This year my son received sex ed in his 7th grade health class for the first time. Much to his mortification, I asked him many questions about what he was being taught about the female anatomy. Unfortunately, but not surprising, while boys were taught about ejaculation and how to put on condoms, among other things, the girls only received half the story about their bodies– they learned about ovulation, periods, and pregnancy.
While they did clarify proper usage of vulva vs. vagina, the class did not even begin to name the outer and inner anatomy of the vulva. The word clitoris was never mentioned, much less the vestibular bulbs (pound for pound as much erectile tissues as men) or any conversation about the pleasure centers of the female reproductive systems.
I mentioned this to a fellow mom and she said, “most people would be happy about that.” Ouch.
When I first launched Ecstatic Birth, I wanted to support a woman like I was at the beginning of my journey.
…a woman who wanted to have an incredible birth experience, but didn’t know what that meant or where to begin.
I do attract a lot of these women, but I was always surprised to see so many of you practitioners on my list, in my programs, on my calls.
Thank you for sharing with me time and time again how much you want to integrate this with your client work. Thank you for helping me see that this was not included in any of your formal trainings, that this is as new and progressive to you as it is to the expectant mamas I work with.
I get it and I also get that if we work together we can support more women in having empowering and pleasurable births.
I want more women to know and learn and open to the possibility of birthing with pleasure, more women than I can work with one on one.
I want to enable you, who are already working with expectant mamas, to share this information, these tools, these resources with them.
Registration is now open for the 2016 Ecstatic Birth Practitioner Training Program!
This blog post has been a long time coming. Perhaps when the intensity of a situation is so strong, some time has to pass before you can express your experience clearly in words.
I am a birthkeeper, meaning I hold the sacredness of this rite of passage near and dear to my heart and I do what I can to bring light to the world of childbirth. When the #1 word that comes to mind when women think of birth is “pain,” (way ahead of “baby” btw) there is plenty of light needed.
The past six months I have spent a lot of time in the presence of the opposite rite of passage, death. The experience of watching a beloved family member get sick, fade and pass before our eyes in a matter of months was heartbreaking on so many levels.
The birthkeeper in me also found it completely fascinating. Why? Because despite the intense sorrow there were many moments that were so profound, so full of love, so real and palpable that the sensation of grief in my body was tinged with something else.
It’s a feeling that I hesitate to call ecstasy because the context is so very different from how I usually talk about ecstasy.
Or is it?
Birth and death are the most pivotal rites of passages that we live as human beings here on this planet, both wrapped in the mysterious essence of our condition. Where do we come from and where do we go?
How can we support a birth to progress with as much ease as possible?
There are many many tools an expectant mama and her support team can use. On the natural side- movement, massage and water can be incredibly supportive of the progression of labor.
Right now, I want to focus on how you can best holistically support the natural process of birth with PLEASURE.
You read that right. Pleasure.
Pleasure is the most holistic birthing tool there is.
How is that possible when 90% of women associate birth with pain? Well, your birthing body and your sexual body are one and the same.
“Why do most people tend to birth in pain rather than in pleasure?”
This is the question I am asked most often when I share about Ecstatic Birth. There isn’t just one answer to this, but a whole host of answers.
I’ve compiled what I see as the top 10 major factors women birth in pain as opposed to pleasure.
Some of them may surprise you…
10. It is our religious inheritance. Remember when Eve took a bite of that apple in the Garden of Eden? Womankind’s punishment for her sin was to suffer through childbirth. To birth any other way would be blasphemous.
9. It is our cultural inheritance. Look at all the messages around us- How does the media depict birth? How do the moms around you talk about birth? Overwhelmingly our cultural messages reinforce the idea that birth hurts. Women who have had alternate experiences are often ashamed to speak up and if they do, risked being ostracized or outcast, especially if they speak of experiencing pleasure during birth.
8. We are stuck in our heads. In modern society, our bodies are primarily a means to get our heads from place to place. Mental, rational intelligence is valued above all others and yet you can’t think your way through birth. Birth is a primal full body experience. We must be able to let go of rational thought and get fully into our bodies, feeling each sensation, and be guided by its wisdom.
7. We don’t trust our bodies. In this age of cancer there is an underlying current of fear that our bodies will betray us despite our best intentions. Our bodies seem do things we can’t control and don’t understand yet this is all a symptom of our grand disconnect from ourselves. Our bodies are so wise. They hold primal wisdom, generational wisdom, experiential wisdom, all in addition to our mental rational wisdom. If we can learn to listen and honor that it would change everything.