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Orgasmic Birth

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The Path to Pleasure

What comes to your mind when you hear the words Orgasmic Birth? If this is new to you or brings you some challenge, I invite you to take a peak into one of the best-kept secrets, that birth can be pleasurable!


To begin, it’s important to explore where your beliefs about childbirth come from. Today we often receive information from the media and movies that show only pain, fear, and childbirth as an emergency. In addition, we hear difficult stories from women who have been part of the technocratic medical model of childbirth where women have been put down and tied to machines, as we have been conditioned to give our power to technology, often losing touch with our own inner wisdom. Birth has been looked at as just another day, and it does not matter how we give birth as long as we have a healthy baby. The system can pull, suck, or cut a baby out of a woman’s body and we are asked to be thankful without first giving our bodies a chance. We have not valued the process, the transformation and power that is present for a woman as she becomes a mother, a man as he becomes a father, and for the baby to be welcomed gently, in love. 

I believe MotherBaby must both thrive physically and emotionally to have a healthy memory of birth.

I also know that our medical practices can and do save lives when needed, yet science is showing us that many of our birth practices are actually putting Motherbabys in harm’s way when the intention is to prevent risk. We are at a turning point, where we are learning that some of our traditional practices of movement, dance, and comfort techniques are beneficial and sadly underused, while technology is being overused. It’s time to find the balance and you have a part to play as you re-examine the her-story, the female version of his-tory, and in doing so reclaim the joy, bliss and ecstasy that is available to us all in childbirth. 

Ina May Gaskin, a friend and famous midwife said,

“ The energy that gets the baby in, gets the baby out!” 

I believe this, and consider birth a part of a woman’s sexual life. How would believing this change how you would prepare and like to be cared for in childbirth? One aspect to consider in creating a safe, intimate experience is, where would you be?  What will the lighting be like, dim light, candlelight, or bright lights? What kind of sounds do you like–a waterfall, your favorite artist, a certain genre of music that brings you that sensuous feeling? Is there a smell that turns you on makes you feel safe and sensuous? What kind of touch or massage would you like and where? We take in so much from all our senses, and just like during making love, feeling safe, private, and undisturbed in childbirth makes a difference and is essential for a safe, satisfying, and pleasurable birth. I call this creating your birth ambience, setting the stage for pleasure!

Where do you feel safe? Birthing where you feel safe is essential for any women to birth with ease.

Who will be with you? Knowing you are deeply respected by everyone present, that you are a part of decision making so that your desires are honored and heard is an important part of any birth, and the memory you will carry for the rest of your life.

Privacy: How would you feel if you were making love in a room with no lock and people coming in and out?  The late physician Marsden Wagner, who is in our documentary Orgasmic Birth, was once giving a lecture to physicians and midwives, and shared with them that they could help women have shorter and easier births. Everyone was on the edge of their seat listening, he said the item would only cost a $1.99, and what did they think it could be? The answer was “A doorstop!”  Yes, if you have full control of who enters your room and when, so that you could have privacy, labor would be easier. What a simple idea. So many of the ways that we can bring pleasure to birth and life are simple.

HamiltonPhoto: Linda Hamilton

What is Orgasmic Birth?

In our book, Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience, Elizabeth Davis and I define orgasmic birth as “broad enough to include those who describe birth as ecstatic, and specific enough to give voice to those who actually feel the contractions of orgasm and climax at the moment of delivery. Many of our interviewees spoke of astounding pressure and sensation in the vagina as birth approached, followed by a flood of release and emotion as the baby emerged.  Whenever a woman can look back on these moments with joy, when the physical and emotional aspects of birth are fully experienced as pleasurable, we call this orgasmic birth.”

The word orgasmic is used often to mean heightened physical and emotional sensation. I say, good, dark chocolate is orgasmic! We birth the way we live is another one of my favorite expressions, and why I believe that during pregnancy we have an opportunity to explore our beliefs about our sexuality, birth, parenting, and living life to its fullest potential. 

Taking 3 to 5 minute pleasure breaks throughout the day can be as simple as dancing to your favorite song, singing, breathing, moving, praying, meditating, and creating an attitude of gratitude.

A quote I love from Marina, a midwife in Summerland Key Florida, “Orgasmic birth is powerful, juicy, spiritual, and unforgettable—an endless moment beyond words. It is more than lovemaking because it is about being stimulated by, and loving the passion of life itself. It is a gift to humankind to discover divine pleasure in birthing.”

Take time to explore you sensuality and sexuality. If you have a positive experience with your sexuality look at ways you bring this to your birth. If your sexuality has been challenging or you are a survivor of sexual abuse, pregnancy is a time to look at your challenges and find the path to healing so that you will be able to allow your body to open in the deepest intimate places, and your emotions and spirit as well.

