Bringing a bump into the boudoir can bring a slew of unexpected concerns to the minds of even the most seasoned vixens. If you’re feeling jittery about jumping in the sack, it’s time to calm your worries, find your hot mama self, and light the fire of the one you love.
It’s all good
Many moms express concern over harming their growing babes during sex, and understandably so: Your entire world is nestled inside you! Sexually active mamas need not fear, however. “Generally speaking, in a normal pregnancy without complications, sex can be continued safely throughout a pregnancy,” says Prathima Setty, MD, FACOG, board certified OB/GYN in Northern Virginia. Couples may worry that having intercourse will cause a miscarriage, but Setty assures this is not the case. Miscarriages are most commonly due to chromosomal abnormalities or other problems with the baby, she explains.
There’s no need to worry about poking your bambino while you’re getting busy either. “Your baby is protected as it lies within the amniotic sac with amniotic fluid and is also protected by the thick muscles of the uterus,” explains Setty. “Plus, the mucus plug over the cervical opening provides a barrier to help prevent infection.
Not only is sex not dangerous during pregnancy, it’s also good for you. “From the reduction of cortisol to the production of oxytocin to the bolstering of intimacy between partners, the benefits of sex during pregnancy are huge,” says Danielle Cavallucci, ISSA certified fitness and nutrition expert and co-author of Your Orgasmic Pregnancy: Little Sex Secrets Every Hot Mama Should Know. And that’s not all. Cavallucci adds, “The calming, pleasurable sensations experienced during sex lend themselves to deeper sleep, partner bonding, lowered fetal distress (due to less cortisol), uterine ‘mini massage’ for baby, and lower blood pressure.” You can also look forward to an increased sense of calm and well-being, heightened optimism, higher pain tolerance, and lessened lower back pain.
Although sex is an outward act, it starts on the inside with how a women feels about her body. “Negative self-talk is the bitter enemy of a happy, healthy sex life in general … and our insecurities about weight and body size come to the forefront during pregnancy. If you don’t tame those tendencies … you will find yourself unfulfilled,” warns Cavallucci. Pregnant women are the epitome of sexy, so don’t be afraid to embrace those curves. To get in the right mindset, Cavallucci suggests employing the power of positive thinking. You have to be your own biggest fan! Give yourself a whistle, don your sexiest lingerie, and get ready to bring your confidence between the sheets.
Take to bed
It won’t only be you, your bump and your husband in bed. There will also be several welcome visitors in the form of extra libido (for some lucky ladies!), perky breasts and new sensual areas to explore. Each of these exciting ventures will bring forth opportunities to add pleasure to the game. And remember the best thing about expectant sex: You don’t need to worry about getting pregnant!
Nookie does more than just feel good, though; it’s a great way to physically and mentally bond with your partner before your newest adventure begins, suggests Setty. One way to keep it fresh in the sack is to try some positions (and places!) you’ve never tried before. “As the pregnancy progresses, the missionary position may become increasingly difficult,” says Setty. However, she continues, “As long as you’re comfortable, most sexual positions are acceptable during pregnancy.” Try spooning, cowgirl (girl on top), lying on your side, using a chair, leaning against the end of the bed with a pillow behind your back, or supporting yourself with your knees and elbows while your partner enters from behind. All these variations will relieve tension on your belly and provide a more fulfilling experience.
Cavallucci urges mamas to remember the role the mind plays in the bedroom, and suggests the following practices: Focus on sexy thoughts; masturbate regularly; surround yourself with candles, lotions and potions; move about in a sensual manner; think about sex and your partner, and monitor self-talk (keep it positive!). “Sexual and sensual touch are some of the best cures for the ‘blahs,’” she adds. At this juncture in your romantic relationship, remember that experimentation is key, so enjoy fooling around and discovering the best techniques.
It’s also important to talk to your doctor about anything that may be off-limits. Oral sex is fine during pregnancy but remember never to let your partner blow air into your vagina. On rare occasions, it could cause an air embolism, which is life-threatening to you and your baby. “Sex is not recommended in pregnancies complicated by preterm labor, cervical incompetence, placenta previa (when the placenta is over the cervical opening), preterm rupture of membranes, genital herpes or untreated sexually transmitted diseases,” notes Setty. It’s not uncommon for sex during pregnancy to cause mild contractions or light bleeding. “Usually if contractions are mild, they’re nothing to worry about. However, if contractions persist or bleeding is like a period, you’ll want to contact your physician,” Setty advises.
“There are no excuses to miss out on the plethora of health benefits and pleasurable vibes available uniquely during pregnancy,” argues Cavallucci. “Sex at this time can be some of the best and most challenging, but it’s well worth it for so many reasons.” So drop your reservations, mamas, and go forth and get your gestational groove on.
What women want
A poll of pregnant women in Portugal revealed expectant moms aren’t afraid of the bedroom. About 39 percent of women said they desired sex during pregnancy as much as they did before they were pregnant. About a third said they had less desire while pregnant.
Nearly all the women who were sexually active during pregnancy reported vaginal intercourse, 38 percent reported oral sex, 20 percent reported masturbation, and 7 percent reported anal intercourse.
Eighty percent of women reported some kind of sexual activity during their third trimester, and 39 percent reported sexual intercourse during their birth week.
During sex, some babies might become more active while others may be lulled to sleep. Both reactions are perfectly normal.
If you find sex is not working for you or your partner, discover other ways to connect intimately during this special time. Massages, hugs and kisses, leisurely strolls, and quality conversation can be just as meaningful.