Experiencing an orgasm and the feeling of giving birth are pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of pleasure, but one woman claims she was practically able to merge the two as she welcomed her newborn into the world.
Mums-to-be, take note.
Hanna Faustino gave birth to her second child, Kaiya, seven years ago after labouring in a squat position. She had previously welcomed her first child, River, with 'a lot of uncertainty', so learned about so-called 'labour land' after undergoing prenatal yoga classes with birth coach Jannine Markou.
Markou is experienced in helping women reach a state of euphoria while giving birth, with Faustino explaining that the coach helped her with 'breathing exercises' and mantras.
With Markou's help, Faustino was able to 'surrender her mind to her body' while giving birth and consequently experience 'similar sensations to an orgasm'.
The mum explained: "I found a rhythm of breathing and I was in a squat with my husband supporting me. I forgot they were in the room as I was just able to focus on this natural extension and reached a really blissful state.
"It was really natural to push, and the contractions didn't feel as painful. I had this fullness, and I didn't want the feeling to stop. It wasn't the same as an orgasm, but it was a really profound moment and one I'll never forget. It was a blessing."
Faustino gave birth in her bedroom, where she worked on 'a visualisation with each contraction that they are a wave bringing [her] baby closer'.
She didn't use any pain relief, but said successfully reaching her surrendered state of mind was 'beautiful' and that she 'didn’t want it to end' - something many mums are probably envious off after less pleasant labours.
Following the success of her second birth, Faustino chose to lie on her side with her leg up while giving birth to her third child, Terran.
Markou focuses on teaching clients to use movement, toning and breathing exercises to help them through pregnancy and birth, explaining that women can reach a state of bliss or 'labour land' by allowing 'birthing hormones to work for you'.
“The pain is then not so intense because the endorphins are flowing and there is then no fear... I’ve seen it work for women and it was amazing, but it might look different for everybody.
“My goal is to make sure women are happy with their birth experience in postpartum, no matter the journey.”
Though Faustino admitted giving birth 'always has surprises', she stressed mums can achieve a 'wonderful birth outlook' by working on breathing.
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