I recently ran across a story about women having orgasms during childbirth--and I did a major double-take. Did I read the words right? Was it a joke? Who are these women and are they delusional? Even more, how in the world could this ever happen? But, then I did some digging and learned that it's actually something health experts say happens--that some women find childbirth to be, gulp, pleasurable...
I recently asked you if you if you were afraid of childbirth, and the responses were kind of split down the middle. Some of you were terrified at the thought, others were actually excited to have the chance to experience labor and delivery. And, I shared that I'm not too anxious about childbirth this second time around (other than my worries about the baby's potentially enormous size!). Why? Because I trust my docs and I know that an epidural is there waiting for me, should I need it (and after 30+ hours of labor with my son, I DID).
So, when I think back to all the grueling hours of pain I endured delivering my first baby, I can honestly tell you it was the most difficult, most excruciating, most exhausting thing I've ever experienced. That's why I was so blown away by news that some women have, wait for this, orgasmic births.
In fact, it's the name--Orgasmic Birth--of a documentary that ABC's 20/20 will air in January. The creator, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, a childbirth educator and a doula says orgasm during labor is "the best kept secret" of childbirth.
According to the New York Times, Tamra Larter is a woman who experienced a so-called orgasmic birth. She was filmed in the documentary being kissed and caressed by her husband during her at-home birth. "The physical touch and nurturing was just really comforting to me," Larter told ABC. And here's what she said about her orgasmic birth: "It was happening, and I could hardly breathe, and it was like, 'oh, that feels good.' That's all I could say really."
More from the the New York Times: "Christine Northrup, an OB-GYN and author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom explains in the film that orgasms during labor are the results of chemistry and anatomy: 'When the baby's coming down the birth canal, remember, it's going through the exact same positions as something going in, the penis going into the vagina, to cause an orgasm. And labor itself is associated with a huge hormonal change in the body, way more prolactin, way more oxytocin, way more beta-endorphins--these are the molecules of ecstasy.'"
Watch a clip from the documentary, here (prepare to be kind of blown away!).
OK, so while it's wonderful to think that some women are lucky enough to have such rewarding--even pleasurable--birth experiences, I think it's unrealistic for women to believe that this is the norm. And while I'll be interested in tuning into the documentary with the rest of the world to learn more about this--truly fascinating--topic, I think it's important to note that these types of stories can easily set women up for a sense of failure when their birth experience doesn't go as planned--whether it's the need for an epidural after you had hoped to go natural, or a C-section when that was the last thing you had in mind, or excruciating pain instead of, um, an orgasm.
What are your thoughts on "orgasmic births"?VITAMIN G: