In celebration of plateaus

The best article I read this month was by Elizabeth Davis, who wrote about plateaus, comparing how these occur both during birth and sex. I just had to share this quote:

“I suggest we reframe plateaus as being both physically and psychologically purposeful, rather than worrisome or in need of a remedy. Returning to the subject of plateaus during sexual activity, I’ve spoken to many women who said they felt judged or pushed by partners who did not understand what they were doing in these integrative moments; in fact I once had a partner who said outright (and in the middle of the act), “You’re not progressing!” Needless to say, that stopped the action – just as it does in labour, when women are pushed with repeated exams and threats of interventions unless they dilate according to the Friedman Curve.”

Davis E (2018). Labor plateaus and our sexual nature. Midwifery Today. 127: 14-16.


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2 comments for “In celebration of plateaus

  1. Jen
    December 6, 2018 at 8:01 am

    This is so true.
    Whether it’s for women in labour or even for children when they are learning and they hit plateaus or even people in the working environment if they’re not hitting the right protocol for something to happen. Hitting and educational learning milestones or achieving something in work, pressure is applied the more they start to feel threat and then you don’t get the right results.

    Instead of looking at them as an individual or treating them as an individual, people start to think that there is something wrong for not achieving what has been deemed the achievable and where they should be.

    Women who feel that they are under pressure to labour at a certain rate start to feel that they are under threat. In a certain way that there’s going to be come a cascade of intervention because the cervix isn’t dilating at the rate that the medical team feel is necessary so there sympathetic nervous system kicks in and then you get feeling of a threat against them and their baby and the last thing they are going to do is relax enough for labour to progress at the desired rate, and inevitably they do end up with some synto going up and they do end up with interventions occurring rather than the medics waiting and watching the things to happen.

    Hopefully medical staff will see this piece of research and accept that women need to be treated as individuals and get rid of the 1 cm in an hour rule, will an acknowledge if both mum’s and babies are doing well there’s no reason to interfere because if a mum and baby are relaxed and happy the baby will descend and rotate and the mum will dilate and open. Things will progress at their own rates and plateau maybe a natural resting period for her, rather than “everything’s come to a halt and there’s a problem”.
    There might not be a problem but treating her with individuality is better than treating her with “everything stopped and we need to get you going because you have we only leave you so much so long before we have to do something.”

    Sorry for the waffle!

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