In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, February 25, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms February 25, 2008

The news seems to be all about the Oscars today. But I did find an interesting, i.e. outside the box, article over at

Pioneering midwife touts 'orgasmic birth'

I don't usually pair the words "orgasmic" and "birth." And to be quite honest, I think the headline is a bit sensational. Most of the article is about Ina May Gaskin, 67, and how she helped bring lay midwifery and home birth back from extinction in the United States. Gaskin, who has no formal nursing training, is passionate about natural childbirth and the rights of a mother.

The article juxtaposes Gaskin's views on natural childbirth with statistics on maternal deaths and the high rate of Caesarean sections in the U.S. Only until the very end of the article does Gaskin talk about the movie she is filming called "The Orgasmic Birth."

Gaskin says that under the right circumstances women experience a sort of birth ecstasy.
“I mean, it’s not a guarantee,” she said, shrugging her shoulders and smiling, “but it’s a possibility.

“It’s the only way I can think to market it to (this) generation.”

So--is this a real viable option for birthing moms or a marketing ploy?

I'm all for mothers' rights--having a saying in their birthing experience. But I also wanted someone with experience helping me through the process. And sometimes I wanted--and even needed--someone with medical knowledge and experience. Something Gaskin doesn't have.

It's personal choice, I know. And I have friends who have made all sorts of birthing choices: natural childbirth, homebirth, C-section--yes, some by choice, some by medical emergency.

But not one of my friends has every described the process as "orgasmic." Joy came after labor and delivery--when they held their child in their arms.

Everything else was hard work. That's why it's called L-A-B-O-R.


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