Sex During Pregnancy
Shhh… it’s a tricky topic but it certainly takes up an awful lot of headspace for most pregnant women!
The good news is, unless you have a history of miscarriage, premature labour or you have placenta praevia, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t continue to enjoy a healthy sex life. Sex is good for you: it relaxes you, it’s a form of exercise, it maintains your relationship with your partner and it reinforces your sense of self as a woman.
Many couples worry that sex can harm the baby. It can’t: your baby is safely cushioned in a protective bag of fluid inside your womb, so even the most well-endowed partners or the deepest penetration isn’t risky.
Now you are flooded with pregnancy hormones, you may find that your interest in sex sharply increases or decreases. Both reactions are perfectly normal. Many women notice that their breasts and genitals are more sensitive to the touch; this is due to an increased blood flow to these areas and can result in a heightened sexual response. Those helpful hormones often provide a greater sense of well-being, which can also help in the bedroom.
Of course sex is the last thing on the minds of many mums-to-be. Weeks of morning sickness and an ever-increasing bump can take their toll. Now is the time to be honest with your partner and reassure him that you haven’t lost interest in him personally. As long as he remains sympathetic to the psychological and physical changes you are experiencing, then there shouldn’t be a permanent problem. Perhaps you can indulge in other sexual activities not involving intercourse that can keep up the spark in that side of your relationship.
Sometimes the partner ‘goes off’ sex when a baby’s on board. In this case talking is again the key and you can reassure him that lovemaking is still completely safe and natural. He may need some time to come to terms with the fact that his mate is soon to become a mother, so remove any pressure and continue to cultivate a close relationship. Don’t by any means think that becoming a mum means becoming mumsy – show him what he’s missing by dressing or behaving provocatively and you never know what may come up…
As your bump gets bigger you will have to experiment to find out which positions are the most comfortable. Popular positions include woman on top, lying side by side or an adapted missionary position where your man supports himself so that his weight isn’t resting on your stomach. When your due date is in sight, intercourse can be a useful way of triggering labour as sperm contains prostaglandin, which is used to ripen the cervix if labour has to be induced.
Finally, one of the best things about sex during pregnancy is that, possibly for the first time in your adult life, you don’t need to worry about messy or inconvenient methods of birth control, or even – obviously – getting pregnant. Now is the time to relax, let go and enjoy this time together before baby makes three. Have fun!