“This is our birthright and our body’s intent. Mother Nature, in her wisdom, prescribes birthing hormones that take us outside our usual state, so that we can be transformed on every level as we enter motherhood. This exquisite hormonal orchestration unfolds optimally when birth is undisturbed, enhancing safety for both mother and baby. Science is also increasingly discovering what we realise as mothers – that our way of birth affects us life-long, both mother and baby, and that an ecstatic birth – a birth that takes us beyond our self – is the gift of a life-time. Four of the major hormonal systems are active during labor and birth. These involve oxytocin, the hormone of love; endorphins, hormones of pleasure and transcendence; adrenaline and noradrenaline (epinephrine and norepinephrine), hormones of excitement; and prolactin, the mothering hormone. These systems are common to all mammals and originate deep in our mammalian or middle brain. For birth to proceed optimally, this part of the brain must take precedence over the neocortex, or rational brain. This shift can be helped by an atmosphere of quiet and privacy with, for example, dim lighting and little conversation, and no expectation of rationality from the laboring woman. Under such conditions a woman will intuitively choose the movements, sounds, breathing, and positions that will birth her baby most easily. This is her genetic and hormonal blueprint.”
Dr Sarah J Buckley, MD
A potential exists within women in labour, for experiencing birth as tremendously, orgasmically pleasurable instead of painful. The difference in the experience comes from the degree to which women resist the experience, either consciously or unconsciously. According to anecdotal evidence, women who surrender into the experience of childbirth by expanding their awareness to embrace it in all of its intensity are more likely to experience childbirth as ecstatic. Apparently only a tiny percentage of women experience orgasm during childbirth, probably because women as a collective don’t know that this possibility exists. If it is not present in our collective consciousness, the likelihood of it occurring is close to nil. It is an example of morphic resonance or the 100th monkey phenomenon. But the downside of the knowledge about ecstatic birth is that it can set women up to try too hard and instead of letting go of resistance they try to manage their fear by imposing their will on it to force it away.