Expectant Mamas often ask me what childbirth ed class they should take. My answer has always had to be somewhat vague- the most comprehensive one you can find where you feel philosophically aligned with the teacher.
I am a big believer in knowledge is power, but childbirth ed can be a tricky because the teacher’s angle can really define the experience as well as the information you receive.
Finally.. finally.. finally finally… there is a childbirth education program that I can wholeheartedly recommend.
“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.
There are as many different ways to prepare for an Ecstatic Birth as there are women on the planet. Each woman is unique and has her own unique desires, experiences, fears and circumstances.
Connecting women to their inner wisdom is a huge part of the work that I do with my private clients. However there is one element that is completely universal, that I touch upon with every woman I work with, right away, up front and center.
The single most important factor in preparing for your birth.. is surrounding yourself with people that believe in you, your body’s wisdom, and can hold your vision for you, unequivocally.
I remember interviewing my first OB… asking her if she could support my desire to birth naturally. She said, “Of course! I will do whatever you want, but keep an open mind. Wait till you feel that first contraction…” If only I had had the wisdom, the courage, and the conviction to walk away at the moment and find someone truly aligned with my desire for a natural birth, I would have saved my body from a whole lot of trauma.
Imagine if your practitioner spoke to you about using pleasure as a holistic birthing tool? About accessing the wisdom of your body, the bliss that is always available within? Imagine if she could fully hold your vision of an Ecstatic Birth for you mind, body, and soul- even when you were doubting yourself?
When thinking about the idea of enjoying childbirth, there is nothing more intriguing… and hexing than the idea of an orgasmic birth. We are the children of Eve, or, at least, we have been brought up on that story. How could childbirth ever be physically pleasurable? Emotionally maybe, spiritually definitely, but physically?
If you take a moment, however, to really think about the body parts involved in birth- well, it isn’t as far of a reach as you might have thought, right?
The idea of orgasms and birth coinciding may take a bit of cultural reconditioning, but on a physical level they are quite complementary. There are two ways to think about it.
Orgasm as a birth tool.
Orgasm as a spontaneous part of the birthing process.
The first is relatively straightforward.
Orgasms can be used to jump start labor. They can be used to move a sluggish labor along. They can also, perhaps most intriguingly, be used to manage labor. How?
Orgasms are a powerful natural pain killer, more powerful than some of the strongest drugs out there. Don’t believe me? Google it. You will be flooded with all the research and stats.
The second- the idea of a spontaneous orgasmic birth is more slippery.
One of the questions I get asked most often when I tell people about Ecstatic Birth is-
“Can you do this with an Epidural?”
The short answer is “Yes.”
The long answer involves a discussion around consciousness and nerve endings.
Ecstasy is a state of rapture that includes emotional, physical, and spiritual components. In childbirth, this is most likely when a woman operates from a place of consciousness and empowerment.
This can definitely include the decision to allow interventions as long as a woman is making that decision from a fully informed perspective, eyes wide open and connected to her own personal truth and inner wisdom. (Like in this story about an ecstatic c-section)