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Archive for March 19th, 2009

Labour coming?

Oh Lordy, lordy I’ve just read this article, and I really wish that I hadn’t, it is about childbirth as an orgasmic experience. For the record, I have known 1 woman who told me that she had experienced orgasm at the moment of birth, this was 32 years ago, she had just had her 2nd baby, and I was 7 months pregnant, I thought that she was just trying to make me believe that birth was nothing to fear. As a midwife, at countless births, I have known women be silent, groan, shout, swear and scream, expressing their birth experience in many different ways but I have never suspected that any one of them were in the throws of ecstasy.

I’m going to speak here as a midwife.  ‘A romantic atmosphere is important’, a contributer to the documentary Orgasmic Birth, says. Well, he has my argeement there in that research has shown that a relaxed environment, low-lighting, soft music, contributes to labour progressing well but passionate kissing, what is the midwife supposed to do, hum to herself whilst lookng at her feet? I know that it’s not about what makes me feel comfortable, but how many couples are going to feel relaxed about displaying intimate behaviour in front of strangers? The concerns I have are about women’s expectations. Pregnant women read a lot about labour and many set themselves objectives about how it will proceed, how they will behave and then have this ideal of how they will feel afterwards. If they see this documentary, or read associated articles they may believe that if all goes well they may well experience a climax during labour. Some will be disappointed when this doesn’t happen, others may well go into childbirth with even more of a fear of ‘losing control’ (a common theme when discussing women’s concerns about labour), and a horror that they may behave sexually during the birth and obviously have an orgasm. For some women childbirth is degrading, they feel they are losing their dignity and hate the intimate nature of the examinations which are undertaken. They enter labour ‘uptight, anticipating ‘violations’, vaginal examinations, on a regular basis by complete strangers, is this documentary going to make these examinations appear sexual and more like a violation? I feel that this documentary may cause women to feel more unease about childbirth than eagerly anticipate it.

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