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Oh Yeah, Labor Feels Soooooo Good!

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A new documentary says a non-medicated labor delivers the ultimate push present -- an orgasm.


Moms-to-be who endure a 14-hour plus non-medicated labor might get themselves a nice reward -- the ultimate push present: an orgasm. So say the followers of the orgasmic birth movement, who claim childbirth can be a sensual and erotic experience if we'd just lay back and enjoy it. Is this just one more way to keep score? Women who brag about giving birth naturally can now be one upped by those who forego drugs AND get a mind-blowing orgasm in the deal?

Sorry, sex was the last thing on our minds during labor. Pooping was flashing through our brains -- not making out with our partner during labor to intensify the orgasmic experience (as orgasmic birth pioneer midwife Ina May Gaskin suggests). We were definitely considering strangling him for being partially responsible for having to push something the size of a watermelon out of our vag -- but that's about it. And frankly, the thought of doing a "When Harry Met Sally" in the delivery room makes us kind of cringe.

However, some women claim they literally got off on childbirth:

"I feel the baby come down. The sensation is ecstatic. I am building up to the birth climax after nine months of pleasurable foreplay. With one push, the babe is in the canal ... he comes and so do I."

"The sensation of my daughter's body sliding out of my vagina was orgasmic. I still shudder when I think of how pleasurable that was."

"I started pushing while Michael supported me as I squatted. Immediately, after one vigorous push, I felt Damian coming down. A tremendous excitement filled the kitchen [EDITOR'S NOTE: The kitchen??!!] and Michael and I seemed to merge as our eyes met. It was as if we had become one again as we did in a genital embrace."

Who ARE these women? Well, now you can meet them in a recent documentary entitled "Orgasmic Childbirth," debuting tonight on "20/20." The movie features woman breathlessly telling us how much they enjoy a really, really, really good push.

Check out the trailer:

Do you think orgasmic births are for real ... or nothing but a fairytale?

next: Mom! Get off Facebook, Puh-leaaase?!
39 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jenny January 2, 2009, 9:18 AM

Um…okay, thats just gross,I dont want to have an orgasm anywhere near my child, newborn or otherwise, it seems a bit sick and twisted to me.

Kristin January 2, 2009, 9:30 AM

Give me the drugs and a latte’ afterwords and I’ll call it orgasmic! The fact that they are associating a SEXUAL experience with the most PAINFUL experience, is really odd and makes me kinda speechless. And the thought of having an orgasm with a ton of people in the room, does not make anything exciting!!

mizfit January 2, 2009, 12:19 PM

Um, eww? Thats one thing I will not be watching tonight. Bring on the drugs during labor.

Steph January 2, 2009, 2:53 PM

wow…different form of thought. Not mine. I felt miserable toward the end of the pregnancy…not sensual or sexual..nor did i feel that way when going into the hospital. Wow..wish it were a pleasurable experience then i would want to do it again without question. But not the case with me or like all of my mommy friends. interesting and sick at the same time.

Lainie January 2, 2009, 4:22 PM

Um that’s disturbing. Especially the comment “The sensation of my daughter’s body sliding out of my vagina was orgasmic. I still shudder when I think of how pleasurable that was.” That just seems almost like child abuse to me. I could never look at my children as “pleasure givers”, nor would I want to. Urghh! I even felt guilty having sex or having an orgasm when pregnant! And I had involuntary natural childbirth with my first because my epidural didn’t work…I do not ever look at that experience as beautiful. It was the most painful experience of my life, I honestly thought I was going to die. 27 hours of torture. Not once did sex, or ‘getting off’ cross my mind.

B January 2, 2009, 6:16 PM

I did a natural birth without meds (mainly because in all honesty the thought of a needle still scared me more than the thought of going through labor), and while I wouldn’t say I had an orgasmic experience(it still hurt like crap but fortunately only lasted for 6 hours), I can say that afterward I felt really good. I attribute it to the flood of hormones that came as a result of a natural birth-something you don’t get with an epidural—and with the extreme pleasure/relief/gratitude/excitement that the ordeal was over. I can’t imagine describing the experience of giving birth as being a sexual

Laura Shanley January 2, 2009, 7:00 PM

If you have an open mind and are truly willing to explore these ideas, you’ll see that there’s much more to this than meets the eye. The women in the film aren’t saying that birth “should” be orgasmic, although some women do experience this. The film is about overcoming fear, believing in our own abilities, and embracing our sexuality. When we do this, birth CAN be ecstatic if not orgasmic. It’s certainly easy to condemn and mock the women who are quoted above. It’s much harder to humble yourself and learn from them. But they do have something valuable to say and I admire them for having the courage to go against the herd and share their thoughts on this controversial subject.

Jenny January 2, 2009, 10:16 PM

Im glad that you are able to humble yourself, I still think its disturbing.


Trinkies January 2, 2009, 11:17 PM

I don’t know about an orgasm but I would admit to a “high”. I didn’t have drugs with four of mine and to go from total pain to no pain at all and the happiness of seeing the baby. It was total euphoria!

