Friday, 20 November 2015


What It's Really Like to Have an Orgasmic Birth spoke with women who have had orgasmic births to find out what it's really like to orgasm your child into this world. 

Woman A: I didn't really study up on it but I had read a book called Orgasmic Birth, which is more so about the fact that birthing is a sexual and sensual process that should be treated as such, but it's not a how-to guide to having orgasms during your birth.
Woman B: Oh, yes. I read tons of books.

Did you tell anyone you were going to have an orgasmic birth while you were still pregnant? What did your friends and family think about the idea?
Woman A: I just knew it was a possibility but didn't view it as a goal to achieve.
Woman B: I only shared the idea with my husband.

What did your partner think about the idea?
Woman A: He thought it was lovely.
Woman B: He thought it was a great idea.

Where did you give birth? 
Woman A: At home.
Woman B: I gave birth at home in a water-filled tub.

Did you use any pain medication at all?
Woman A: No.
Woman B: None.

What is the process? Do you start with foreplay? 
Woman A: I didn't try to have an orgasm. As I approached the transition [birth], I did feel slightly aroused and remember thinking, 'I wish my midwives weren't there so that I could masturbate or be intimate with my husband.' But my orgasm was spontaneous.
Woman B: ​He touched me lightly, caressing, kissing, nipple stimulation, and there was also clitoral stimulation. ​

Did you masturbate, or was your partner or anyone else involved in turning you on?
Woman A: The main way that I experienced orgasmic birth was by looking in my partner's eyes as I had each contraction and saying, "I love you, I love you, I love you," with each wave. In my opinion, this produced large amounts of oxytocin that helped the labor progress, and kept me relaxed and connected rather than stressed and in pain, and all that contributed to the orgasm. ​
Woman B: My husband was involved in the process, using digital clitoral stimulation.

Is there a certain point after which you can't have penetrative sex because the baby is too far down?
Woman A: I don't know, but I only had penetrative sex in the days and weeks leading right up to labor.​
Woman B: Yes, definitely, but I did not have intercourse during labor.

At what point in your labor did you begin orgasming?
Woman A: ​My labor was very fast and intense and I had waves of orgasmic pleasure the whole time.​
Woman B: I was experiencing a spontaneous full-body orgasm throughout the transition [birth].

How many orgasms did you end up having throughout the birth? Did they feel different than regular orgasms?
Woman A: I just had one, but yes it was very different than my usual orgasms. It was more of a very deep, full-body orgasm. I've also had a ton of those since the birth!
Woman B: I had four separate orgasms.

Was it weird having an orgasm in front of medical professionals?
Woman A: Because I was at home and the only people present were my husband and two midwives, I felt very comfortable. I orgasmed mostly silently and told them that I did afterward. It felt very comfortable. I am convinced I would have never been able to have that level of relaxation to allow for an orgasm had I been in a hospital.
Woman B: I was at home, so that wasn't a problem.

Did you have trouble finding medical professionals who were experienced in orgasmic birth? 
Woman A: No, both my midwives were familiar with the concept.
Woman B: I was planning a home water birth with an RN who was very familiar with the methods.

Did you tell people you'd had an orgasmic birth when it happened? What were their responses?
Woman A: I told a few close friends, who all thought it was wonderful.
Woman B: I only told intimate friends whom I knew would consider my experiences sacred. It's nothing to brag about, it's just such an incredible experience.

What do you think the biggest misconceptions are about orgasmic birth?
Woman A: Having sex during labor or masturbating to orgasm during labor isn't the same thing as the birthing process itself bringing pleasure and an orgasm.
Woman B: That they are not real orgasms, when in fact they can be so much better than an orgasm.

What advice would you give to other women who are considering orgasmic birth?
Woman A: Check out, they have a film and some books. Also, the more private your situation is, the more you can use the hormones of sexuality to help you in labor. ​
Woman B: Give birth at home in the most comfortable and relaxed environment possible, with as few people around as possible. Be open to all possibilities and try to make it feel as natural as possible. Intimacy with oneself is amazing.

Wow, wish I had read this when I was having my babies!
To help with an orgasmic birth read posts in this blog on Why Labour Hurts and Hazards to a Pain Free Labour.
Pain Free Labour Books now available from Amazon, cheap as chips.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Research into hypnobirthing methods to reduce labour pain.

Downe S. et al (2014) set out to discover if teaching women hypnobirthing relaxation techniques could lead to less use of epidurals. Their findings are available in full from the Wiley Online Library. 

At last, I thought, evidence that labour does not have to be the trauma seen every day by hospital midwives world wide. How disappointed I was.

I read it with a sinking feeling. It was as a whole a very well thought out study with randomisation at 28–32 weeks’ gestation to usual care, or to usual care plus brief self-hypnosis training (two × 90-minute groups at around 32 and 35 weeks’ gestation; daily audio self-hypnosis CD). Follow up at 2 and 6 weeks postnatal.

I could not find anywhere in the study where positions in labour were even considered when every midwife worth her salt knows that keeping women off the bed leads to less pain relief needed. The primary outcome was if a woman had epidural analgesia or not with secondary outcomes of how women measured their fear levels looking back on their labour.

Margaret Jowitt (2014) has written an entire book on how positions in labour can influence the success rate of normal births. “Women were not designed by evolution to labour and give birth propped up semi-sitting or lying on their backs. The hospital bed can turn a healthy active woman who is quite capable of trusting her body to give birth by itself to a passive patient hooked up to machines which immobilise her and increase her pain.” If the women in the intervention group were not advised to keep mobile or upright on comfy chairs or birth balls during their first stage of labour then no wonder the same amount of them needed epidurals as in the usual care group.

There was no mention of how many of the women in either group went into labour spontaneously or had to be induced. Does relaxation/hypnobirthing make a difference in delaying labour if fear is a factor? Also a massive 75% delivered in an obstetric unit where the main object that you see when entering a room is the bed. I often have to stand in front of the bed when a woman enters a delivery room and guide her towards some of our comfy chairs much to her surprise. She has watched One Born Every Minute and is convinced that labouring women are ill and should be tucked up in bed like a patient with doctors on hand to heal them.

This piece of research was a lost opportunity to turn the tide against the ever rising amount of women who see birth as a terrible ordeal to be got through with as many drugs and interventions as possible. The conclusions of the study were that the hypnobirthing teaching sessions and CDs were no better at avoiding epidurals than usual ante natal care. If the women in the intervention group had also been given the advice not to lie down in labour, as many seem to want to, then the outcome may have been very different.

Downe S et al (2014) Self-hypnosis for intrapartum pain management (SHIP) in pregnant nulliparous women: a randomised controlled trial of clinical effectiveness. BJOG available on line at Wiley Online Library.