Disclaimer: This is one woman’s experience of birth. For pregnancy advice, please consult a medical professional.
“It was like an orgasm. Like a G-spot orgasm rather than a clitoral orgasm.”
This is the way Sydney mum-of-four Priscilla Bradshaw recounts the birth of her fourth child. While most women are screaming in pain, Ms Bradshaw said she was experiencing the most intense orgasmic experience of her life when she free-birthed her son Sunny.
“It was a big release. The full body kind of orgasm. It was a surrendering… rather than a surge like a clitoral orgasm. It was incredible,” Ms Bradshaw said.
Ms Bradshaw’s first two children were born in hospital and her third at home. She said all three experiences weren’t like she had hoped.
“The third one we decided to have at home, which I thought would be wonderful, but it wasn’t. The midwife took over my body and didn’t allow my natural instincts to kick in,” she said.
When Sunny was conceived Ms Bradshaw and her husband, Pat, made the decision to free-birth with the help of a doula. She focused on tuning into her baby and body.
She said her desire to reclaim her power was so strong and she completely trusted in her ability to be able to birth her baby.
“I knew I could tap into my own body’s wisdom. I did a lot a mindset work, meditation yoga, studying and used herbs everyday,” Ms Bradshaw said.
She said for her free-birth she wanted the lights off and to be naked lying down with her husband.
“When my labour started my husband started touching me sensually and massaging me. There was no pain it was just pleasurable. It was like we were love-making. Having Pat touching me in a sensual way I was able to surrender to the feelings of pleasure and I focused on these feelings,” Ms Bradshaw said.
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Once the labour became more intense she moved into the birth pool and he left her to sit on the couch out of view.
“I really went into myself and I didn’t want him around anymore. I became very animalistic. I fell asleep in between contractions and I heard a voice that told me it was time to have a contraction and I would wake up,” she said.
A week before Sunny was born Ms Bradshaw had a dream that he would get stuck and in the dream she knew exactly what to do. Sunny did get stuck and without thinking Ms Bradshaw reached into her vagina and unhooked his shoulder and he came flying out.
“It was really incredible. To experience that level of empowerment is out of this world,” Ms Bradshaw recalls.
Birth coach Clara Riba specialises in helping women achieve pain-free, orgasmic births.
“The aim is to help women lose their fear of birth and when you lose it you realise birth is pleasurable and orgasmic. We are raised to believe birth is supposed to hurt and be painful but women’s bodies are designed to have a pleasurable birth, you just have to work at it,” Ms Riba said.
She said some women are lucky to experience an orgasmic birth spontaneously, but most must work at it in the same way you have to train to play an instrument or run a marathon. Ms Riba focuses on four pillars with her clients – rest, nutrition, exercise and mindset.
“Rest is so important in pregnancy. Your body has to be ready and up for anything during labour,” she said.
While Ms Riba doesn’t advocate for any particular diet during pregnancy she says women should avoid foods that cause discomfort and instead eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to provide strength and energy for labour. Keeping hydrated during pregnancy and labour is also crucial.
“In between contractions drink water. It is a massive physical effort you go through when you are labouring,” she said.
Energising the body and preparing it for the physical effort through exercise during pregnancy is also vital. Ms Riba said changing old beliefs and replacing them with new ones and focusing on the outcome of the birth should be done during the pregnancy.
“Surround yourself with people during labour who know what you expect of them and yourself. Read, meditate, work with a birth coach or doula and watch videos on YouTube on how to change your beliefs will all help your mindset,” Ms Riba said.
Professor of Midwifery and spokesperson for the Australian College of Midwives, Hannah Dahlen, said while she has experienced women having orgasmic births at homebirths she has attended it is quite unusual.
“I have attended thousands of births in my career and have seen it twice that I can remember," Prof Dahlen said.
I think it is important not to make women think that it is the norm, but we can certainly work with women to achieve empowering, positive births,” she said.
Have you ever had an orgasmic birth? What was your experience like?