December 12, 2008

Um.... wow

The NY Times has been all about childbirth lately, what with the home birth story, the surrogacy brouhaha, etc.  And now...orgasmic birth.  

Um, okay?

I first saw this story in Glamour, and could not believe my eyes.  Then I watched the video.  Oh my.

This new documentary emphasizes that birth can be a pleasurable experience for a woman if they are "permitted to experience it fully."  And apparently some women REALLY enjoy childbirth.  Who knew?  

The title is probably more an attention-getter than anything else, but I think the foundation of this documentary is right on.  It notes that ever since the birth experience moved to the hospital setting, it has morphed into a highly medicalized experience that connotes fear, emergency, and trauma.  And this has caused an entire generation to be terrified of childbirth.  The documentary tries to show that birth is an intimate and natural process that should be embraced as a positive experience rather than dreaded as a medical nightmare.  

Very interesting, and worth a look-see (especially if you're one of the birth-terrified like myself).


Trina said...

You know, I could see how it could become this sort of experience, so much of pleasure or pain is brain oreinted. I certainly agree that too much is made of the 'scary medical' side.

Kathy said...

U-huh, hmmmm. As someone whose life has been literally saved (twice) by medical interventions in birth, I am a bit of a sceptic of the idea that nature always just sorts these things out. Well, sorry, I'll correct myself there - nature DOES, but the "natural" way it sorts it out is for approximately 25% of deliveries to end in the death of mother or baby. (One need only look to the third world to see this in action...)

Do not mistake me - I think healthy birthing should be natural and normal and I don't agree with unnecessary medical interventions in birth. Just don't lose sight of the fact that some interventions are actually necessary if avoiding loss of life is the goal.

Andrea said...

You know, I was actually reading a book about raw food diets recently and in it, the author claims that a woman on a raw food diet for a good long while (and throughout a pregnancy) will not experience any pain during childbirth. She also said that women on raw food diets often stop menstruating (but remain fertile) in general ... that most of the blood is a matter of the body getting rid of toxins.

I don't know about all of that but I thought of her when I saw this story a couple of days ago.

I'm sure there are some women who experience orgasms during childbirth, but I sure didn't. Then again, I went the completely allopathic route and listened to my doctors and was induced and then ended up with a C-section ... and then on #2 was induced and didn't have a C-section ... and then on #3 just scheduled a C-section in the first place (I think in no small part, now that I look back on it, because the baby was due around Christmas and it would have messed with my doc's holiday plans). All in all, none of the experiences were fun in the least, so ... I'll at least hope that somewhere, somehow, someone will take some hope from this documentary.

Betty Duffy said...

As of two weeks ago, I have given birth five times. Yes, it's that fresh in my mind. Orgasm? no. But it is an incredible RELIEF. I wonder if this orgasm business is not being hyped up a bit due to the adrenaline, and oxytocin that women feel during transition, followed by the seemingly miraculous and instantaneous end to the pain.

laurenmburns said...

"uh wow" was my response to this too. As someone who hasn't gone through childbirth, I noticed two things:
1. Birth in the video wasn't quite as bad as made out in the tv/movies.

2. Orgasms were much more tranquil than depicted in media.

I have always wondered about what happens if you don't pull baby out of the water right away.

GEMMERZZ said...

i had a different idea of what the "orgasmic birth" would entail... which, for the record, may be worth some research. haha.