I teach childbirth ed classes and have been for some time. I love it but what really keeps it fresh for me is what the students bring to the class.
Every couple is different, every group dynamic is different. All kinds of things come up and shape the conversation in new, intriguing ways. In a good class, there are lots of questions. Recently I got this one:
Can I bring a vibrator to the hospital and use it during active labor?
My first thought? You are awesome.
But I responded in a slightly more professional manner. Here’s what I said in a nutshell:
Maybe not a loud one. Or a particularly intrusive one. Think Bullet not Rabbit? It’s not that private in the hospital. You can shut the door but the hospital staff only give s a quick knuckle tap on the door before entering. So, yeah, a little discreet thing might be preferable.
Nothing goes in the vagina after your water has broken. But that shouldn’t matter too much.
Orgasm– via sex or masturbation– is actually recommended as a way to help get labor going. Orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin which also happens to be the hormone that causes contractions. (BTW: Orgasm would only trigger contractions in a woman who is ready to be in labor, or already in pre-labor, not during pregnancy.)
Usually I hear about people using sex as a uterine stimulant at home before labor has started. I’ve never been asked about masturbation in active labor (and in a hospital) but I’m not going to be the one to say don’t try it! Take your vibrator, see how you feel and if you find you want to use it to help cope with pain, relax you or move labor along, go for it. I hope she does.
Do you have a childbirth question you’d like answered? Email firstname.lastname@example.org