After watching this video there were so many things running through my head. The first of which was, “If I had known that I would have had many more children”. The next was, “I’m pissed off because I didn’t know that was a possibility when I was living through 24 hours of natural labor and delivery”!
I went into my own childbirth experience very well educated and prepared. Now I realize I was not nearly as prepared as I would have liked to have been. Can labor and delivery actually be a sensual, orgasmic experience? According to the experts approximately 20% of birthing mothers experience an orgasm during the delivery. Dr. Christiane Northrup explains that the very same anatomy which is stimulated during sexual intercourse is also stimulated by the descending baby. Makes sense. Then why don’t more women know about this? Do we have puritanical attitudes which prevent us from seeing sexuality as a normal physiological process… kind of like breathing?
I was a labor and delivery nurse for part of my nursing career. I have to admit I never saw that side of childbirth. My experience and research explains why. When we put a laboring woman in bed, attach her to wires and machines, she is unable to move about and labor naturally. There are very few cultures who do this to their women. Birth is the most natural act (besides sex) and yet we treat it as though it was a “diagnosis” to be dealt with. I’ve heard all the reasons for this… the medical culture in the USA has very stanch beliefs to back up their defensive practice actions. Morbidity, Mortality, & Legality are the top three. But what they don’t realize is that the way we currently treat childbirth is creating a whole new basket of problems (we call them unforeseen consequences) they have yet to connect the dots to.
Birthing chairs have been popular far longer than reclining deliveries.
Don’t kid yourself. Childbirth changes women. All of the following factors (and more to be discussed in future columns) will affect future sexual experiences for the woman (and therefore her partner).
Episiotomy: When you lay a woman on her back to deliver a baby all the pressure is downward into the rectum. To avoid a tear (which some believe is much worse) they create incision in the perineum (the tissue between the vagina and anus) to allow more space for the baby to exit her body. This incision hurts like a mutha after delivery (try sitting on your surgery). This incision causes scarring, which can take months to heal making sex painful and frightening. The more compassionate forward thinking doctors do what is called perineal massage (or have the partner do this) which stretches the skin allowing for an easier, less likely to tear, delivery. This makes healing a breeze and back to normal sex timely.
Monitors, IVs, strapped to bed: The most abnormal, unnatural way to labor. Have you ever watched an animal? They pace, they stretch, they get up and down… they move. The natural movements assist labor. They make it faster and more pleasurable. Most then stand or lie on their side to deliver… no other mammal reclines on their back to birth a baby.
Anesthesia VS Natural Child Birth: What happened to Lamaze and Bradley? Or how about Yoga during Pregnancy? The only birthing classes I’ve heard about lately are the ones where the labor and delivery nurse describes what is going to happen “to you” and what drugs will be at your disposal! This floors me. Women are not being taught about their bodies and how to make this process pleasurable and intimate. Setting the mood is not being in a sterile hospital room unable to move. When we anesthetize (epidurals are the new favorite) the laboring woman she cannot fully participate HER labor and birth of her baby. This in and of itself increases the odds to need a dangerous, more emergent surgical intervention. I am dumbfounded when I hear women say they would prefer to have a Cesarean section delivery. What have we done to our women? We have left them so frightened and disempowered over their own bodies they would rather subject themselves to risky anesthesia and surgery.
Fear: We have all heard the horror stories surrounding birth. Women talking to other women are the worst! We teach our young women to be afraid and in doing so we set the tone for this injustice to recur. When prepared, as the women in the video displayed, labor and delivery can very well be a joyful, sensual, erotic and pleasurable experience. First we have to be willing to question our beliefs. Until then we will recreate the horrors of our mothers and grandmothers or be willing to subject ourselves to the medical interventions which are not at all risk free. You don’t hear about the paralysis or deaths related to the anesthesia do you? Or the epidurals that only work on half the body? Or don’t work at all and leave the unprepared, uneducated woman to live the horror she believed would happen without the drugs. Education is power. We need to wake up and get back to teaching women how to control their own bodies – in every way.
So you ask, what does all this have to do with sex? It reflects our attitudes about something so natural and important. If we do not take charge of our beliefs about our own body and how it functions then how in the world are we going to enjoy a fun, energetic, healthy sexual life? And remember… the result of having some of that yummy sex…. is often a baby. They can both be a euphoric, orgasmic, pleasurable experiences… if we have the attitude for it! Do you?
Nancy Sutton Pierce RN, Health Educator is the Founding director of Nancy Sutton’s House of Yoga and Radio Talk Show Host on The Conscious Living Show LIVE every Saturday 11a-12noon on KCNR 1460am You can reach Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comment or questions.
As You Desire is proudly sponsored by Body Logic MD; helping both men and women restore their libido and vitality through hormone therapy, fitness and nutrition counseling. www.bodylogicmd.com
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