Home Culture Masturbating During Childbirth Helps Some Ease Labor Pains

Masturbating During Childbirth Helps Some Ease Labor Pains

A very happy birth day to everyone involved in this story. When Angela Gallo was in labor with her second child, everything was going to plan: She’s a birthing doula herself, and was choosing to have her baby at home in a pool. But when the pool sprung a leak and her contractions intensified, she instinctively moved to a warm shower and started masturbating to take her mind off of it.

What she discovered was a way to also relieve some of the pain associated with her contractions: Masturbation.

She told Woman’s Day in an interview about the experience:

“I wanted my muscles to feel like I was working with them and not against them, so I tried to work with every ounce of energy, make every single contraction count,” she says. “Touching myself took the edge off, helped me to focus, get clarity, and regain control over what I was feeling…. We use it to cure headaches, when we have periods—it just makes sense—but it’s taboo. We just can’t put sex back into childbirth, which is counterproductive and counterintuitive to what women feel in this space.”

She goes on to explain that although sexual stimulation and birth seem like two odd things to combine, it makes total sense:

“Orgasmic birth doesn’t need to be the way I did it; it comes in all shapes and forms, which is exciting because women of all walks of life can tap into it,” says Angela. “And I’m not trying to undermine the women who do have difficult experiences; that’s a reality. But, [they usually] haven’t had women tell them positive experiences…Was it challenging? Hell yes, absolutely. It’s childbirth; it pushes you to the brinks of your physical limits. But it was awesome.”

The practice of “birthgasms,” or euphoric births, isn’t new or novel—science even backs it up—but Gallo’s story brings it back into the spotlight. Although she didn’t actually have an orgasm, and she ended up needing to go to the hospital to delivery the baby, she was able to deliver in 15 quick minutes. It’s an easy birth she attributes in part to her self-stimulation.


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