Orgasmic Birth and the Midwife: Some Considerations
Elizabeth Davis, midwife and co-author, Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience (June 2010)
Now that the physiology of birth is better understood, most of us would agree that a woman’s need for privacy during labor is a biological imperative. Oxytocin flushes the system and prompts the best rushes when a woman lets go of thinking, releases the neocortex for the more primitive brain. Anything that stimulates the neocortex, such as bright light, conversation (or the requirement to converse), observation by others, by technology (the fetal monitor) or even by oneself, causes oxytocin levels to diminish. One of my students who chose to birth in hospital found it necessary to lock herself in the bathroom until the last minute in order to birth orgasmically.
It’s been noted by many in the field that those attracted to assisting birth often have their own unresolved birth trauma (or trauma from giving birth) that prompts more co-dependent than motherbaby-centered participation. I’ve been talking a lot lately about Robbie Davis-Floyd’s three paradigms of healthcare–the technocratic, the humanistic, and the holistic–and the fine but critical line between humanism and holism. Often, humanism is nothing more than a kinder, gentler technocracy, whereas holism is centered on the pregnant woman’s experience and expertise….for example, when working with a woman on her nutrition, rather than giving her suggestions of what to eat (humanistic) I find it more productive to have her do as much of the work as possible in identifying her deficiencies and the foods she likes to eat that will address them (holism)…as well as encouraging her to investigate her relationship to nourishment, which incorporates matters of body image, sexuality, etc.
What does all this have to do with Orgasmic Birth? The more self-aware, self-confident and relaxed a woman is, the greater her chances for an Orgasmic Birth. And what does this have to do with midwifery? What do you think? What can midwives do to promote Orgasmic Birth? Any stories/examples to share??
For more information on holistic midwifery education, see my website: http://www.elizabethdavis.com