Love, with a side of bump

By Published On: February 1st, 2010

If you’re having trouble focusing on your love life now […]

If you’re having trouble focusing on your love life now that you’ve achieved your mom-to-be status, check out these tips on how to make your relationship rock for the next nine months.
Pregnancy is full of diversions—not nearly as many as once baby debuts, but you’ll be busy and distracted nonetheless. As you’re choosing nursery decor, keeping track of prenatal checkups, and indulging those oh-so-pesky cravings, it’s easy to toss your love life aside in the name of baking your bun. But a strong relationship can pave the way to a healthy, happy family, and result in two very connected parents-to-be, so don’t throw in the towel on romance just yet.
For better or worse
While you may have waved bye-bye to the “honeymoon phase” of your relationship long ago, get ready to embark on a new adventure in coupledom: the “babymoon phase.” The newfound excitement of a budding babe can bring some couples closer than ever before, although others find the notion of becoming parents scary and overwhelming. No matter where you find your emotions on this grand scale of parenthood, it’s important to keep in mind that the next nine months are going to be full of ups and downs, both physical and mental.
Hormones, stress and excitement all mix together to create the colorful palate of pregnancy, which will undoubtedly foster lots of memories—and probably more than a few disagreements. From small decisions, like what color to paint Junior’s nursery, to more important discussions about names, religion and college funds, pregnancy can have couples thinking about things they’ve never before considered. Be open to each other’s ideas and communicate freely—by doing so, you’ll be able to avoid (at least some!) arguments, whether they’re about intimacy or car seats.
Love machine
Moms generally report feeling a bit woozy during the first trimester, randy in the second, and entirely preoccupied with all things baby in the third. Remember, though, that you understand your body better than anyone else—you’ll know at which points during your pregnancy you feel up for a romantic romp and when you should pass. The bottom line is that sex is an integral part of any relationship. It helps you feel physically and emotionally connected to your significant other and provides a natural boost to your overall well-being.
Plus, at certain points during your pregnancy, sex can be exceptionally beneficial (and fun) for both parties—and your baby too! Orgasms release endorphins that not only make you feel grand, but provide your baby with a calm, happy sensation as well. Some doctors even suggest that a woman at full term who is lined up to have a regular birth should engage in intercourse with her partner to stimulate labor.
There are plenty of scientific factoids supporting prenatal lovemaking, but there’s just as much personal testimony to back them up. The increased blood flow to your vulva and sensitive nerve endings in your breasts, combined with an extra-large libido, will likely have you (and your partner) ready to rumble on a regular basis—without even thinking twice about the extra perks involved.
It’s the little things
Pregnancy isn’t all about your cute bump and bodacious breasts—it’s also filled with hemorrhoids and gut-wrenching gas. (You knew the babymoon wouldn’t last forever, right?) Despite the increased blood flow to your love buttons, there will be times when you want nothing more than to be left alone. After all, hormones are no different than anything else, and what goes up must come down. But don’t let a lack of physical intimacy build a wall between you and your partner. Find ways to let him know you care that don’t revolve around sex, and reassure one another that once you’re feeling back to normal, you’ll be revved up and raring to go.
Most importantly, spend as much time as possible doing things you love together. Movies, mini golf and long, candlelit meals won’t always be possible with a baby in tow, so make the most of your time by enjoying one another’s company now.