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#1 of 100 Old 12-30-2011, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies. I'm not sure where to post this, but it's been driving me crazy and I need answers. My sister is halfway through her first pregnancy and has chosen to give birth at a birthing center. I checked the place out (gotta look out for my baby sis!) and I honestly like it; everyone is really nice and its very clean. However, I don't like my sisters midwife--she's making me question my sanity :). Recently she's encouraged my sister to watch Orgasmic Birth and now has been pushing this idea of having an orgasm during childbirth. I was a CNA during college, so I have some medical knowledge (it's been 11 years since I've graduated and left that field, so maybe my knowledge is dated :)) and I have never heard of this. When I tried to research the topic I could only find articles written about this AFTER the movie/documentary came out. I can't seem to get a consistent answer when the orgasm is supposed to occur. I read as the baby crowns, then I read as the baby is sliding down the birth canal. I just don't understand. I guess it just seems a little perverted to me. You have to be in a certain state of mind to achieve an orgasm-- and that's not a state of mind I was in (or would want to be in for that matter) when I was giving birth :). My sister is back and forth on the issue. At one point she seriously considered a hospital birth (my sister is deathly terrified of hospitals), because she found her midwifes thinking a little out there. The midwife assured her it was common and natural and would (obviously) only be felt by women giving birth drug free, so most OB-GYN's don't mention it to their patients. I'm a little afraid to speak up about how crazy I think this sounds. Like I said before, I do have some medical knowledge, but at the same time I was never a nurse or anything important and my career now is sooo far from the medical field. I guess I'm just in big sister mode and want to protect my sister at all costs, but has anyone else heard of this PRIOR to Orgasmic Childbirth's release? I kinda feel like this whole orgasm and birth thing got started AFTER that movie was released and no one was really thinking of it up until then. Is this really a common occurance? Or am I just judging unfairly? 

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#2 of 100 Old 12-30-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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I am sure big O happens to some woman but I do not understand why the MW is so concerned with it. That is perverted.

The goal  is to have healthy baby and healthy mom. Now  women have to concentrate on orgasm too?

 

The woman who started all that with her video only had orgasm during her first labor and not second. Neuro accidents happen.

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#3 of 100 Old 12-30-2011, 03:10 PM
 
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Uh, no. That is weird. I know they happen to some people, but only under the right circumstances. And for a MW to suggest that a mom needed to focus on that is bizarre.


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#4 of 100 Old 12-30-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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That doesn't sound right. Is the mw doing research or a paper or something that she needs your sister's participation in? Cause that is sounding ... odd.
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#5 of 100 Old 12-30-2011, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have no clue. She seems kinda "earthy" to me anyways. One pain management option that she's mentioned is "clitoral stimulation to ease the slight discomforts of labor". I guess it's just me. I really don't like her, so I feel part of me is constantly finding flaws in this woman.

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#6 of 100 Old 12-30-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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I've never heard of a MW having a woman focus on that if she doesn't want to. How does your sister feel about it, is she feeling pressured or is she the one interested in it?

I seem to remember reading about this phenomenon in the book "Birthing from Within" or in the Hypnobirthing book. I swear it was in at least one of those. Both predate the movie, too.
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I just don't understand. I guess it just seems a little perverted to me. You have to be in a certain state of mind to achieve an orgasm-- and that's not a state of mind I was in (or would want to be in for that matter) when I was giving birth smile.gif.
I've got to correct you on that--it's incorrect that you have to be in a certain state of mind. Sometimes rape survivors experience an orgasm and it certainly has nothing to do with their state of mind. Sometimes people use that to blame the woman who was raped--obviously she "wanted it" because she had an orgasm. Not true at all.

Knowing that, I don't think having an orgasm during a birth is "perverted," it's just something that happens sometimes. It is also possible to be in a more receptive mood for that during childbirth, because the hormone you produce during sex, oxytocin, is also flooding your body during labor. I think the term "perverted" bothers me because it's implying sexual feelings when that is not at all what I understand about it. Of course, my births were about the exact opposite from being orgasmic, so I just have to go on what I've heard about it.

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#7 of 100 Old 12-30-2011, 10:52 PM
 
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One pain management option that she's mentioned is "clitoral stimulation to ease the slight discomforts of labor".

This is one reason I disliked the Spiritual Midwifery books by Ina May Gaskin.. she freely touches a woman's button during contractions.

No one touches my button but me and the hubby. And I didn't do this in labor. I had great labors, nearly pain free but other than a kiss or two.. we do not "get it on" in public.

