You may have heard through the grapevine that labor isn't the most comfortable thing you'll ever experience. Basically, you need to prepare for some pain. Most woman try to come up with a plan to manage their pain; whether it be an epidural, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques such as massage and peaceful music. Those looking for something different, however, may be willing to try a delivery room romp. But can sex during labor ease contractions? It definitely wasn't on my radar when I was preparing to deliver my sons, but some woman are experimenting with this idea to find out if it works.
Although this method may seem a little out of the box, there might be ways to tweak the main idea so it eases the pain of contractions. One of the more traditional ways woman have been encouraged to alleviate labor discomfort is by having a doula or partner give a massage during contractions, according to the website for Fit Pregnancy magazine. If you're open to it, you can have your partner take that massage down south for some intimate stimulation. Perhaps the gentle touches will have the same effect as a back rub.
In 2013, delivery room sex started to show up in the media, when a labor and delivery nurse Chaunie Brusie shared stories of some sights she'd witnessed over the years. As Brusie told Today's Parents, she's caught partners in the act of sex during labor, although she has no mention of any benefits it can offer for pain management. One reason pregnant women may be up for doing the deed is the possibility of an orgasmic birth.
According to Cosmopolitan magazine, some women report having a full body orgasm while delivery their baby. Among the three women interviewed by Cosmopolitan, they all achieved an orgasmic birth in different ways; some with penetrative sex and some without. In these woman's experience, the power of the orgasm helped to make their pain levels tolerable.
On the flip side, other sources suggest pregnant women avoid having sex, even before labor begins. As Mayo Clinic pointed out, there are some reasons to shut down sexual activity near the end of pregnancy. Some things to consider before getting busy during labor are unexplained vaginal bleeding, leaking of amniotic fluid, and cervical incompetence. All these are create potential risks for both mother and baby.
Although there may not be any research-based evidence to support the claim that sex during labor can ease contraction pain, sometimes a first person testimony is all the convincing you need. If you're all clear of risk factors and feel like it's something you want to try, sex during labor may bring you the relief you're looking for. However, it's important to remember that every woman and pregnancy is different, and what works for your sister, may not work for you.