We all know that doing the deed is what leads to pregnancy – but just because you’re knocked up, doesn’t mean you won’t want to keep on getting some ‘practice’ in while your baby is growing. With that healthy and attractive pregnancy glow, being more in tune than ever with your body, and hormones ramping up your sex drive, don’t be surprised if you seek a little company between the sheets.
That being said, many women have fears whether it’s safe to have sexual intercourse during pregnancy, or simply don’t feel up to the task when they’re already inundated with the side effects of carrying a child. But remember – it takes two to tango both in making that baby, and keeping your family happy and strong going forward.
What are the realities of intimacy during pregnancy?
Without being too much of a downer, the honest truth is (particularly for first-time parents): enjoy your alone time while it lasts. Once baby enters the picture, the fatigue and overwhelming changes in your life will have a ripple effect that likely won’t have you planning to make another little one in the immediate future. In other words, don’t be shy about your sex drive while you’re still (somewhat) easily able to act on it.
Of course, there are some upsides and downsides to sexuality during pregnancy. Although many men find their pregnant partners exceptionally attractive, you might not be feeling the same. With pregnancy hormones wreaking havoc on your inside systems and outside appearance, it can be hard to see past all of the changes you’re feeling or seeing, and recognize that you’re still the sexy woman that your partner wanted to have a baby with in the first place.
Those same pregnancy hormones will also cause dramatic swings in your libido during different points in your term. You may alternate between going through periods where you’re too exhausted or nauseous to even begin to contemplate having sex, while at other times you’ll be raring to go. The tricky part is balancing your wildly vacillating sex drive with your partner’s – who, let’s be frank, is typically open to sex whenever. After all, they don’t have hormones and rapid body changes to contend with.
Whether you’re feeling frisky or frosty, many women question, ‘Can I have sex while pregnant?’ because they’re unsure whether having sex will hurt their baby. The short answer is no, at least not if you’re having a ‘normal’ pregnancy. If you’re considered high risk for a miscarriage or delivering pre-term, your doctor may advise against any kind of vigorous activity, including sex. In addition, you’ll also want to steer clear of sex with anyone who carries or is at risk for carrying a sexually transmitted disease – it can potentially be transmitted through intercourse onto your baby, with serious health risks. But beyond those situations, sex can be a great stress reliever through any stage of pregnancy, and can even help stimulate labor once you’re close to your due date.
Staying intimate with your partner is an important part of any relationship, particularly during times of high stress and change. Think of your alone time as an opportunity to reconnect and stay close as you weather these dramatic shifts in your life, together.
Here are some ideas for how to get intimate:
Continue to Have Sex on a Regular Basis
It sounds simple, but as you get further along in your pregnancy, you might find it a little uncomfortable to have intercourse with your partner. Instead of dwelling on how things aren’t like how they used to be, have fun with it – invest in a cute pair of belly-accommodating pajamas or experiment with different positions you might not otherwise try. Don’t think of sex as an obligation, but simply enjoy the intimate time you get to spend together when the mood strikes.
Set Up Romantic Rendezvous
If the idea of having everyday sporadic sex just isn’t turning you on, consider adding a little spice to the mix. Schedule specific date nights so you can really anticipate and build up excitement for doing the deed, and consider pampering or prepping yourself for a fun evening together. A word of caution? Don’t hinge all of your money or energy into a single evening. The changes you go through during pregnancy may derail your plans on occasion, so it’s best to schedule dates and nights alone with a little bit of flexibility built in.
Talk It Out
You’re feeling unsexy; he’s feeling frisky. You’re ready to go; he’s exhausted after a day of work. You’re dealing with a pregnancy symptom; he’s turned on by your pregnancy glow. It can be hard to find compatibility between your sex drives when you’re pregnant, but a good talk (instead of snapping at one another) can clear the air. Consider exploring other options – like massage or kissing – while you’re pregnant, and help set realistic expectations for your sex life after the baby is born. The main thing to keep in mind here is compromise – both you and your partner need to be respectful of what the other one is going through. Unless health risks call for it, not having sex isn’t the best option for either of you.
If you’re ready to keep the fires burning while your little one is blossoming in your belly, here’s some ‘home’ work for you to get cracking on:
- Spend some time in front of the mirror and write down three things you love about your appearance right now. If you must, jot down one pregnancy side effect you’re not super happy about. Then, spend some time primping to help enhance those things you adore and maybe conceal what you wish you could change. Getting a blowout at the salon, buying some new makeup, or investing in a sexy outfit or lingerie can be a great pick-me-up.
- Pick something that you and your partner both genuinely love to do that also doesn’t have a huge financial or time commitment attached to it. A trip outside of the city or having to put money down on an activity probably isn’t the best bet right now.
- Surprise! Kidnap your partner on a night when you’re feeling physically comfortable and take them out for a special evening alone, complete with some intimate time for the two of you. If you’re still feeling shy about sex while pregnant, consider buying some bedroom aids for a little lighthearted fun – some chocolate body paint or massage oils can be a nice way to ease into things.
This could be a nice gift for your partner: “The Man Behind the Bump T-Shirt”