Not to offend anyone who did have orgasmic birth.. this is just my own opinion!
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#8 of 100 Old 12-31-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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I think she is referring to the double function of the clitoris to provide hormonal pain relief in labour, not exactly to sexually stimulate her. Its not that kind of moment I don't think. I feel that when people mention "orgasm" during birth, people think of it as so weird because as far as they are concerned orgasm is a purely sexual act. I think of orgasm as a hormonal rush, and as providing much needed pain relief to a birthing mother. sexuality, birth and breastfeeding are all so intertwined, just many people find it hard to see it that way. Its hard to explain, because of the meanings people apply to certain words. like for most people sexual=sex therefore to attach the word 'sexual' to any act involving a baby (ie. BF and birthing) seems so wrong. depends on what your take on the word 'sexual' is. If you see 'sexual' and relate it to reproduction and the sustenance of the human species  it can include intercourse, birth and breastfeeding. for example, breasts serve a 'sexual' purpose , not as a tool of intercourse, but as a tool in sustaining the human species. but, of course, if you said to someone "but breasts ARE sexual" in response to how breastfeeding isn't 'perverted' and 'sexual' (as some people try to claim that breastfeeding is wrong) they would probably be horrified (before you explain), because they are taking what you are saying to mean that breasts serve a purpose that includes intercourse, but excludes the nourishment of life. hope I said that right lol. 

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#9 of 100 Old 01-01-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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One pain management option that she's mentioned is "clitoral stimulation to ease the slight discomforts of labor".

This is one reason I disliked the Spiritual Midwifery books by Ina May Gaskin.. she freely touches a woman's button during contractions.

No one touches my button but me and the hubby
.


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Yep, IMO its weird for anyone to push for clitoral stimulation besides the mother.

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This is one reason I disliked the Spiritual Midwifery books by Ina May Gaskin.. she freely touches a woman's button during contractions.
No one touches my button but me and the hubby. And I didn't do this in labor. I had great labors, nearly pain free but other than a kiss or two.. we do not "get it on" in public.
Not to offend anyone who did have orgasmic birth.. this is just my own opinion!


You know, I had felt the same way about Spiritual Midwifery until someone pointed out to me that this was a group of people who were living on a commune together during a time of experiment and free love. It may be very possible that the women she was freely touching were women who she had touched prior.It was a very different time and a different sort of energy. I don't touch any of my clients in that way, but none of my clients have ever been (or will be) my lovers, either.


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#11 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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just to add, I don't think it is appropriate for anyone to touch anyone intimately without their consent. too bad so many hospitals give cervical checks even without consent! I had a whole hand shoved up me while telling them to stop what they were doing!    I think touching the clitoris is something that was being suggested for the mother to do herself, not for the midwife to do it :) I wouldn't be comfortable with a midwife doing it either- but Im taking a "hands-off" attitude to the medical professionals in my life these days.  

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#12 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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No one ever touched me in any hospital I been to without my consent.

I am very sex positive person, but it is my sex life and my doctor or MW suggesting how I do it where I touche myself during birth would cause me to a) dismiss them b) lodge a complaint

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#13 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 10:14 AM
 
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No one ever touched me in any hospital I been to without my consent.
I am very sex positive person, but it is my sex life and my doctor or MW suggesting how I do it where I touche myself during birth would cause me to a) dismiss them b) lodge a complaint

I agree completely.
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#14 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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I don't think that the clitoral touching was been mentioned as a sex act, or telling a woman anything to do with sex, it is about pain relief. pain relief. not sex, not sexual, not orgasm. pain relief. 

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I don't think that the clitoral touching was been mentioned as a sex act, or telling a woman anything to do with sex, it is about pain relief. pain relief. not sex, not sexual, not orgasm. pain relief. 

And yet? It's sexual. That's that body part's function. It's not one of those dual purpose body parts, like breasts or even a vagina.

 

I understand what the MW is saying, that some women use it for pain relief, and more power to them, but to pretend that touching that area is not sexual is just not logical. And I think what the OP is getting squicked out about is the idea that a MW didn't just mention it in passing, but is encouraging her sister to focus on these intimate, sexual things during her labor with other people present.
 

 


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#16 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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I don't think that the clitoral touching was been mentioned as a sex act, or telling a woman anything to do with sex, it is about pain relief. pain relief. not sex, not sexual, not orgasm. pain relief. 

The clitoris exists mainly to make sex pleasurable so we do reproduce. If it were a built in pain reducer... why don't men have one? Why don't we see primitive cultures using it as a anesthesia during cruder surgical procedures like pulling a tooth or lancing an abscess? None of the reading I've done on tribal groups even hints at this.


