As an aspiring doula and having grown up with a mother who was a licensed midwife, I have seen a myriad of birth videos. I would honestly say, however, that Orgasmic Birth is the best and most enjoyable birth video I have ever seen.
The overall purpose of the film is to encourage women to view birth as an organic process in which they are able to exercise complete control. Stories of several couples are presented to provide proof that this is indeed a possibility. Orgasmic Birth does a wonderful job of including stories and labor experiences that are as intriguing as the title.
The first couple we meet is having their baby in their backyard. In the post-labor interview the father explains how much he enjoyed telling his friends that his baby was born “On the deck, 3:00 p.m., on a Sunday.” I was instantly intrigued.
Although the birth scenes in the film were idealized in that they happened in pleasant circumstances (imagine that), I appreciated that the filmmakers did not hide the reality of the process; it can often be long and, yes, painful. Despite these dynamics, birth is something that most women are capable of.
By this point you are perhaps wondering about the orgasmic connection to the film. While I do not want to ruin any of the particularly climatic portions, I assure you that the title is not just for shock value (as some people I have spoken to have assumed). The professionals in the film tastefully describe the manner in which birth is simply a part of a woman’s sexual life. There is more to this than mere theory; women experience the highest levels of oxytocin during labor, and as a result, twenty percent of women have an orgasm sometime during the birth process.
The film does an extraordinary job providing an alternative perspective to the traditional view of birth in the United States and does emphasize natural home births. However, this is done in a very nonjudgmental way, which is evidenced by the variety of birth professionals in the film, including some hospital practitioners.
As is common in current birth videos and literature, the issue of cesarean sections was thoroughly explored in the film. This is done not so much to criticize specific practitioners or women who have had the procedure, but to promote the empowering ideology on which the film is based. The information given is also clearly meant to educate first time parents, and I found it valuable.
Orgasmic Birth is a groundbreaking film exploring that is sure to not only change the way birth is portrayed in educational films, but also the experience of expectant parents who have the opportunity to view it.