The pleasurable and orgasmic experience of childbirth is strongly suppressed in our modern culture. Mass media only shows us one side of the story – all we see in movies and television shows are women screaming in agony while in labor, yelling at their husbands and telling them it’s all their fault, and getting emergency c-sections.
If we’re only being shown painful, drug-induced, and frightening images of childbirth, then it makes sense why most of us have a preconceived idea that medically unassisted birth is archaic, more painful, and even deathly. The negative images of childbirth have become deeply embedded in our minds. It’s no wonder why most of us fear childbirth, and why we believe we need doctors and drugs.
Yes, of course there are times when medical intervention is absolutely necessary, but I don’t think birth is inherently painful or dangerous like we’ve been led to believe (hello, propaganda by the billion-dollar birthing business).
If you read my previous post, My Natural Home Birth Story, then you know that I had the utmost empowering, heart opening, and painless birth. Please understand that I’m not trying to devalue any woman’s experience, or to judge any personal choices. I don’t think there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to give birth, but I do think that there’s a more desirable scenario than what we’ve been told.
I also want to mention that pain is entirely subjective. What you might consider to be painless could be painful for someone else. With that being said, I’d like to share some techniques that can help you have a comfortable birth (all of these methods worked flawlessly for me).
5 tips for a natural painless birth:
1. Turn pain into pleasure.
My midwife once told me that “the pain [of labor] feels good.” I didn’t understand what she meant until I experienced it myself!
Don’t think of what you are feeling as pain (negative). Instead, think of it as pleasure (positive). When you use positive reinforcement, you can overcome any feelings of discomfort. Embracing the pressure and sensations that you feel in your body can help you experience ecstatic and orgasmic feelings during your birthing time.
An excerpt from Orgasmic Birth:
Orgasmic Birth can be the blissful waves in between contractions. One can enter this altered state and ride the waves of sensation, expanding into the pleasure and increasing sexual energy and the hormones consuming one’s being. Riding the wave creates a peaceful, total body sensation that lingers as energy is exchanged between you, your baby and your partner. Birthing in love is a state of filling your entire body and being with oxytocin, the love hormone, and surrendering to the power within. Dr. Sarah Buckley writes in Ecstatic Birth: The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor “Such high levels (of beta-endorphins) help the laboring woman to transmute pain and enter the altered state of consciousness that characterizes an undisturbed birth.”
The above basically reiterates what I spoke about in my birth story when I described that I was “…passionately alive. Liberated by the ability to feel the magical life force inside me. I surrendered to the storm of sensations, letting the current take me back home.”
2. Apply counter-pressure.
Counter-pressure is a strong force typically applied to the lower back or side of the hips during a wave. This can help alleviate back discomfort for women who experience back-labor.
3. Use hydrotherapy.
Warm water has been used for centuries as a natural pain reliever during labor, and for good reasons! The effects of buoyancy encourages better blood circulation for improved oxygenation of the uterine muscles, decreased pain for you, and increased oxygen for your baby.
Hydrotherapy is also comforting and soothing (think back to all those baths you’ve taken after a long day), which can help accelerate labor progress. When you immerse in water, you relax. And when you relax, your body releases the hormone oxytocin that triggers pressure waves (that’s Hypnobabies talk for contractions) to make them consistent and strong.
4. Relax your mind and body.
The Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome, a concept formulated by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read (a natural birth advocate), explains that fear is the main cause of pain during childbirth.
Fear of labor can happen for a number of reasons, such as hearing negative birth stories, lack of proper education, and lack of confidence in your ability to birth a baby. Fear then causes physical and emotional tension – tension creates barriers in the birthing process, such as dilation and production of endorphins (hormones that reduce the perception of pain). Without endorphins to act a natural pain reliever, you can experience pain in the form of intense waves as your body tries to progress through your birthing time. Pain then causes more fear, and it becomes a vicious cycle of Fear-Tension-Pain.
An excerpt from The Epidural Express: Real Reasons Not to Jump Onboard by Nancy Griffin:
The uterine muscles are beautifully designed to deal quite effectively with danger, fear, and stress in birthing. The uterus is the only muscle in the body that contains within itself two opposing muscle groups – one to induce and continue birthing, and another to stop pressure waves if the mother is in danger or afraid.
Emotional or physical stress will automatically signal danger to a birthing mammal. Her birthing will slow down or stop completely that she can run to safety. In modern times, this goes haywire. We can’t run from our fears [during childbirth]…instead, we may release adrenaline, which causes the short, circular muscle fibers in the lower third of the uterus to contract. These muscles are responsible for stopping birthing by closing and tightening the cervix. The result is that we literally “stew” in our own adrenaline.
At the same time that the long, straight muscle fibers of the uterus are contracting to efface and dilate the cervix, the short, circular muscle fibers of the lower uterus are also contracting to keep the cervix closed and “fight” the labor. The result? The very real pain of two powerful muscles pulling in opposite directions each time the birthing mother has a pressure wave.
By learning to deeply relax mentally, physically, and emotionally; actively dealing with fears about birth; and choosing a birthing environment that feels safe and protective, birthing women will not have to experience the traumatic pain caused by the “Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome.”
5. Use hypno-anesthesia.
Hypnobabies childbirth course will teach you how you can induce yourself under hypnosis and administer hypno-anesthesia, so that you may reach a peaceful and comfortable state during your birthing time.
“Many people think hypnosis is like the stage hypnosis shows they’ve seen where people seem to be unable to control themselves, act goofy and provide entertainment for the audience.
In reality it is a state of focused concentration where the body and mind relax together. Hypnosis is very simply: a natural state of mind in which the body and mind are extremely relaxed and yet the mind is also highly aware and focused…hypnosis is a very normal state of being that along with it’s ability to provide emotional and physical healing, has been widely and successfully used within the medical community for pain relief and hypno-anesthesia.” -Scott Sandland, Hypnotherapist
Some of you might be thinking that my positive experience was just out of sheer luck, but I can assure you that luck had nothing to do with it! Hypnobabies provided me with all the proper tools for a successful birth – I spent months repeating daily positive affirmations in order to reprogram my subconscious mind from viewing childbirth in a negative way, as well as practiced my Hypnobabies techniques.
I highly recommend enrolling in Hypnobabies childbirth classes! It’s different than any natural childbirth or hypnobirthing course because they teach real medical hypnosis techniques (learn more here).
To my fellow wombyn, I want you to know that whatever you decide to do is okay. You know what’s best for your baby. Whether it’s natural or not, you are still welcoming a new soul to this earth – your baby will be born exactly how he or she intends to join this world. The births of our babies might not always go as planned, but why not hope for the best orgasmic birth? It is possible. You are innately strong and powerful. Awaken to your full potential. Unleash your inner goddess. You are made for this.
If you have any questions about my experience with Hypnobabies, please drop a line below. I’d love to chat!
Also, be sure to check out my blog post on the Law of Attraction: How to Get Anything You Want to learn how you can manifest the birth of your dreams!