Not wedding related but I couldn't let this pass without sharing it....
Imagine a drug-free, pain-free labour that comes with multiple orgasms - it really is possible
Orgasm and childbirth are not two words you expect to find in the same sentence. But, as implausible as it may sound, increasing numbers of mothers are signing up to the Orgasmic Birth movement. Childbirth, they claim, far from being a painful ordeal to endure, can be as ecstatic and pleasurable as the moment of conception itself. Now, with the release of two new documentary films in America depicting orgasmic births, and websites awash with first-hand accounts from women claiming similar experiences, are we about to lift the lid on this taboo?
Isobel Patterson, 31, a lawyer from Brighton, gave birth to her first baby, Amelia, last December, and is convinced she experienced an orgasmic birth, witnessed by her husband, James. She remembers it as the most pleasurable day of her life.
I am well aware how many women reading this will open their eyes wide in disbelief and dismiss my experience as some sort of exhaustion-induced fantasy. Before it happened to me, I would probably have done the same. Confessing to my friends, who have, in most cases, experienced agonising 10- or 20-hour labours, that mine was the most enjoyable seven hours of my life has been tough enough. But when I add that it was accompanied by an orgasm, I find myself being made to feel in some way strange or deluded. Itís better to keep the whole experience to myself.
Like most mothers-to-be, I was terrified by the idea of birth. A typically pragmatic lawyer, I had decided on a hospital birth with every painkiller at my disposal, even before I became pregnant. I couldnít see the point in bravely trying to go it alone when medical science could offer me so many options to make it easier.
As my pregnancy progressed without any complications, however, my feelings changed. I began researching more natural, alternative methods. I plumped for a doula. I loved the idea of a woman who would come to my home when I went into labour and was totally independent of the hospital, but experienced enough at delivering babies to help me through it. (Doulas, unlike midwives, don't assist in the actual delivery or provide medical care, but act as professional coaches who offer emotional and practical support during childbirth.)
When my contractions started at midnight, it was my doula whom I called. I was a week overdue and wanted someone who wasnít emotionally involved with me. My mother and husband were sleeping, and I decided not to wake them up. I knew they would start panicking. But my doula was calm, relaxed and hugely positive about how wonderful the experience was going to be. I spent three hours on all fours in my living room before my husband and mother even woke up.
As my contractions intensified and I got closer to giving birth, I remember starting to feel the sensations. It was the most incredible feeling that began in my pelvis and rippled through my entire lower body. It was wave upon wave of what can only be described as pure pleasure. My pelvis began pushing downwards involuntarily and my legs were trembling as I experienced a prolonged orgasm that lasted what seemed like hours, although during birth your concept of time is very different.
I know now that it was probably more like a series of orgasms over an hour. My husband said afterwards that I was shouting, ďOh my God, itís so beautiful, itís like making loveĒ, over and over again. I was trembling and smiling. The doula said my clitoris was pulsating and I kept closing my eyes in ecstasy with each passing wave as the baby moved downwards. My husband was open- mouthed. He didnít quite know what to say. He said later that it was obvious what was going on.
My baby arrived, without any pain relief, three hours later, and my recovery was incredibly quick because I did not tear or need stitches. I felt wonderful, but was slightly confused and embarrassed about what I had experienced. I also felt somehow guilty that I had felt something usually associated with sexual intercourse during the birth of my daughter. But when I went online, I found hundreds of women blogging about similar experiences.
After the birth, I was so excited that I wanted to share what had happened with friends, but their reactions quickly taught me that this was probably something I should think of as my own private but wonderful experience and keep it to myself. Itís sad that women are too embarrassed to talk openly about orgasmic birth, but hopefully there will be a time in the future when we are more open-minded about our sexuality.
Michel Odent, an obstetrician who revolutionised childbirth by introducing the concept of birthing pools and author of The Functions of the Orgasms.
People used to think female orgasms during sexual intercourse didnít exist. I believe that, in years to come, orgasm during childbirth will be recognised as a natural part of the birthing experience. The idea of orgasmic birth has been backed up by anecdotal evidence from thousands of women. In my latest book, I have described the foetal ejection reflex ó an orgasmic state women reach during birth that helps with the rapid delivery of the baby. During labour, there is a huge hormonal change in the body, with increased prolactin, beta-endorphins and oxytocin being released. These molecules of ecstasy help to push the baby down into the birth canal.
Sheila Kitzinger, a social anthropologist specialising in birth and author of The New Pregnancy and Childbirth
Iíve been talking about this for years. Though asking people to ďseeĒ it is a bit much ó how do you know if youíve witnessed it?
An orgasmic birth neednít mean youíre climbing the walls and screaming. The problem is that birth is clock-watched and managed, often aggressively, so that women canít be spontaneous. When a woman is in labour, and has people telling her what to do and how to breathe, she canít be spontaneous. But when she can, giving birth can be absolutely amazing ó warm waves of passion. When the babyís head reaches the perineum it stimulates an erotic response known as Fergusonís reflex. That is, if it isnít destroyed by her being told how and when to push.
Maggie Howell, founder and director of Natal Hypnotherapy
For the majority of women, birth is an ordeal to ďget throughĒ. However, for a small handful of women, birth can be an ecstatic, empowering and even orgasmic experience. If a woman feels completely safe, relaxed, confident and trusting in her body, then her experience can be pleasurable and enjoyable.
The process of giving birth involves the release of many of the same hormones and physical changes that take place when making love. It is therefore possible that women experience orgasm during birth.
Editor: I'm speechless.........