Elizabeth Davis says in our film, “If you were told that you could have one of the most physically, emotionally, spiritually, transcendent moments of your life and here’s the map to get there, would you really say no?”

The opportunity is here, but it does take some work, cleaning out the cobwebs of past ideology to have a new look at the possibilities birth offers us.

10 Tips to Prepare for a Pleasurable Birth

  1. Identify where your beliefs about birth come from, which ones serve you and which may be biased based on a broken or dysfunctional model of care or, as I say, the Emperor has no clothes!  We need to look at our maternity system in a new way today.
  2. Carefully consider where and with whom you will give birth, feeling private, safe, and respected. Respected in every way including being a part of informed decision so that your desires are heard and honored.
  3. Release fears–fear is the elephant in the room. Fear bathes our body and baby in stress hormones that are designed to slow or stop labor. No animal will give birth when it doesn’t feel safe and the same is true with humans. Take the time to identify your fears, address them and as much as possible, release them and move to confidence and trust in your body and the process of birth.
  4. Create birth ambiance. A lavender scent and soothing low-lights are only meaningful if paired with an undisturbed and unobserved birth. Establish that caregivers need to ask permission to enter the room and offer their support in considerate ways that respect the ambiance and gentle moments.
  5. Preparing body, mind, and spirit: Walking, prenatal yoga, or some form of physical activity prepares your body for the energy needed to give birth. 
  6. Taking a good childbirth class is something I feel is essential to build confidence. Diana Korte and Roberta M. Scaer, A Good Birth, A Safe Birth write, “ If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.”  Sadly today many women feel they have all the information they need through the Internet and television but are lacking knowledge of a full range of choices and options available for comfort and pleasure.
  7. Rebozo. Learn about traditional comfort measures and practice them with your partner or doula.
  8. Hire a doula!  A women who will offer you and your partner continuous companionship, comfort measures, and emotional support, helping you to create the birth ambiance, privacy, safety, and love you need and deserve to have a gentle birth.
  9. Water. Find out how you can use water in your labor and/or birth for comfort. Showers and tubs are often called the aqua-dural, and many women have told me water provided all the comfort they needed without all the wires, machines, and drugs.
  10. Love your baby into your arms. Oxytocin, the hormone of love must reach peak levels, the highest ever, in the moments after birth for you and your baby. This is the same hormone that reaches high levels during orgasm. How can you encourage the release of oxytocin? The same things that “turn you on” in life will allow your body to open, and your baby to gently slide out. Privacy, kissing, touch, eye-to-eye connection, nipple stimulation, I hear so many stories about how women used their sensual and sexual natures to ease birth. Oxytocin is also a great pain reliever so the more you can encourage it’s release, the faster and easier labor can be. 

What does it mean to have an Orgasmic Birth?

Sarah L., wrote: The ultimate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experience! Such an incredible journey of self-discovery and self-respect. I once heard that birth has the potential to be about 7 years’ worth of meditation to the human body. I truly believe this now.

Kathryn H. wrote: Even just thinking about the experience, I am aware of my connection to the Divine, to love, to women. Giving birth with empowerment is incredibly life changing, and birthing without fear deepens the confidence that unhindered birth instills in your body, in your ability to mother—in short, in your ability to do anything.

You can hear their power! Why have we not been talking about the many possibilities that birth holds in how we feel about ourselves, about our ability, our body, and our baby? There is a new science of pre and postnatal psychology that is also looking at the importance of birth in a baby’s life. The way they are welcomed to the world, the way we touch, care for, and talk to our baby makes a difference. Another insightful quote from Ina May Gaskin is that we treat animal babies better, and more gently, than human babies. Having seen hundreds of births, sadly I know this is true.  

I believe we owe our babies a gentler, more loving birth, and in doing so encourage every woman to open to pleasure, find her power, and move her body, mind and spirit in new ways, reaching new heights, birthing herself from maidenhood to motherhood in orgasmic love!  

About the Author
Debra Pascali Bonaro
Author: Debra Pascali BonaroWebsite:
Debra Pascali Bonaro is the Director of the Award-Winning documentary Orgasmic Birth:The Best-Kept Secret, Co-Writer of Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience, and Creator of Orgasmic Birth’s Pain to Power Childbirth Experience. Debra serves on numerous international initiatives, Chairs the International Mother-Baby Childbirth Initiative, Advisor to Human Rights in Childbirth, International Childbirth Education Association and Healthy Mother Natural Birthing Center, India. Debra is a Lamaze International Childbirth Educator and a DONA International Doula Trainer.

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