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.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Better Births?

It is very difficult to break away from the TV image of women lying down on beds to labour and give birth. Society has done a great injustice to women where birth is concerned by allowing programmes like One Born Every Minute where women's faith in themselves to birth their young is eroded week after week.

Research has shown us (Lawrence et al 2009) that women who remain mobile and adopt positions that they are comfortable with during labour have less analgesia and labour much quicker. The mobile elements found on most CTG machines today are not just there as a fancy add on, they are there to be used to help keep women in charge of their labour by staying off the bed. Hand on heart, how many midwives reading this can say they have ever used the mobile CTG attachments or have strived to keep women off the bed while obtaining a necessary CTG trace in labour?

If we are truly going to obtain better births for our women then we have to start with the basics, often lost when working within a busy hospital obstetric unit. Normality is often the last thought on our minds as we strive to follow all the guidelines and protocols available to 'keep women safe'. Once a woman is in labour from IOL then we have the power to stop any further interventions that may cascade her into an operative birth.

The USA have obstetric nurses in their obstetric units and they seem to be nothing like midwives. The internet is full of unhappy women who feel they have been violated by hospital care received in labour. Obstetric rape is often the cry from these women who are desperately trying to reclaim the lost art of birthing within the doctor led services available in America today. This is one model of care that we must strive to stay well away from by supporting midwives to look at their practice and reflect. Am I being truly 'with woman'?

Student midwives are our future and yet the number of students who pick up the very bad habit of calling contractions 'pains' to women really drives me crazy. I once mentored a student, well into her second year, and she had never laboured or birthed a woman off the bed. This was all she had ever seen and she was quickly becoming an obstetric nurse without her even knowing that there was a choice.

Women need knowledge. We can give them this knowledge during parent craft classes that teach them how to labour as nature intended. Relaxed and confident, giving them the choice of mobilising or simply sitting on a comfy chair or birth ball. When was the last time you even saw a birth plan, have women simply given up writing them as they learn to expect the carnage they see on TV?

Better birth is an achievable choice for most women going into labour today with the right support from their midwife. We need strong midwives, confident in the simplicity of normal birth, lets rise to the challenge and make a difference today.

Lawrence AM, Lewis L, Hofmeyr J, Dowswell T, Styles C, (2009) Maternal Positions and Mobility During the First Stage of Labour. Published online 2009. Available on the internet from: The Cochrane Collaboration and Wiley Online Library.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Was it in the 1950s when birth went wrong?

Just read an article posted by Orgasmic Birth and was interested in their telling of the history of childbirth and when it all went wrong.

"In the 1950s, with the new dynamic of birth being behind closed doors- women were alone, drugs and twilight sleep were given, and as a result the knowledge of how to work with our bodies in birth was lost and fear grew. I can’t even imagine what it was like for the many women who found themselves alone, in a hospital gown, put down with a wheel chair and tied to bed (yes they were tied with lambs wool). How different this was from being in your own home, in your own clothes and familiar textiles and fabrics, surrounded by those who love you. While we have had benefits of hospital birth, there is much to ponder and question of what we have lost and what we can birth forward in new ways."

They have taken birth away from women, but we can get it back. Education is the key. Real education, not gained from watching One Born Every Frelling Minute!

See my posts Why Labour Hurts (5 posts) and Hazards to a Pain Free Labour.(6 posts)

The doctors can care for high risk women such as diabetics and eclamptics. Leave the low risk women to find a better way to labour. Birth centers in England are amazing but you may still find a midwife there who calls contractions "pains". Just follow the advice for learning a relaxation technique (post-Progressive Muscle Relaxation) in pregnancy and stay sat upright on a ball or chair or couch, mobilising when you need to. Stay at home for as long as possible, scoffing lots of carbs before going to hospital, you will know when the time is right, listen to your inner voice. Better still have a home birth then the midwife will come to you.

We need to listen to our bodies and trust. WE ARE WOMEN AND WE ARE POWERFUL AND WE LOVE IT!

Pain Free Labour books now available from Amazon, cheap as chips to download.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Picturing a Pain Free Labour.

Adapted from Susan Jeffers and taught at my parentcraft classes, I thought you would like it...

