”.
“I’m so proud of you. You’re doing beautifully”.
“Let’s begin this birth anew. Just let your breath wash away the past 5 hours and let’s begin now at the beginning.”
“Breathe some good oxygen breaths for your baby.”
“There’s lots of room for the baby to come through”.
“You’re stretching beautifully. . there’s more space than you know”
“Just let the baby get itself born, you get out of the way”