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Mother blogs about her 'orgasmic' birth

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Is masturbating during labour the best way to relieve the pain of giving birth?

From SheKnows Australia

Angelo Gallo is passionate about choices in childbirth, and has chosen to share her rather unusual labour story to try to break down some of those taboos in mainstream birth cultures.

More: Experts warn of risks of vaginal 'seeding' after C-section births

Gallo orgasmed her way through labour.

It’s not something you’d expect to talk about at your typical pre-natal class, but the doula and birth photographer from Victoria's Mornington Peninsula swears that "clitoral stimulation" was, for her, key to a manageable birth free of medical interventions.

The 30-year-old mum-of-two has penned an extremely frank blog post on the subject of climaxing during labour as a non-sexual form of pain relief, called "Why I touched myself in labour — here's (sic) 3 reasons you should consider it, too!"

In her post, Gallo revealed that as she reached the transitional part of labour, she "felt incredibly fragile, hopeless, and overwhelmed", and at that moment "masturbation made the most sense" to her.

For Gallo, clitoral stimulation shifted the focus from her vagina, to the "energy brewing" inside her. She described how it made her feel connected, and like she had some control over what she was feeling. As a result, the pain was much more manageable, and the pain-free moments so much more enjoyable.

It's her decision to masturbate during labour that Gallo credits with having a birth free of medical interventions. It lasted for six hours, very short in comparison to her first birth (involving an epidural and described by her as "highly medicalised") which lasted for 45 hours.

More: Actually, the pain of childbirth wasn't that bad

So, what are the three reasons Gallo thinks more women should consider masturbation during labour? Firstly, "what gets the baby in, gets the baby out" i.e. oxytocin — the feel-good hormone released during nipple, vaginal and clitoral stimulation, kissing, intimacy and affection. Also known as the "love hormone" or the "bonding hormone", oxytocin acts as a stimulant to contractions during labour.

Then there's the issue of pain relief, which all mums or mums-to-be will agree is a very welcome aspect of labour. Gallo cites a 1988 study by a man called Komisaruk, published in the Journal of Sex Research, that explored the idea that when "women stimulated their vaginas or clitori, they became less sensitive to painful stimulation".

Finally, there's the simple feel-good factor. Who says the mood-boosting, stress-relieving properties of an orgasm wouldn't be a welcome addition to the birthing suite?

Gallo's post may be controversial to some — as is the case with most topics mainstream culture deems as taboo — but she's not alone. One woman commented: "I actually did this and it got my contractions going full swing. I wasn't progressing, and because of low platelet levels, wasn't allowed pain meds. So I thought back to what my body can do naturally, and this was it."

What do you think of masturbating during labour? Let us know your thoughts below.

More: The dirty truth about pooping during labour

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