I think its more likely that the Ina May group of folk were non-monogamous and/or orgy like... so that they were okay with touching each other in such a very personal way.
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#17 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 07:00 PM
 
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The clitoris exists mainly to make sex pleasurable so we do reproduce. If it were a built in pain reducer... why don't men have one? Why don't we see primitive cultures using it as a anesthesia during cruder surgical procedures like pulling a tooth or lancing an abscess? None of the reading I've done on tribal groups even hints at this.
I think its more likely that the Ina May group of folk were non-monogamous and/or orgy like... so that they were okay with touching each other in such a very personal way.


Well, isn't the male equivalent the penis?  I wonder how it would go over if instead of anesthesia, men just had their penises manually stimulated if they are in pain.

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I am a poly person.  It does not mean in any way that I would  just anyone touch my clitoris during labor for whatever reason...short of it bleeding.

 

 

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#19 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 09:31 PM
 
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Well, isn't the male equivalent the penis?  I wonder how it would go over if instead of anesthesia, men just had their penises manually stimulated if they are in pain.

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Well, isn't the male equivalent the penis?  I wonder how it would go over if instead of anesthesia, men just had their penises manually stimulated if they are in pain.

I don't bet it would go over very well... which is why I'm dubious of the idea we are discussing here.
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#21 of 100 Old 01-02-2012, 09:43 PM
 
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Sounds to me like orgasmic childbirth is this midwife's pet theory and she's shoving it down your sister's throat. This does not bode well for her (the mw's) ability to listen to her client and have clear judgment, without her own biases clouding her perception. I hope if your sister has these doubts she explores other options.


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#22 of 100 Old 01-03-2012, 02:17 AM
 
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The phenomenon of orgasmic birth has been known long before the video came out, but based on people's reactions to the idea, I would say it isn't common.  Sheila Kitzinger has an entire chapter about what she calls a "birth high" in her book on female sexuality.  http://www.amazon.com/Womans-Experience-Sex-Sheila-Kitzinger/dp/0399128565

 

I've never heard of midwives touching anyone sexually though, I must have overlooked that part of Ina May's books.  I always thought the birth orgasm was more g-spot than clitoral anyhow.  Since it is a greatly unknown phenomenon, it tends to happen unexpectedly.  Birth orgasm isn't something you can "plan" on, especially since many women dislike being touched during birth, and isn't really even related to feeling sexual.  It's a function of our bodies under certain circumstances, but not necessarily something you "choose".

 

 

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#23 of 100 Old 01-03-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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Ina May doesn't talk about clitoral stimulation solely as pain relief, she talks about it as a way to open the vaginal canal to reduce tearing - increasing blood flow to the area. when you are aroused everything opens up, so it makes sense that it would reduce the chance of tearing.


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I've never heard of midwives touching anyone sexually though, I must have overlooked that part of Ina May's books.  I always thought the birth orgasm was more g-spot than clitoral anyhow.  Since it is a greatly unknown phenomenon, it tends to happen unexpectedly.  Birth orgasm isn't something you can "plan" on, especially since many women dislike being touched during birth, and isn't really even related to feeling sexual.  It's a function of our bodies under certain circumstances, but not necessarily something you "choose".


This is exactly what I've read about it. That when it happens it's got nothing to do with a MW touching you, it's about the baby pressing on nerve groups on the way down the birth canal. Which is why you can't plan it.

I suppose if you were in a very relaxed state, using hypnosis techniques, you could put yourself in the state most receptive to this happening, but really I don't see how you could try to have that kind of neurological reaction.
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#25 of 100 Old 01-03-2012, 06:58 PM
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OP (and everyone else posting who has not actually seen it) , I encourage you to actually watch Orgasmic Birth, which started this whole topic. If you have concerns about it. It's not clear to me from your post that you have seen it.

 

The film has utterly nothing to do with sexual touching of any manner in labor. Nor sex. I actually would greatly respect a midwife who is in line with the principles in this film. 

 

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I have no clue. She seems kinda "earthy" to me anyways. One pain management option that she's mentioned is "clitoral stimulation to ease the slight discomforts of labor". I guess it's just me. I really don't like her, so I feel part of me is constantly finding flaws in this woman.


I think this is the real issue. It's fine if you don't like her. But orgasmic birth isn't the issue. :) 

 


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#26 of 100 Old 01-08-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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It's not ''perverted'' to orgasm during childbirth anymore than it's perverted to orgasm during conception. she's not having a orgasm over her child, which would be perverted. Some lucky ladies have the ability to O during childbirth.We essentially use the same equipment, just in different ways. I'd think it would be much better for mom and baby to have peace and pleasure that comes from it than be stressed and in pain.

