In this blog post, I want to touch on a subject that many modern women may be unfamiliar with. Sex and sensuality in birth are considered taboo by many, but what if this point of view eliminates one of the most fundamental human tools we have for coping with pain and stress?
Did you know? 26% of women report less pain than they expected during childbirth.
You may think this is an exaggeration, but I assure you it’s not. This is possible. The key recipe for an orgasmic or painless birth seems to deeply rooted in mental, physical, and emotional security. Young, teenage mothers have even experienced birth without pain.
In searching for research and sources of information on this article, I started talking to the lovely women in the Free Birth Society Facebook group, a group of rockstar women that collectively advocate for each other and support one another in pursuing uninhibited births.
Their fearless leader is Emilee Saldaya, who I had briefly interviewed for this article. She gave birth to her first child this past week at home before we could finalize our edits, and is of course taking her time to rest and recover with her family!
I am going to go ahead with my personal answers to these questions, and hope you enjoy it and find it insightful!
How are sex, sensuality, and birth connected?
If we look at it as a big picture, they cannot be separate things. The baby is created from sex, which is created from sensuality. They are all intertwined and are intuitively connected.
When the mother is in labor, her jaw is loose, sweat glistening, moaning softly, swaying in a rhythm, that is undeniable sensual energy.
The energy that gets the baby in is the energy that gets the baby out.
-Ina May Gaskin
Why does this idea seem so foreign or intimidating to women today?
Because we are separated from our bodies and think about things in a logical, step by step, very masculine way. Breasts are bared for advertising, but we cover up to feed our babies. The real root problem lies in patriarchy and the modern medical model, but it goes farther than that.
If you want a painless, beautiful birth, you have to question what could ever make it not beautiful in the first place. What told you it couldn’t be?
Labor is not a clear path, there is no roadmap or even a set destination. Everyone’s birth will be different and it is what you create from the experience.
Why should the modern woman consider connecting with this side of herself? How have we become so distant to our own emotions and power?
Because you deserve it! Not only for birth, but for life. You deserve to relish in your feminine power and enjoy what and who you truly are. To be fearless and full of energy and hope.
This is possible and I believe every woman deserves it. We have become distant to it by tuning out. By rushing too much. By thinking too little. By sacrificing what really matters.
How have you seen this be effective for eliminating pain, fear, or otherwise be helpful?
When a woman is in tune with herself, even without a partner present, it is magical. She is able to release fear, to overcome obstacles, and accomplish anything she wants to.
One of the most intimate births I attended was because of a beautiful connection between a husband and wife. She leaned on him for strength during contractions as he kissed her neck and breathed encouraging words in her ears.
The effect this had on her was miraculous. Her labor was fast and easy, and I believe it is because she was confident in herself and secure in her sensual energy with her partner.
Is is true that we can experience birth without any pain?
I entirely believe this is true. (See above statistics) I have been present at many births where a mother didn’t appear to be in any pain at all, and was focusing all of her energy positively.
In fact, during the first birth I ever attended, the mother looked at me and said, “I’m ready to push, and it feels so GOOD!” All I could do was laugh with her and wait for the next wave of contractions to come. A beautiful birth experience!
So, what prevents this from happening?
Fear and tension, and they usually go hand in hand. Fear creates tension and stress in the body, which in turn creates and worsens existing pain.
Fear can be created by a negative birth team, environment or hospital interventions, poor relationships, past experiences, and more. It is essential for any woman preparing for labor to work through her current feelings about herself, her body, and her relationships.
Do you believe there is a story we all tell ourselves? About our abilities, our appearance, our own power? If so, how do we change that perception?
Everyone has a story they believe about themselves and their abilities, and it usually was written by a parental figure early on in your life. They told you what you could or couldn’t do, how to feel about yourself, or gave you some shoes to fill.
We change it by shaking it up! No story is over until you say it is. No one writes your story but you.
Birth is transformative and can seem scary. It will bring up all the stuff you don’t want to deal with and it will wreck any walls you have up. But here’s the secret.
Stronger than you think is even possible. I have seen women find that power, so I know it’s yours to own. You’ve just got to believe it yourself.
What can we do to access this sensual power? Emotionally, physically, mentally?
Surround yourself with positivity
Watch beautiful birth videos
Write love letters to yourself
Make passionate, no holds barred love with your partner
Meditate on sex, birth, love
Practice sensitive self care, whatever that looks like to you
Try nipple stimulation
Use self stimulation or be stimulated by a partner
Talk with your love language
Create a safe environment and privacy
What advice would you give someone who has experienced an immensely difficult birth, who is fearful?
To do all of the above. To work through her past experience with love and patience, and to ask for help and support as she needs it.
Emilee mentioned to me that she offers online prenatal coaching, and women like me work as Doulas to empower you and help you find your own strength during pregnancy as well as support you in person at the birth.
Do you personally believe an empowering birth has lasting effects on a woman and her family?
Absolutely! A woman who has birthed from a place of love and power will be forever changed. She will lead her daughters and sons to think about birth, sex, and love passionately. Her partner will be changed by watching her strength. Her family and friends may be changed by witnessing her story.
Care providers may be changed, health insurance policies changed, prison birth laws changed, and so much more. These ripples of change are vast reaching and unstoppable. I do believe that birth can change the world.
What are your thoughts on this article? I would love to hear from you in the comments!