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Outlander actors speak out on that revealing birth scene in Episode 2

Lauren Lyle as Marsali and Cesar Domboy as Fergus, as seen in Episode 2 of Starz's Outlander Season 6
Lauren Lyle as Marsali and Cesar Domboy as Fergus, as seen in Episode 2 of Outlander Season 6. Pic credit: Starz

Episode 2 of Outlander’s sixth season saw Marsali (Lauren Lyle) heavily pregnant and with a troublesome labor that just wasn’t starting.

This was a scene that proved both challenging and sensitive for the actors involved, but thankfully for those involved, they had the use of an intimacy coordinator, who was brought on board for this season.

The actors have now spoken out about their experiences filming that scene.

In the intimate scene, Marsali’s husband, Fergus (Cesar Domboy), came up with a way to help bring on her contractions that is probably not really science in 2022 but most likely was back in the 1770s.

After using this method, Marsali did actually go into labor, and their child was born, a son called Henri-Christian.

It was soon discovered after the delivery that Henri-Christian was born with dwarfism and his large head may have led to some of the trouble that Marsali had during the delivery.

But, more on that labor-inducing idea that Fergus enacted…

Fergus uses a questionable tactic to bring on Marsali’s labor

Marsali and Fergus have been having some trouble in their marriage of late, so Fergus didn’t immediately spring to help out when Marsali went into a slow and lack-luster labor.

However, once he was convinced to attend, he immediately sprang into action upon hearing that contractions were sluggish.

For those who are faint of heart, firstly, why are you watching Outlander? But, secondly, you might want to tread carefully from here on in as descriptions of labor abound.

Lauren Lyle as Marsali and Cesar Domby as Fergus star in Season 6 of Starz's Outlander
Lauren Lyle as Marsali and Cesar Domby as Fergus star in Season 6 of Outlander. Pic credit: Starz

Using a trick that Fergus first learned in the brothel where he was raised as a young child, he stimulated Marsali’s breasts in order to help with the slowly-advancing labor.

For many viewers, the scene was awkward and, then, when things turned much more heated, even characters in the TV show opted to leave the room.

For those who have already read the books on which Outlander is based, this scene was already on your radar so you were probably the most prepared for it.

But, what of the actors who played out this scene?

An intimacy coordinator was on hand

As previously reported by Monsters and Critics, an intimacy coordinator has been hired for the first time in Season 6 of Outlander in order to help out with the highly racy scenes that often occur in the historical drama series.

While filming this scene, one was certainly utilized to make sure that everyone was comfortable with the proceedings, according to TV Line.

Vanessa Coffey was the one called in to act as the intimacy coordinator for this scene and she explains that her role started well before the actual filming of it. In fact, she broke apart the script to find out more about what is going on during the scene and how it relates to the show overall as well as that particular period of time.

In addition to this, she spoke with Lauren Lyle, who portrays Marsali, and who had been alerted to the scene well ahead of time. In fact, she knew about the intimate scene pretty much from as soon as she signed on for Outlander.

Cesar Domboy (Fergus) was also consulted, as was the director of the episode, to get a feel for how they wanted the scene to play out.

As for the actual logistics of that scene?

Well, it all came down to prosthetics.

“The godsend is that everything is prosthetic,” Lyle revealed. “So that’s lovely and very helpful.”

Vanessa Coffey also gave a further explanation about using a prosthetic breast.

“That was also because obviously with Lauren’s breasts, her breasts wouldn’t look pregnant in the way Marsali’s should,” Coffey stated. “The nipple changes quite a lot when you’re pregnant, especially in that state of pregnancy. So again we had to be true to what you would actually see at that time.”

A separate room was also set up so that the whole scene could be rehearsed ahead of time and so that Coffey could address any concerns that the actors were having.

Domboy also revealed that the pair looked at the scene more like choreography than anything else.

“It’s almost like a choreography at some point, because it’s me and Lauren literally going beat after beat, like, ‘OK, should we do this? Should I move there?’ Because you have to be aesthetic at some point, and to sell something like that, it has to be watchable… We found our rhythm,” Domboy said.

Season 6 of Outlander currently airs every Sunday night on Starz.

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  1. Actually, nipple stimulation to increase ontractions IS science in 2022. I’m a retired nurse and doula. I’ve helped over 200 women have their babies and yes, nipple stimulation, and early on, even clitoral stimulation helps mom’s contractions to increase. I loved the scene for it’s accuracy.

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  2. I was pleased to see that Marsali’s birth scene shares what midwives have long known and is confirmed with science – nipple stimulation releases the hormone oxytocin, a hormone that is essential for labor and birth. Hospitals have often sterilized birth and made people feel more comfortable with synthetic oxytocin rather than getting it going themselves with moments of intimacy and love. Times are changing or should I say returning to the past – as a doula and Director of the documentary Orgasmic Birth many more people are self stimulating and enjoying their partners help with pleasure and love, helping labor to proceed while decreasing pain and finding pleasure. Thank you Outlander for including and doing your research on natural ways to help a slow labor!

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