Answers to the questions you were to embarrassed to ask - we explain all you need to know about sex during pregnancy.
In today's society we're inundated with information about having sex when you're not pregnant however, sex during pregnancy is a whole different matter and talking about it can often seem a bit taboo, making it even more confusing to find out what's ok and what's not. So, to help clear things up we explain all you need to know about sex during pregnancy.
Is sex during pregnancy safe?
Providing you're experiencing a 'normal' pregnancy (one that's considered low risk by your health care provider), it's completely safe to continue having sex throughout your pregnancy.
Your baby is securely protected by both the cushioning amniotic fluid that surrounds them in the womb and your strong uterine muscles so you can rest assured that 'getting jiggy with it' isn't going to harm him or her one bit. What's more, you have a thick mucous plug sealing the top of your cervix and this acts as a barrier protecting your baby from infection by preventing anything (semen or otherwise) from entering your womb. Having said that it's always best to be on the safe side and seek advice from your healthcare provider if you experience any bleeding, discomfort or any other symptom you're not sure about after you make love.
Can my baby feel anything?
Many women experience contractions during or after an orgasm however, provided these cease shortly after, you have nothing to worry about as these are different to the contractions that will help to bring your baby into the world. You actually would have experienced these contractions to some extent before you fell pregnant however they are merely intensified by your expanded uterus which is why you may notice them now.
During the later stages of pregnancy some women notice a change in their baby's movements after they make love, sensing that their baby becomes either more, or less active post-coitally. However, this is simply a result of the increased blood flow and surge of hormones to your pelvic area, so you can be confident that your baby is not in any discomfort, can't feel anything and really has no idea what is going on.
I've gone off sex - is that normal?
It's actually quite common to lose interest in sex after you fall pregnant so this is nothing to be concerned about. This is especially the case during the first trimester when nausea, fatigue and breast tenderness can mean it's the last thing you want to do. Some women do find they regain their interest as they near their second trimester and start to feel a little better, while others feel uncomfortable with the way their body is changing and just don't feel like it until after baby arrives. This is completely normal and, even if you don't feel like making love there are still plenty of other ways to maintain physical intimacy with your partner like kissing, cuddling or massage, whether or not this leads to sex.
I'm more interested in sex - is that normal?
While some women lose interest, others find that their libido gets a boost during pregnancy and again this is completely normal. Some women feel an enhanced closeness to their partner, love their changing body and find the whole experience more arousing due to the increased blood supply that can help to enhance sensitivity in the genitals.
My partner's sex drive has changed - why?
Just as you may have found that your sex drive has altered since you found out you were pregnant, it's likely that your partner's will too and again you may notice that they become more or less interested in making love as your pregnancy progresses.
If your partner's libido seems to have taken a downward turn it's easy to worry that they no longer find you attractive now you're 'with child', however, in all likelihood this is likely to be a combination of worrying that sex will hurt you or the baby and anxiety about the prospect of becoming a parent. On the other hand, your partner may find the pregnant you a real turn on which is of course really lovely to hear but not all that great if having sex is the last thing you feel like doing. As with anything it's important to keep the channels of communication open and talk about your sex life however it progresses as this will help to ensure that you both continue to feel secure and happy in your relationship.
How to accommodate a bump
As you get nearer your due date your bump can start to make making love a little more challenging than usual. However, while it may mean that the missionary position goes out the window, where there's a will there's a way and with a little creativity there is no reason why you should go without. Positions to try include you on top, on all fours, sitting on your partners lap or side by side (in a spoon position) as these all help to relieve pressure from your bump and enable you to control the depth of penetration, making it a wholly more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Whether you have any questions about sex during pregnancy or something else entirely, why not visit the AskBaby forums for a chat with other members?