Orgasmic birth: the ultimate benefit of home birth
In the wake of last week’s article on the safety of home births and the main benefits of home births, such as reduced intervention and risk of complications, this week I expand on some of the lesser known benefits of home birth. You are much more likely to have not only a positive childbirth experience at home, but also a deeply pleasurable experience – even orgasmic!
Stick with me, we’ll get to that shortly.
The significant impact of healthcare providers
According to surveys in home birth forums of women who have given birth both in hospital and at home, there is an overwhelming consensus that home birth is a more enjoyable experience – no. only for the woman who gives birth, but also for her partner and other family members. , which are usually fully integrated at every step of the process, if they so choose.
Women consistently report feeling more respected and empowered because home birth offers a more woman-centered approach.
With the jaw-dropping statistics highlighted in the recently released movie ‘Birth Time’, one in three Australian women describe their birth as ‘traumatic’ and one in ten women suffer from PTSD due to of his birth experiences, respect and empowerment. should not be considered trivial benefits at birth!
Studies have shown that the strongest predictor of the development of birth-related PTSD is related to a woman’s treatment by her caregivers (usually a lack of support or a perceived lack of control and involvement in taking decision).
This is precisely why the close and supportive relationship that develops between the midwife and the expectant mother in the ‘continuity of care’ model is so important, which, as we discussed last week, is the standard of care and the default option when families choose home births.
Home birth also allows women to avoid exposure to unnecessary procedures and outdated hospital policies, such as continuous fetal monitoring – a practice that still takes place in hospitals although it is not. supported by literature.
The optimal setting is where a woman feels most secure
When it comes to birth, we seem to ignore the fact that we are mammalian creatures and all mammals escape to quiet spaces that ensure the safety and complete privacy of the mother. Babies usually arrive in the wee hours of the morning, shrouded in darkness, for this reason.
Animal studies clearly show that any disruption of this security and privacy interferes with the work process by disrupting work hormones. This explains why it is so common for a woman’s labor to slow down or stop altogether when she arrives at the hospital.
Any form of disturbance, even the panicked or rushed attitude of an inconsiderate caregiver, can increase a woman’s stress hormones. This diverts much needed blood to both the baby and the active muscles in the uterus (resulting in less productive contractions) and into our limbs as we prepare to ‘fight or flee’.
Therefore, maintaining the feelings of calm and security of the woman giving birth allows the sophisticated dance of labor hormones to take place, facilitating not only a smoother, faster and safer childbirth experience, but also less painful. .
The fear-tension-pain cycle
Grantley Dick-Read, the famous British obstetrician and pioneer of childbirth education throughout the 1950s and 1960s, was the first to suggest that women who were deeply relaxed during labor would experience minimal or no pain.
He developed the fear-tension-pain cycle to highlight how our thoughts and emotions influence the perception and intensity of pain.
When the woman giving birth is in a state of fear, she tenses up and her contractions become more painful, which generates more fear, tension and consequently more pain.
Less pain, more pleasure
When a woman can relax deeply, the natural cocktail of powerful pain and stress relieving hormones and endorphins is ready to flourish.
Oxytocin, widely known as the “love hormone”, is released during all types of intimacy: kissing, cuddling, breastfeeding, and any other type of skin-to-skin contact. During childbirth, it provides natural pain relief and facilitates efficient labor.
In the last throes of labor, a woman has a huge surge of this hormone, which activates the brain’s pleasure and reward centers and helps ease the bond with her new baby.
Most childbirth interventions and especially induction (which is the administration of the synthetic form of oxytocin) inhibit the production of natural oxytocin and all the wonderful effects it can offer during labor and delivery. ‘delivery.
In 2008, I stumbled across a screening of the multi-award winning movie “Orgasmic Birth: The Best Kept Secret” while living in Manhattan. He came up with a fascinating concept – that if undertaken with a different mindset, birth could not only be a pleasurable experience, but in fact, an orgasmic experience. To say I was in disbelief at the time was an understatement!
However, after adopting the subsequently published book of the same name as one of my Bibles during birth preparation and experiencing what I now know to be a (rather mind-blowing) cervical orgasm when my first child entered the world, I know it firsthand. that this idea is not as far-fetched as it seems.
While the actual numbers are likely much higher due to the fact that the subject of orgasmic birth experiences is somewhat taboo, a 2013 study found that around 0.3% of women experience this phenomenon.
What is happening here?
If we think about it logically, birth and sex all involve the same anatomical organs, the same physiological processes (lubrication, softening and opening of these organs) and the exact same booming cocktail of hormones, if – and only if – conditions are conducive to a more relaxed and sensual experience.
When I was aiming for an orgasmic or ecstatic birth experience, the best advice I ever received was to “reproduce the exact conditions for achieving orgasm.”
We all have our flaws, but dare I say bright lights and strangers watching you closely in the bedroom wouldn’t be top of your list. For the most part, the ultimate relaxants are the ones we mentioned earlier: a setting of absolute privacy, safety and respectful privacy.
As you can imagine, this is the default setting in a planned home birth, which is why the chances of experiencing this phenomenon are much higher. Under these circumstances, a woman is more easily able to reach a deep state of relaxation, and the same contractions that many feel painful can become pleasurable.
How to prepare for an orgasmic birth
Whether you intend to give birth at home, in a birthing center or in a hospital, I believe that it is possible to create the conditions for an orgasmic birth to take place.
My first recommendation would be to attend Calmbirth and / or Hypnobirthing classes as early as possible in pregnancy to allow a better understanding of the physiology of birth. This type of knowledge is extremely stimulating.
Yoga and meditation throughout pregnancy are also extremely useful additions to your toolkit and the benefits of good nutrition during this time cannot be overstated (feel-good hormones and endorphins are made. from the nutrients we consume through our diet).
However, by far the most important element of preparation – and this is why I have become such an adamant advocate of what is possible – is to undo any negative cultural programming by exposing yourself to a barrage of stories from positive births.
This helps counter the lifespan of fear-based messages that we’ve likely internalized and which, if left unchecked, will subconsciously influence our own physiology during the birth process, whether we like it or not.
I would risk thinking that I had read and watched a hundred of them during the nine months and that in the end, I had replaced any residual fear with genuine arousal. A quick search for “homebirth” on YouTube will produce an endless stream of inspiring content.
Good luck and good observation.
Georgia is a clinically trained nutritionist, chef, columnist and mom. She has been featured in Body & Soul and has made television appearances on ABC Breakfast and Studio 10 for her unique approach to food and health. She is known for reinventing traditional foods for modern cooking and has been instrumental in a radical new approach to sports nutrition with a program for the NRL Parramatta Eels, which has kicked off their rise on the scale in recent years. Learn more about stirringchange.com.