Birthing trend: Having sex while in labour

In the throes of labour pain, sex is certainly the last thing on a mum's mind. But some women have had sex during labour and swear by its benefits. Read on to find out what they are here!

Sex during labour, or sometimes referred to as sensual birth, is something that most women would never consider. On the other hand, a number of women have done it... and actually enjoyed it!

Sex during labour: what women who experienced it say

A number of women have shared their experiences online of having sex while being in labour. One is Laura Shanley, an advocate to home birthing and sensual birth. She reports that having sexual intercourse while in labour can help one overcome fear.

"Birth is a sexual act, and often having sex in labour helps facilitate the process. When a woman is sexually stimulated, oxytocin flows through her system, causing her uterus to contract either in the form of orgasms or labor contractions," Laura shares.

Most women report having more intense contractions if they have sexual intercourse during labour. The contractions will also be more frequent, but with less pain.

Other women are much more reluctant to try it. They find that sex is the last thing on their mind while in labour. "I am stunned that any woman could even think of sex at such a time. I mean to each it's own, but there's no way I was remotely in the mood. In fact the only thing I wanted to do, was pick up things and throw it at my hubby as I was in so much of pain," shares Sonya Liew, mum of a one-year-old.

Benefits of sex during labour

Having sex during labour is a very personal decision and is an option you should discuss with your gynea before hand. There have been no scientific studies done on sex during labour, nor is there extensive reading literature available on this topic. If you do consider it, here are some alleged benefits:

  • The prostaglandins in sperm can help induce labour or speed it up. 
  • When making love, the levels of oxytocin greatly increase. This is the same hormone involved in labour. Thus, the process can become easier and faster.
  • Labour is also about relaxation. Sex can help relieve the stress and lead to a smoother labour process.
  • An orgasm can promote labour contractions, as well as relieve any pain.
  • Finally, it can be an intimate moment to share with your partner. Something you may not get to experience for a while.

 Precautions for sex during labour

If you do attempt to try sex during labour, these guidelines must be followed:

  • You shouldn't have sex if your water has broken. As there is no more amniotic sac to protect the baby from bacteria, it's best to avoid sexual intercourse. 
  • It's best to have sex during the first stage of labour and not any later.
  • Don't attempt it in a hospital. There are accounts from nurses that have caught their patient having sex during labour. Some were even caught on phone cameras.
  • Stop immediately if you feel like you are experiencing excruciating pain

All in all, the choice to have sex or not during or before labour is up to you and your partner. Even if you do find the benefits intriguing, it may not be appealing at that moment.

Or, you may not have time to go for it when baby is on the way! Most importantly, listen to your body and how you are feeling at the time and make your decision then.

Source: The Benefits of Having Sex in Labor

Also read: Mums, beware of this sex injury that can happen anytime