Make yourself comfortable in your chair, back straight, feet on the floor, hands comfortable on your lap. You have nothing to do but listen to my instructions and let whatever comes up for you come up. There is no right or wrong way to do a visualization. Just accept whatever comes to mind.
Now close your eyes … and keep them closed throughout the visualization. Take a deep breath … inhale all the loving energy in the universe … and exhale all your loving energy back into the universe. Once more … in … and out … And once more … in … and … out. Feel how good it feels to begin to totally relax. Begin at the bottom of your feet and work your way up to your head … relax. Let go of the muscles in your feet … feel your legs becoming heavy and relaxed … your abdomen is relaxing … your chest feels heavy, every breath feels so light and tension free … arms and hands are feeling relaxed … your shoulders suddenly give up their tension and they are feeling so heavy and soft … your neck feels relaxed … just let go of any tension in the little muscles around your eyes and then your mouth … all tention free and nice and relaxed. You have never felt so relaxed. Every breath you take eases more tention out of your body.

Just totally let go … checking out any part of your body that may still be holding tension … and release it.

Now I want you to think of a goal that you have in life … a specific goal … and you know that FEAR is keeping you from moving forward toward that goal.
Now what I'd like you to do is to imagine yourself approaching that goal “as if” you had no fear.

I want you to see yourself approaching that goal with a sense of power and confidence in yourself … confidence that it will all be all right.
What would you be doing in your visualization … if you had no fear?
See yourself … What would you be doing next … if you had no fear?
Within the visualization look at the people around you. How are you relating to them … with no fear?
How are they relating to you?

Just enjoy this sense of power and notice your ability to love … and contribute.

And know that this is a feeling always within you … always a part of you if you choose to use it.
And it is within your capability to move forward in life with that power and with that confidence.

See yourself … achieving your goal … with your power … with your confidence … with your love … and with your contribution. Imagine how good it would feel to approach your goal with utter confidence in your ability to be a success. Nothing could stop you.

And slowly … start to bring yourself back to this room … knowing that the power is available to you … as soon as you begin to act … the power you need will come forward.

Feel yourself in your chair … be present in this room … listen to the sounds around you … and when you are ready, open your eyes … no need to rush. When you are ready, open your eyes.
Stretch and just feel the deliciousness of your power. It's all there for the taking. 

Then I would ask my parents, when using this visualisation method, to imagine they are in labour. What if they approach labour with confidence and strength, imagine going into labour and feeling perfectly safe. What if you sat at home on your couch in labour, feeling the contractions and they are causing you no pain. Wonder and joy course through you and you know you can do this. Know it is within your power. What if? 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Hazards To A Pain Free Labour/Labor - 7

Reflecting on recent experiences I would like to add a hazard to the list that may interfere with your pain free first stage of labour.
A precipitate labour is a very quick labour and usually causes contraction pain. These labours are usually the result of a woman's body deciding that it really must get this baby out NOW as there is a risk factor that could damage the baby.
The contractions come much closer together than a normal labour and are quite intense and strong. This means that the uterine smooth muscle will not be able to get enough oxygen from the blood and so produce lactic acid leading to a message being sent to the brain to experience PAIN.
Women with very high blood pressure can have precipitate labours and I have noticed that women who have small for dates babies often labour very quickly as the placenta is failing.
A big help with these fast labours is entonox (gas and air). This is because it contains 50% oxygen which is 30% more than the air that we breath normally and so can help pay back the oxygen debt that is causing the contraction pain. Getting in a warm pool is also desirable but if you have risk factors then the hospital will want you to be monitored on a CTG machine.
Essential for a more comfortable labour is staying upright on a birth ball or chair or mobilising. Do not let them make you lie down on a bed in labour in order to monitor your baby's heart beat. This can easily be done in any of the positions mentioned which means the contractions will not get any stronger. In a lying down position the uterus is pushing baby uphill, very hard. In an upright position the uterus is pushing baby downhill, easy.
Never forget that whatever kind of health care you choose for your birth, you are the boss and hospital staff are there to offer you care that suits your needs. You are not there for their convenience. Never be afraid to ask for what you need to keep you more comfortable in labour.

Pain Free Labour books now available from Amazon.