How to experience Pleasurable Childbirth with Debra Pascali-Bonaro

my name is Debra Pascal ebin ro and I am the director of the documentary orgasmic birth the best-kept secret as well as co-author of the book orgasmic birth your guide to a safe satisfying and pleasurable birth experience pain and childbirth is a really interesting discussion I could get something that's really been laid on women throughout time and throughout history to really believe that birth is something that's painful that's really something a lot of women are so afraid of that they're not allowing themselves to really revel in their body and the miracle that their body creates and that's possible in birth I also have to say that the word pain is quite interesting because we can say pain is something maybe a toothache is painful to an amputation to childbirth and how can all these things be the same kind of pain so in childbirth what I'd like to say is that we will feel many sensations and I think we need to read the script Ravi's ina may Gaskin a wonderful famous Midwife years ago kind of in her book spiritual midwifery they called them ratchet or I like the word surges cuz surge to me is energy and this is our energy this is our body this is our baby this is our birth and if we think of the energy that's moving through us then we can open up a whole new vocabulary we may feel sensations that might be challenging but they may be pleasurable they might be tightening they might be opening they may be joyful they may be blissful and in the heights of the passion of birthing our babies they could be orgasmic so I think that we need to really expand I wouldn't put pain as part of my vocabulary in birth it may be a piece for some women and I don't want to nullify that for someone and they may call birth pains but I also have to question that were they given all the tools were they able to have a range of comfort available to them because our current model in childbirth in a hospital today I believe is actually inducing pain and women where there is a model midwifery model a mother baby model that's providing a range of options to women that can transform it from pain into the pleasure sphere so if you're listening and your experience with Burke has been lots of stories about pain or maybe your first birth experience was really painful the first thing I would ask you to do is really to do some inner homework and where has your knowledge and your perceptions of birth come from and are the stories and experiences that you're building upon were they in a place one that really supported woman's body that gave you privacy that treated you and your decisions with respect and dignity and find if not find women who have given birth in really what I would call undisturbed environments that have allowed themselves to dance to move their body to have access to water to massage to touch and really explore the range of options because I think the first thing we need to do is address what have we learned you know our body-mind connection is really powerful if I was in your room today as here what chain and I could say to you that I have this spray and I'm going to spray it and it may make you itch and I'm just gonna as we're talking kind of be aware if you begin to itch a little bit and if I started to kind of do that you know most people if I plant that seed of itching very quickly start to feel a little itchy and even though I'm not with you you may be watching and saying oh my goodness you know the more I say itch the more you feel it so if you can acknowledge that even the placebo effect when we study in science and we give people sugar pills we know a fair number will begin to heal on the belief that they're taking something that makes the change so this notion of pain and childbirth is very deep-rooted for us as women and for men and we need to really work on it because it has been entrenched in that mind-body connection and what we believe we often manifest so the first way to move from pain to pleasure is to really get below our belief system and then to release some of the knowledge that we've been engrained wet and instead start looking at start listening to you start seeking out women that use a language that's positive and pleasurable and birth and learn from their stories what did they do what were ways that they transform the experience where did they birth whom did they birth with how did they burn I think our stories are really powerful that's why I made a documentary to try to help women to have visuals and open up to new stories and new ways of thinking about birth so addressing your beliefs on painting are essential to begin this journey well I'm a doula and many women always say what's a doula and a doula is another woman that provides continuous support nurturing touch encouragement really helping you with the physical emotional and spiritual aspects of birth we're not a medical caregiver so we're not there to replace the care that you get from your midwife or a physician we're really there to offer that woman-to-woman support we also are there to support the rest of your team so this doesn't replace if you're bringing your partner or a husband or your own mother we're there to embrace the support that you do have and help all of you to kind of go through and birth in the best optimal way we also are going to help you in getting good information so facilitating communication between yourself and your caregiver so that you have the information you need to make the best decisions so when you add a doula to your team this extra woman that's there to help you to advocate even stronger for what you want at birth duelists are gonna really help you to move into a pleasurable experience whether it's just giving you the confidence in your body someone there to say your body rocks we believe in you we know that why there may be moments of challenge that there's going to be moments of great joy and we're there every step of the way with you but doulas also even go beyond that we help you set what we call birth ambience and that's to create the environment that your hormones will just flow beautifully we always say the energy that gets the baby in gets the baby out and so would you like for an intimate experience what kind of lighting what sounds what smells what touch and as the doula we're going to realize that this is a very sensitive moment if anything disturbs that birth ambiance that sensuous feeling your Labor's going to be harder just like if you were being intimate either alone or with a partner what are the things that will disturb you if you couldn't have an intimate experience in the setting where you plan to birth then if you couldn't have the energy coming in to conceive how are you going to burp in that environment so a doula really holds that energy for you on multiple levels so if you're really wanting to change that paradigm for your sapphic you want to open up to pleasure and birth the first thing is finding closure every day we have to really get in touch with their bodies in pregnancy this is a time of incredible growth right and obviously physical growth but for anyone who's ever been pregnant you know that along with that comes really looking at body image when your body is changing so rapidly it brings you to all your issues of body image it brings you to a new connection your body is swollen