8 Reasons Why Labor is JUST LIKE SEX

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Many expectant mothers ask me to describe labor because I was able to have a pain-free unmedicated experience. The best example I could come up with is sex. Yes, labor is just like sex. Here’s why:

1. Everyone has a different experience. Depending on the person, sometimes it’s long, sometimes it’s short, for some it’s scary, for others it’s an awakening experience. Some people feel empowered by it, and for some unfortunate others it’s scary and painful.

2. The same exact hormone is released during sex and labor. Oxytocin helps a person bond, develop a maternal instinct, helps in enduring friendship, and last but not least, orgasm! Interestingly enough, a woman needs oxytocin to go into labor. The synthetic version of oxytocin is pitocin however just like any man-made substitute it definitely does NOT process exactly the same in our body. Women have varying reactions to the same dose and it is often reported that they cause harder, more painful contractions.  Oxytocin initiates labor in a pregnant mama by causing the uterus to contract. These contractions cause the cervix to dilate and the baby to move down the birth canal. Our body works in harmony with mind and body.  If you allow stress or cortisol to be released, it will counteract oxytocin and can actually stall labor! So stressing out during labor or sex does not help a woman relax and open up.  LET THAT OXYTOCIN FLOOOOW.

3. If you’re not ready and fear sex or labor, it’s painful. Let’s face it. Women get raped by psychopathic men.  An intruder who violently penetrates the sacred woman space will inflict pain as her body would be tense, dry, and closed up. If you fear labor, your body will be tense. Your jaw might be tight and your fists may be clenched.  Such a tense body does not help you open up. If you can imagine trying to stick a carrot into pursed lips, rather than a loose jaw, the pursed lips would be harder to penetrate. Or, if you’re having a bowel movement and restrict your opening while trying to push, you’ll have a hard time releasing your waste! Likewise, it’s important to release fear and relax during labor so that your baby can slip on out.  Release, release, release. Just let your body do what it was made to do!

4. If you look forward to sex and labor, allow your body to run oxytocin, trust your body, and trust your partner, you CAN have a powerful, FEEL GOOD experience. I don’t have to describe sex because I think there’s a general consensus that unless you have a dysfunction, sex is supposed to be pleasurable. On the flip side, it’s less known that labor can be pleasurable. There’s actually a whole documentary called Orgasmic Birth. Women orgasm during labor!!!  Although I did not orgasm during labor (maybe that’s TMI) I still had my very own pain free, positive  experience. You can read my story here.

5. Labor or Sex will leave you either scarred or forever empowered and changed.

6. You won’t know until you experience it and media can have a major effect on what to expect. Virgins can only imagine what sex is like. Virgins can imagine, fantasize, or watch something in the media to portray what the experience may be like. However, more often than not, what happens on screen is not what happens in real life. Just the same, no first time mother can know what labor will be like. And unfortunately, a scary ER moment with a screaming mother makes for a more interesting movie scene rather than a slow, gradual, calm labor. But just because that mom on TV looks like she’s in hell, doesn’t mean that has to be the same experience for you. Just like how that barbie looking girl or that 8-pack GQ model probably won’t be you in the sheets.

7. It’s not entirely under your control. As much as you can prep yourself for sex or labor, some physical aspects of labor and sex are just out of our control.

8. You can prepare and educate yourself. You might prep sex with…well, I won’t go into the details. You can also prep yourself for labor. Diet plays a huge role in the creation of your baby and placenta. The type of nutrition you get during pregnancy can also impact your labor and reduce the risk of many different complications such as pre-eclampsia. Education can empower you with tools to help overcome fear and anxiety. I spent 8 weeks preparing myself psychologically for my birthing time and I’m so glad I did. It empowered me with tools to use during my labor which helped me have the pain free experience I expected!

There’s this sad seperation in the western medical world of our mind and body. You’ll see a general practitioner for a physical sickness and a psychiatrist for a mental illness. The body and mind are so connected and the more you can understand and trust your body in labor, the better your experience can be.  Many women in the U.S.  turn to an obstetricians to help bring their baby into the world. As much as OBs are fantastically smart and licensed to use forceps or cut open your womb, they may or may not be sensitive to your emotional needs. There is a psychological and emotional aspect of labor just as in sex that should be addressed. Unfortunately those needs often get thrown out the window once all the beeping machines turn on.  For all those expectant mothers out there, trust your amazing body that is creating life!  Let your birthing experience and the beginning of motherhood get off on the right foot by allowing your oxytocin to flow naturally from within. That same oxytocin that opens up your body and brings your baby into your arms will be the same oxytocin that gives you that motherly, nurturing bond. Get down with your bad mama self and labor on!

XOXO to all the mamas out there.

Mindy
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Mindy

Founder at Dymin Collective
Mindy Song is a mother of one, a video artist, and musician from Orange, CA. She is an advocate of social justice with interests in globalization, socio-economics, and the history of women’s rights in developing nations. By day she is a marketing specialist for a dental imaging company, milk pumper, and wannabe supermom. By night she is an asian fusion chef, art critic, and blogger.
Mindy
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