Pain to Pleasure – The Bradley connection

couple in laborPain to pleasure in birth

After listening to Debra Pascali-Bonaro’s presentation Pain to Pleasure During Birth [] , I was struck by how similar the recommendations were to what Dr. Robert Bradley was teaching over 60 years ago. I was pleased to see how much of this is already being taught in Bradley classes, and always has been.  While he may not have ever talked about orgasm as a part of birth (I bet he would now :>), he did talk about privacy, darkness, solitude, quiet, relaxation, and intimate partner support.

When Dr. Bradley first started supporting natural births he acted as the “doula”. He then realized how private this event was, and that the best person to support the woman would be her partner/husband/family member/friend. Someone who loves and supports her only.  This was when he started training women’s husbands to act as her primary labor support.

While he was not a perfect man, we should give credit where credit is due. We need to continue his work, and that of others in this field who have supported natural birth. We can add to that base with this knowledge of the contribution of human sexuality in birth. Recognize the need for intimacy, privacy, and creativity during birth.

Debra listed her 20 Aspects of Powerful, Passionate, Pleasurable birth:  Safety, Unobserved, Love, Respectful Care, Support/Doulas, Birth Environment, Touch/Massage, Move/dance, Breathe, Sexuality/sensuality, language, positive communication/informed choice, Intimacy, skin to skin/motherbaby bonding, breastfeeding, quality care, midwifery model of care,  and choice of birth place. These are all things that I teach in my Bradley classes, and always have.  It’s nice when research finally catches up with nature! :>)