with love with a baby and this is going to open up to new possibilities in your sexuality in your sensuous being and this is gonna open up for you emotionally as well as spiritually now on one level I'm saying this and it sounds all positive but no not all of us have had a positive journey with our bodies with our sexuality or with emotional issues surrounding mothering parenting raising children so for many of us this also brings a lot of challenge but challenge gives us an opportunity for real growth and healing if women are survivors of neglect or sexual abuse survivors have bring with them a lot of experiences that are going to be difficult coming into birth and coming into Parenthood so pregnancy provides a really wonderful window that a lot of healing can take place so that you end your birth from a new place and birth itself is an incredible opportunity for women to connect with their inner wisdom their strength and to heal their body and their emotions on many levels but pregnancy is the time that this work needs to happen I recommend in many different avenues and each one of you will need to find the one that resonates for you certainly journaling is something that I found personally helpful to really capture my feelings and to see what the reoccurring themes are and to begin to find what works for me I also would HIGHLY prenatal yoga or some form of movement i love journey dance is something I'm doing a lot of which is yoga dance and I'm taking pregnant women through that as we can move through dance and open up and connect to parts of our bodies that we might not have liked before or gotten really deep into or released emotions that are stored in parts of our bodies I would recommend bodywork massage touch the many modalities of really feeling your body and moving the energy within it I also would say for some women first of all there are many many books and so really finding which one's called to you and resonate to you on all different levels of healing and pregnancy but even finding a birth era pissed and there are many therapists today that are really specializing and helping women prepare for birth and even if you think you have no issues and you're completely ready to give birth I hate to say it but we all have something and whether it's just one session with a birth era pissed that can help us create personal visualizations personal images help us strip away those one or two things that maybe it's our fear of birth maybe it's the fear of pain of birth but having someone address that is helpful and the last piece is find a really good childbirth class there are so many different modalities of childbirth education today and some people even take two or three of them to combine them but search because education is power and when you understand the process and what's available and you develop your own toolkit to work with it it's going to be much easier and more fulfilling I've been really blessed that I get to attend births with hundreds of women to receive stories from thousands of women around the world and and hear what's worked for them there are a couple things that always have a common thread for women that have a pleasurable birth one there women that are really choosing where and with whom they give birth where you make the baby is often a great place to birth the baby and so a lot are women in a home environment in a birth center or in the hospital that's really made an effort to create an environment that looks like home you know whether it's just a cozy big bed rather than I've never understood while you're the biggest year in your life and hospitals give you this tiny dad I mean what kind of message does that give for your partner your support team you want a place that's really welcoming you want a space that feels warm and as I said earlier you want to create birth ambience so it's a place that you want to be able to control the lighting women often do better with dim lighting that you can bring in a Roma therapy if you like to the smells that make you feel intimate and sensuous that you can bring in your music if there's a special artist or the sound of a river whatever the sounds are that take you deeper and that you know your caregiver is so respectful of giving you that privacy of being there not to disturb you we often hear that they have the Guardian my wife the midwives like a lifeguard that's there that you barely notice and they're there only when birth crosses over to needing assistance you know they're there like a lifeguard you certainly don't want a caregiver that's the lifeguard that keeps pulling you out of the water when you're trying to swim well because then they're disturbing you they're disturbing the process and they may even be adding to your fear and we know the more afraid you are the are tense you are the more of a pain you feel and long ago we identified that fear tension pain cycle so you need to be with people that build your confidence so that you let go and release your fear and you birth with confidence the other thing that we're really seeing that women that have pleasure have usually is access to water a shower in early labor big tub when labor gets stronger water is like we called it the Aqua Doral the epidural for women that want a more natural birth and I think water is an essential ingredient to have in your toolkit you may decide you don't like it but I think ethically it's not ethical to only offer women drugs and medicine when you don't offer them such simple things like water that we know not only make labor easier but Labor's water speeds up labor women that get in a tub once they're in active labor often have a much shorter labor so water to me is an in central ingredient and then I would say birth balls and gym mats and there's things called ladders kind of on the wall where you can hang and squat and lean I also think we need kind of slings and ropes women often if you look at traditional images we're holding ropes and pulling or holding a state and so we need to have kind of tools in this environment that allow women to freely move wherever their body and their baby is asking them because women that are upright we know have shorter easier Labor's the more you lay back and sit back the harder the more painful and the longer your labor is so you need a creative and active environment that's encouraging you and supporting you to find the positions that are making it easier for you and your baby and the last thing I'd add is make it fun the women that find pleasure have moments of joy you know they put on some fun music and make dance a day because birth is like putting on tight jeans if you have tight jeans and you had to lay on a bed and stay relatively still and pull them on we never get them on but when you want to put on tight jeans you bounce around and you tow can you pull and that's how you wiggle them on well think about you have the biggest thing ever in your body you need to wiggle and move and help that baby find its way belly dancing beautiful that's the history of childbirth women learned belly dancing to make those beautiful hip circles and dance their babies out and I think we need to return that we need to wear what makes us feel powerful and confident and sexy we need to approach birth in that way and it's amazing what will unfold

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