Ep. 4 of the Orgasmic Birth Podcast

The Hormones of Love, Sex, And Childbirth with Sarah Buckley

Hormones play a huge part in our bodies, birth, breastfeeding, and in our sexuality. One of the most important things we can do in labor to provide comfort is to support a healthy hormonal flow.

How do we ensure that our hormones flow to facilitate successful birth, ecstatic and Orgasmic birth?

Dr. Sarah Buckley talks about the changes that occur in the brain during labor and birth, how hormones play a role, and how oxytocin levels are highest after the baby is born to protect both MotherBaby. She describes the 3 elements needed for any mammal or human to support their hormones to flow easily and to give birth with ease. Dr. Buckley also dives into how crucial it is to acknowledge and understand how birth is a part of a woman/birthing person’s sexuality. 

Dr. Sarah Buckley is trained as a GP (family physician) with qualifications in GP obstetrics. She has been writing and lecturing to childbirth professionals and parents since 1997 and is the author of the internationally best-selling book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. Sarah has a special interest in the hormones of physiological labor and birth and the impacts of interventions. In 2015 she completed an extensive report on this topic, Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing, published with Childbirth Connection (US). She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Queensland, researching oxytocin in labor and birth and the impacts of maternity-care interventions. She has co-authored several papers on oxytocin in labor, birth, and breastfeeding. Sarah is also the mother of four children, all born at home and now in their teenage years and beyond. She lives on the semi-rural outskirts of Brisbane.

In this episode:

  • Sarah talks about her unexpectedly fast home birth, which she describes in further detail in her book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering.
  • The foundation of hormonal physiology is that first, it’s designed for us to conduct successful birth. We’re perfectly designed for a successful labor and birth.
  • Sarah explains that oxytocin is responsible for the labor, increasing the sensitivity of the uterus to contract, and causing an “ecstatic” and “orgasmic” feeling.
  • Labor is a process that involves many preparations, including the mother’s body being maximally sensitive to oxytocin in her uterus, babies also having peak oxytocin levels, and the whole process of oxytocin being magical. 
  • Hugs, touches, and sexual activity can help to get labor started and help women get into an adequate state of readiness.
  • The importance of your environment, familiar people, smells, dim lights, sounds, and doulas.
  • Oxytocin has a pain-relieving and calming effect on the body.
  • Birth is sexual 
  • Secret privacy tools 
  • Orgasmic Birth is “not just a fancy idea, it is a physiological reality!”

Key Takeaways:

  • The presence of oxytocin during the labor process contributes to the magical feeling
  • Doulas can help by ensuring good oxytocin flow
  • Sexual activities can promote the release of your own oxytocin
“The hormonal processes of labor and birth are actually designed to change our brains.” – Sarah Buckley
“The foundation of hormonal physiology is that it’s designed to be successful. Birth has evolved to be successful.” – Sarah Buckley 
“The Hormones of labor and birth, the process of having a baby is almost identical to the processes of making a baby”    if you are thinking about the best place to have a baby ask if this is a situation I could make a baby?   And if not, how can you make it  as intimate, private, safe and as dark as possible. “
“Orgasmic Birth is not just a fancy idea, it is a physiological reality!”

For more from Dr. Buckley

Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing report https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/health/maternity/hormonal-physiology-of-childbearing.html

Oxytocin levels in physiological labour and birth https://rdcu.be/bOg4v Oxytocin during breastfeeding-https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0235806 Birth as a neuro-psycho-social event: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0230992

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