NavelgazingMidwife January 3, 2009, 10:01 AM

I’ve attended about 900 births as a doula and Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife and will say that births at home are FAR more pleasurable than births in the hospital. While women definitely feel pain, they also have a different mindset that embraces the pain as part of the process. It is NOT suffering; there is a world of difference between pain and suffering.

I understand the hesitancy to embrace an orgasm during birth - for the ickiness of combining children and orgasm - as well as adding yet another competitive aspect to childbirth in our culture, but having seen the movie “Orgasmic Birth,” I know that wasn’t the producer’s point. The point of the movie was to open up the idea that birth doesn’t have to be ghastly, that it CAN be pleasurable and enjoyed - even if an orgasm (which I believe is extremely rare) isn’t the prize. The BABY is the prize - and I see the birth orgasm as the overwhelming joy of welcoming one’s child.

In all the 26 years of doing birth work, I have met only about 3 women who have had actual orgasms - and they all describe its happening as they were pushing the baby out - not during the hard work of labor itself. I believe it really must be a mechanical quirk of some women… lucky them!

But, I am lucky, too… even though I whined my way through all three of my births. :)

Me! January 3, 2009, 4:25 PM

Ok that sound gross who would be comfortable saying “He came and so did I”? This is disturbing shat’s next having sex with the kid in the bed. Have some tact people.

JM January 3, 2009, 9:18 PM

I love how people rush to judgment before they’ve heard a side out…NOT.

Kay January 4, 2009, 12:48 PM

Your perspective here is certainly valid, but there ARE other perspectives. Here’s one from a husband whose wife gave birth at home - of course, closed minds are likely to remain closed, but I thought this is a reasonable effort to get at the reality behind the hype of “Orgasmic Birth”

“Orgasmic Birth certainly is a grabber of a title. Those aren’t two words normally found close together in a sentence. In our culture, other adjectives are more common. Painful Childbirth. Traumatic Childbirth.

So it’s no surprise that Debra Pascalli-Bonaro’s film Orgasmic Birth has become the center of some controversy. It was featured on a segment of ABC’s January 2nd episode of 20/20 about “Extreme Birth” and a few weeks ago The New York Times picked a up story on the movie, which caused a flurry of comments and sent a small shockwave through the blogosphere.

Pascalli-Bonaro says she wishes some critics who just seem to see the title would actually see the film.

“It’s really about the range of choices women have for experiencing birth, some of which most women aren’t even aware of. There are eleven couples featured in the movie. Some use words like ‘pain’ and ‘fear’ to describe their experience but others use ‘transformative’, ‘blissful’, and ‘spiritual’. Two of them use the word ‘orgasmic’. This sounds strange in our culture because we’re used to seeing birth dealt with on an illness model, rather than a wellness model. Birth is part of a woman’s sexual life.”

Read the whole thing at:

Or don’t and just keep on thinking you know everything about birth for every women and it’s got to be all bad for everyone and keep on fueling the call to limit women’s choices in childbirth.

busy January 4, 2009, 5:25 PM

EW, I saw that episode. P.S.- What the hell is with the moms who nurse their kids until they are 6 or 8?

Ashleigh March 17, 2009, 9:59 AM

The only thing “orgasmic” about my childbirth experience was the spinal I got AFTER the fact. I was way too far along to get any sort of pain intervention like I would’ve liked, and baby was having complications that caused me to spent 2 1/2 in the operating room after he was born and fine. The best part of the whole experience for my body was the spinal I had in the OR after my son was out and healthy with his daddy. Definitely no orgasm or anything even close to it when you have as much damage “down there” as I did. If and when there’s another baby coming out of me, I’m camping out at the hospital weeks in advance, in case s/he comes as fast as my first - I do NOT want to risk another “natural” birth like my first, because aside from my son being born and healthy after he was out, there was nothing “natural” about the process, that’s for sure!

Melissa April 9, 2009, 10:09 AM

Really???? If I thought that having an orgasm was going to feel anything like labor I would make my husband sleep in another area of the house. Maybe in another house :) There was no orgasmic experience for me, once the baby finally came out I remember just relief that I no longer had to pray for death.

Who knows, everyones bodys are different, I know for me though that this was not the case and I have to say that I wouldn’t want that memory to be with me anyways when I think of my little one. A little sick to me.

tia April 11, 2009, 5:58 PM

i think that is such bull..i was in labor for 22 hrs. and when i pushed my daughter it felt more like i took a reak good dump!!!end of story.there was nothing pleasurable about it!!!

Anonymous April 22, 2009, 11:05 PM

I read an article about this when i was pregnant with my son and i think is a load of garbage. This people are just trying to persuade women to have natural births and have figured that sex sell.

Hobhnmqp June 28, 2009, 11:09 AM

k47Hui comment2 ,

Anonymous November 2, 2009, 12:21 AM

ahaahahahhahahahah closed mindedness is not very flattering

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