Photo courtesy of Pain to Power Online Childbirth Classes and Videos
“If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any.” ~ Diana Korte
When you think of pleasurable birth, is safety the first thing that comes to mind? Safety is where pleasurable births begin. To find pleasure in childbirth feeling safe is best achieved if you are a comfortable environment accompanied by a supportive, loving birth team. Once you have chosen your place and team, it is important to start discussing risk and benefits of various interventions, since one intervention oftentimes leads to more. Try to get a sense of what your caregiver is openly supportive of to help make labor safer, easier, shorter and less painful. Do they encourage movement, dancing, eating and drinking, doulas, water, music, and upright positions to use gravity to give birth more easily? If not and they do not support natural comfort methods this may be a red flag that the support you receive from them will be limited.
In addition to knowing your caregivers level of support, it is good to know your caregiver’s rates of cesarean birth, epidural usage, episiotomy, etc…. verse the number of births per month they support that are natural, use gravity, and promote pleasure in birth. This will guide you to choose places and providers that practice and support the birth you desire. Safety is not always what you think so it is important to start with trust and knowledge so you can weigh the risk and benefits when the time comes.
During childbirth, it will become critical that you feel you can discuss all interventions from something as seemingly unobtrusive as receiving an intravenous bag of fluids or an electronic fetal monitor to something seemingly larger such as induction or episiotomy. Knowing the risks as well as the benefits of each of these long before you are in labor, along with alternative natural ways you can work with your body, will really help you decide when the time comes.
When these inventions and options are offered in labor, it is important that you have the time (when possible) to have a discussion with your caregiver to be a part of collaborative decision-making. You have the right to agree to, delay or refuse any treatment or intervention. Having things done to you without your full understanding or approval can lead to negative feelings and lifelong memories of disappointment or sadness.
Discussing your thoughts and questions with your provider is essential to building the trust and respect you need to weigh the risk and benefit of any intervention – as each intervention can replace the natural hormones that your body and baby are producing and relying on to birth with the ease and, yes, pleasure. Any and all interventions have the possibility of decreasing nature’s flow of hormones and leading to a cascade of interventions.
So you see, enjoying a pleasurable birth, feeling confident and secure in your place of birth, your partner, your birth team, and your provider are all part of MotherBaby’s safety. Pleasure in Birth is a prime indicator that safety was present at childbirth.
Debra Pascali-Bonaro, is the Founder & President of Pain to Power Childbirth Experience , Director of the award-winning documentary Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret and co-writer of “Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth” all of which explore the intimate and sacred nature of birth. Debra is an inspirational international speaker, chair of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative, Advisor to Human Rights in Childbirth and ICEA, a Lamaze International childbirth educator, and a birth and postpartum doula trainer with DONA International where she has worked with women, men, midwives, doulas and physicians in over 30 countries bringing comfort, love and pleasure to birth and life!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Debra Pascali-Bonaro are hers alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Debra Pascali-Bonaro. Consult with your own medical provider regarding your individual health questions or concerns.
Debra Pascali-Bonaro, orgasmic birth, pain to power childbirth, pleasurable birth