The Five Senses

There is no book, website, or social media influencer who knows you and can tell you what to do in labor to experience efficient labor. Each birth, with each different child, will be its own unique experience, as unique as the family you are creating. 

After the universal desire for the pregnant person and baby to be safe, the intention for everyone, no matter where they choose to birth: Home, Hospital, or Birthing Center is the same – to have a settled nervous system. The idea of settling your nervous system might be new to you, but it is something you have been striving for, as we can call it peace, integration, support, spaciousness, a sigh, breath… there are so many words for it. It can come in the form of spiritual, mental, physical, or emotional. No matter how you call it, it is about the brain being “online” and the nervous system moving forward at a relaxed pace. I call this a “Grace-Filled” birth. 

To have a Grace-Filled birth, it is important to not only know how to ask for support but to know yourself as well. This survey will help you get to know who you are in relation to the 5 senses or somatic body. This space is the invisible or unconscious realm that we want to make conscious so we can be as in control as we can within the unknown that is childbirth and parenting. 

Everyone responds differently to the somatic body (or the 5 senses) of See, Hear, Smell, Touch, and Taste. Our somatic body can either support us to feel safe in labor so we can open up efficiently or trigger us, and we will find ourselves closed off, shut down, and our labor will stop. This questionnaire finds out who you are and what senses should be emphasized and recommendations for what to make sure you pack for the hospital or birth center or have nearby in your home for your best birth experience.

Taking this quiz will help you customize your birth plan and assist you in knowing what self-care modalities can support your nervous system in being settled, bring you back to your midline (or connection to yourself) not only in labor but as you parent your child in the future.

The Five Senses Quiz

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When I am feeling sad..

Which is more entertaining for you?

What would drive you nuts?

What do you do when you are missing the person or pet you love ?

What helps you get going in the morning?

If I was alone on a desert island and could only bring one thing it would be:

Which of the following gifts would I prefer?

Hell No! Do not give me, ever:

What is your "go-to" to change your mood?

Five Senses Questionnaire
Hear

Your Strongest Sense is Hearing! Headphones and playlists! That is the number one thing to focus on for your best birth experience. Make a playlist of music that opens up your heart, motivates you, and relaxes your mind. Don't go to the "spa" music only. Find some good road trip music that you can sing along with to distract your mind. Listen to a guided meditation to keep negative thoughts out, 90's hip hop that gets your hips moving or your favorite rock anthem that gets the blood pumping! The best thing you could invest in is a set of over-the-head headphones that give the message to everyone, "Don't ask me questions coz I'm busy," as you dive deep into your favorite playlists and do your thing!
Smell

Your Strongest Sense is Smell! I would recommend that you invest in a few essential oils - but if this came in first for you I'm thinking you might already have a complete set! If you are birthing at home then you are all good - do your thing! If you are at a birth center, make sure they have a diffuser or bring some scented candles. If you are going to a hospital bring a diffuser with you. Make sure you have oils that not only relax you (Lavender, Citrus and xxx), but open up your cervix (Myrrh), wake up your mind (peppermint or xxx) and remind you of memories that bring a smile to your face (can you say "homemade cookies?" :)
Taste

Your Strongest Sense is Taste! What most care professionals don't realize is that when a pregnant person goes into labor, they don't want to have a full roast beef dinner with all the fixin's. Nope. When the person is in labor they might want a bite for nourishment for the marathon ahead or a taste of some that brings a smile to their face. Some of us are comfort eaters and others of us are not. Maybe the "crunch crunch" of chewing on crushed ice is soothing for you or you just want to have a bite of the pancake breakfast that your father made for you every Sunday morning. If you are considered low-risk, you are able to not only move around during labor, but also eat and drink. Everyone should pack snacks for the marathon ahead. (I like protein bars, easily digestible fruits like melons, some quick carbs like salty or graham crackers, protein smoothies and honey sticks for a quick surge of energy)
Touch

Your Strongest Sense is Touch! Ideally birthing at home or a free-standing birthing center where you can have your pet with you might be the best things for you. If not, invest in a super soft sweater, bring a colored pillowcase that is made of a t-shirt material (so it is soft and you don't mind if it gets ruined), or …. Make sure you always have access to a soft and warm touch of something. Get comfortable communicating with your partner/friend/doula BEFORE you go into labor so you can communicate how you want to be touched at any point in time as it may switch up in the middle of labor from hard and firm to gentle tickling until you purr.
I Don't Know

"I don't know" as an answer contains a lot of information. It lets us know that you need to spend time getting to know yourself more so you can feel your preferences. Everyone has preferences, but some of us were not allowed them in the family systems we grew up in. Spend some time in nature and see what sense lights up the most. Go back over the questions and explore them in your day-to-day life. For you, your preferences might not be in your head, but more of a body sensation. Look for when you feel open, relaxed or when you begin to smile. And look for when you are startled, or when you begin to shut down or retract. That is how you start to learn what is true for you.
See

Your Strongest Sense is Seeing! Your imagination can ignite a whole world in front of you. You will do well by gathering photos of lush green forest, a magical sunrise or the waves crashing on a beach to look at and describe to yourself. Ideally, you will have access to some vacation photos, the kind that makes your heart swing wide open with the thought of peace, serenity and no one needing anything from you! Some other supportive measures are to give your support person a photo of a favorite event, vacation or time in your life and have them describe it to you while you are in labor. Or turn on a guided meditation that instructs you as to what to "do next" with your mind and breath.


GRACEFULL BIRTHING INC
2815 West Sunset Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90026

2 blocks west of Silverlake Blvd
#105 - Birthing Center
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E: hello@gracefull.com
P: 323.486.7134
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