 

As for the midwife pushing the idea, I don't agree with that.

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Conception and childbirth are different in lots of ways.  LOTS.

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It's not ''perverted'' to orgasm during childbirth anymore than it's perverted to orgasm during conception. she's not having a orgasm over her child, which would be perverted. Some lucky ladies have the ability to O during childbirth.We essentially use the same equipment, just in different ways. I'd think it would be much better for mom and baby to have peace and pleasure that comes from it than be stressed and in pain.

 

As for the midwife pushing the idea, I don't agree with that.



 


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#28 of 100 Old 01-10-2012, 10:52 PM
 
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While I am absolutely NOT for un-consensual touching or stimulation by a midwife (or anyone else for that matter), my brow doth furrow at how the word "perverted" is casually being thrown around here. I'm not sure what is so "perverted" about achieving a state of orgasm during birth. I'm certainly a little disgruntled at the notion that a woman should be ashamed or feel somehow dirty for having an orgasm while performing the most amazing physical act of her life - which engages and stimulates all of her genitalia. Exactly how does one prevent an impending orgasm in that situation? Certainly not that women should be expected to do so, or that it's super common, but why should we expect her not to? It seems women have enough reasons to be ashamed of their bodies/sexuality/mothering being projected upon them in this society - an orgasmic birth seems like a silly thing to add to the list. Strikes me as common sense that some women will have an intensely pleasurable physical response if they're having an intensely pleasurable physical experience.

 

There seems to be a strange undertone here that it's somehow abusive to feel aroused during the birth of one's child. That a mother's body should automatically abstain from pleasure completely in lieu of function in order to be appropriate for the occasion. This just doesn't speak to the reality of what sexuality is, and how holistic and non-specific it is. There is nothing inherently abusive about a feeling of pleasure. Is the fact that I'm creating a child supposed to behoove me to be less physically excited about my body and the miracle it's performing?

 

I don't know what others' experiences of personal sexuality is. But for me it certainly isn't an isolated thing. I don't just turn it off and on at will when I'm planning to fornicate. Not every aspect of my sexuality is about engaging in the very act of "having sex" (of which there are infinite forms and types, many of them not having to do with anything "explicit"), or about the need to somehow do so with every element of my world that makes me feel good. A lot of my personal intimacy is simply about feeling comfort and pleasure being in my body. A lot of what arouses me has nothing to do with having sex with anyone else. For example, I am often aroused by a sense of confidence in myself, my strength and my ability. Or an intense intimate, often platonic, connection with another or others. In fact, I feel a distinct, physical pleasure when my floors are mopped or my sheets are new and clean. Who's the victim there? Making a baby and bringing them into the world is a profound experience - I believe strongly that, for myself, sexuality is inherent in birth and vice versa. I'm not sure what's so "wrong" with that.

 

Not to mention that all (no, most) babies emerge out of a pretty specific act of sex and the very practice thereof.

 

I'm just not getting the knee-jerk judgements of pleasurable births.

 

 

ETA:

I don't think that talking about orgasms during birth as gross or wrong promotes a very positive or healthy view of holistic sexuality.

 

Just to be clear, I understand that there is a diversity of ways that mothers engage with their bodies during birth. I also agree that women should not feel pushed to view their own births in ways that are uncomfortable to them.

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Conception and childbirth are different in lots of ways.  LOTS.


 


 

Yes, but exactly which of these differences makes it shameful or wrong for a woman to experience her sexuality during birth? I can't think of any.

 


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#30 of 100 Old 01-11-2012, 01:23 PM
 
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The phenomenon of orgasmic birth has been known long before the video came out, but based on people's reactions to the idea, I would say it isn't common.  Sheila Kitzinger has an entire chapter about what she calls a "birth high" in her book on female sexuality.  http://www.amazon.com/Womans-Experience-Sex-Sheila-Kitzinger/dp/0399128565


I've never heard of midwives touching anyone sexually though, I must have overlooked that part of Ina May's books.  I always thought the birth orgasm was more g-spot than clitoral anyhow.  Since it is a greatly unknown phenomenon, it tends to happen unexpectedly.  Birth orgasm isn't something you can "plan" on, especially since many women dislike being touched during birth, and isn't really even related to feeling sexual.  It's a function of our bodies under certain circumstances, but not necessarily something you "choose".


I did get a birth high after one of my babes being born naturally. There's really nothing quite like it.

Back to Ina May... I have the third edition of Spiritual Midwifery.. page 354 at the bottom of the page ... Ina says she " keeps both hands right there and busy all the time" She is specifically advocating clitoris touching as part of midwifery care.

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