Friday, December 12, 2008

Yes, yes, oh yes, oh... hey look, a baby!

by Chloe Angyal

Lisa Belkin of the NY Times' Motherlode blog wrote yesterday about the "best kept secret of childbirth," which is that some women have orgasms as the baby exits the birth canal. The phenomenon is explored in a new documentary called "Orgasmic Birth."
As a twenty-year-old with no babymaking plans for my near future, I'm not sure exactly what to think about this, but I thought that some of you might. The politics and social pressures that form around pregnancy, motherhood and childbirth are obviously huge and complex, and I'm incredibly grateful that, as a younger woman, I'm not exposed to them (yet. We younger women might worry less about the pressure to be perfect mothers, but we're still dealing with the accepted yet impossible idea that we should be thin, intelligent, successful, witty, fashionable, charming, sexy, virginal, yet not intimidating, and do it all without breaking a sweat. Awesome). But one of these days, we're going to want to start thinking about the social pressures that surround motherhood and childbearing, and to that end, Belkin raises some good points.
She notes that some women might see this as "yet one more way to raise expectations and make new mothers feel inadequate if they do not experience the 'ideal' birth:"

The message of the film is “that women can journey through labor and birth in all different ways. And there are a lot more options out there, to make this a positive and pleasurable experience,” Pascali-Bonaro tells ABC. “I hope women watching and men watching don’t feel that what we’re saying is every woman should have an orgasmic birth.”

...the documentary by Debra Pascali-Bonaro, a childbirth educator and a doula, asks the question: What would happen if women were taught to enjoy birth rather than endure it?

What do you think? A more enjoyable birth experience, or just another way to make women feel like they're sub-par mothers if they don't "have what she's having" in the delivery room? And, call me crazy, but when you're in that kind of pain, can you really be taught to do anything but endure it?

Thanks to Sarah for the tip!


At December 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM , Blogger Robert McGibbon said...

From reading the comments on the Times website, all I can say is that different women must experience childbirth in many different ways.


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