We are going to use our five senses to prepare for birth. The goal of this practice is to anchor one thing from each sense to how you want to feel in labor. This is really important because in labor our minds and bodies tend to turn to fear, doubt, tension and needing to be saved. Tune into the episode for tons of examples and how to incorporate this into your birth prep routine.
We’re going over the 5 senses- sight, sound, taste, smell, touch. No this isn’t a homeschool lesson, rather, an amazing idea to work on the mindset side of birth prep that came to me after you asked about labor playlists over on IG.
The goal of this practice is to anchor one thing from each of your senses to how you want to feel in labor. Usually we want to focus on feeling safe, calm, in control, and relaxed to combat the opposite of those. This is really important because in labor or anytime we feel pain our minds and bodies tend to go in the opposite direction, feelings of being scared, needing help or saving, doubt and tension. (which are totally normal)
With this exercise you’ll have 5 tools/cues to help reset your mind and stay focused on your goal. Especially important in an unmedicated birth. Before we jump in with the how and examples- pause this episode or save this part for later when you’re not multitasking and take a second to print the workbook I created just for you to use with this episode. Go to fiercelizzie.com/freebies and print it out!
Ad: While we are talking about birth prep I want you to know of an upcoming workshop I am hosting on Better Birth Planning which is in just 4 days if you are listening to this at the time it’s released. You can learn more about the workshop where I will teach you how to write a strong birth plan, mistakes to avoid, how to better advocate, and how to use my birth plan template – if you just head over to https://www.fiercelizzie.com/next-workshop. And just for my podcast listeners you can use the code episode47 to get into this workshop only at the early bird price (huge discount). And if you happen to be listening to this in the future, you can still go to that web page to see the next upcoming workshop that may be exactly what you need right now in your birth prep.
Okay let’s jump into HOW to use your 5 senses to prep for birth. With each of these examples you are going to anchor the specific sense to how you want to feel in birth. Then you will integrate each into your routine and cue your brain back to feeling safe, in control, calm, confident, relaxed.
Let’s look at some examples…
In birth prep this is also called attention focusing. This is where you have a totem of somesort, any item that will be easy to have at your birth. Place the item where you may see it daily and where you may already feel calm and at peace like your bedside table – then when you see it take 5 seconds to imagine your birth and how you want to feel.
Your item could be a photo, a stone or crystal, a salt lamp or cordless night light, a good luck item, something special that reminds you for your partner or baby, a necklace or other piece of jewelry or you can make your visual work double time by using affirmations that you can hang up now and during birth.
Sound is another common tool we use in labor. Think labor playlists or sound machines. So pick a sound, could even be a single song, that when you hear it you imagine your birth and how you want it to feel. Perhaps you even do some breathing techniques along with the audio and sway or lean over or hold your belly as if you are in labor.
Your sound could be a sound machine, white/brown noise, the sound of the ocean, a labor playlist, one or two specific songs, or even a noise that you could intuitively make as you breath (do an audible oo). You could also use hypnobirthing or affirmation soundtracks, or have a mantra that you can say aloud to yourself. The goal is to have that noise to focus on to reset mentally.
Okay if you have ever been in labor before you know food is usually a hard no once you hit active labor. And honestly taste and smell can be so interconnected that you can also default to smell when taste isn’t going to work. For taste, choose something that will be simple and appropriate for labor and when you have it during pregnancy, focus on how you want feel during your birth. Close your eyes and as you taste that flavor imagine feeling safe, strong, confident, and relaxed.
Your tastes could be whatever labor snack you are planning to pack, some of my favorites are coconut water, an electrolyte drink mix, dates or other dried fruit, honey sticks, hard candies or gummies.
Again this one ties in really well with taste. For example if you have a lemon candy or drink, then simply smelling it could work also. But let’s focus on specific smells for this one, and what I’m thinking here is essential oils. So pick one or two that you will use (you may pack more than that) and keep them out where you will be prompted to open them and smell often. This could be in your bathroom or kitchen where you are bound to do something daily like brush your teeth or make a coffee. When you see your birth oil, open it up and take a sniff, spend 30 seconds thinking about how you want to feel in birth.
Your smell could be some of the typical oils used in birth that smell nice like lemon, lavender, peppermint or maybe another oil known to bring peace and confidence, like valor. You could also try a lotion or massage oil, or your favorite chapstick.
We use touch a lot in labor. And this one is best practiced with your partner, but also not necessary. When you use this sense, think of the hands on birth support that you want in labor and spend time practicing that now (again this is why it’s good to do with your partner). Time some time every once in a while to practice this touch and imagine yourself in labor feeling supported, calm, safe, and secure.
Your touch tool could be slow dancing with your partner, counter pressure, hand massage, light touch like back scratches, or it could also be a pressure point you could perform on yourself, holding a comb in your hand, or using a massage ball on your feet.
And that’s it. Try to pick one for each and set yourself up to be able to tap into these 5 sense tools often during pregnancy because the more we can train our brain to feel those key feelings (safety, calm, relaxed, strong, confident) the easier it will be to tap into those feelings later. If you want more on birth prep, I also have a FREE birth prep class that goes over the mental and physical prep for labor that you can start now.
Grab your 5 Senses Birth Prep Worksheet and get prepping!
Shop my Amazon Storefront for all things birth
Spotify Playlists for Labor & Birth
Sign up for my Better Birth Planning Workshop on Monday, April 3rd – Use code episode47 to get early bird pricing!
Learn about the Academy — enrolling now for Spring & Summer 2023 due dates
Prepare your mind, body, and support system for an unmedicated birth with my Birth Prep Class
Leave an iTunes review. These are huge for me! The more reviews, the greater chance another mama will find me.
Share your thoughts! I’d love to hear more about the conversations you’re having. Shoot me an email, or find me on social media.
Tell others. I truly hope this podcast empowers mothers to take control of their birth – I’d be honored if you shared and encouraged others to listen in.
*Affiliate links used where appropriate. Thanks for supporting the podcast!