Pregnancy is an extraordinary and transformative time in a woman's life. It brings about numerous changes, both physical and emotional. One topic that often arises when discussing pregnancy is the subject of sex. Many expectant couples wonder if it's safe to engage in sexual activity during pregnancy and how they can adapt their positions as the baby bump grows. In this blog post, we will explore the safety of sex during pregnancy, provide suggestions for adapting positions, discuss the importance of abstaining from sex after your waters have broken, and explore alternative ways to create intimacy without penetrative sex.
The Safety of Sex During Pregnancy
Contrary to common misconceptions, sexual activity during a low-risk, healthy pregnancy is generally safe and can be an enjoyable experience for both partners. In fact, maintaining a healthy sexual relationship can contribute to emotional well-being and intimacy during this transformative period. However, it's crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure there are no specific medical concerns or complications that could make sexual activity inadvisable.
When to Exercise Caution: While sex is generally safe during pregnancy, certain circumstances may require caution or avoidance. These include:
High-risk pregnancy: If you have a history of complications or if your healthcare provider has identified any concerns, they may advise against sexual activity. It's important to follow their guidance to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby.
Vaginal bleeding or placenta-related issues: If you experience any bleeding during pregnancy or have been diagnosed with placenta previa or placental abruption, sexual activity should be avoided. These conditions can pose risks to the pregnancy and require medical attention.
Preterm labour: If you have a history of preterm labour or are at risk of it, your healthcare provider may advise against sexual activity to reduce the chances of triggering contractions.
Waters have broken: After your waters have broken - which may indicate the start of labour - it is generally advised to abstain from sexual activity. This is primarily because the risk of infection increases once the protective barrier (amniotic sac) has ruptured. When the amniotic sac is intact, it acts as a natural barrier against bacteria, reducing the risk of infection to both the mother and the baby. Once the waters have broken, bacteria can potentially enter the vagina and pose a risk of infection.
Adapting Positions as Your Bump Grows:
As your baby bump grows, you may find that certain sexual positions become uncomfortable or impractical. Fortunately, there are various positions you can explore that accommodate your changing body and ensure your comfort and pleasure. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Spooning: This position involves lying side by side, with your partner behind you. It reduces pressure on your abdomen and allows for intimate contact while providing support for your growing belly.
2. Woman on Top: This position gives you control and allows you to adjust the depth and pace of penetration. By being on top, you can also relieve pressure on your belly and back, making it more comfortable.
3. Side-lying: Similar to spooning, the side-lying position offers comfort and allows you to control the depth and angle of penetration. You can experiment with pillows or cushions to find the most comfortable alignment.
4. Modified Doggy Style: Instead of being on all fours, try leaning over the edge of a bed or using pillows to support your upper body. This modification reduces strain on your back and provides a comfortable angle for penetration.
Creating Intimacy Without Penetrative Sex
Sexual intimacy is not limited to penetrative sex, and there are numerous ways to foster closeness and maintain a strong bond with your partner during pregnancy. Here are some alternative options:
1. Emotional Connection: Pregnancy is a time of heightened emotions, and creating an emotional connection with your partner is essential. Engage in open and honest conversations, spend quality time together, and explore activities that strengthen your emotional bond.
2. Sensual Massage: Massage can be incredibly relaxing and intimate. Take turns giving each other sensual massages, focusing on areas that provide comfort and pleasure. Use fragrant oils and create a soothing atmosphere to enhance the experience.
3. Kissing and Cuddling: Physical affection, such as kissing, cuddling, and hugging, can foster intimacy and
strengthen your bond. Enjoy these simple acts of affection that provide comfort and remind you of your connection.
4. Mutual Exploration: Explore each other's bodies through non-penetrative touch. Focus on erogenous zones, engage in light caressing, and experiment with different sensations. This can heighten pleasure and maintain a sense of intimacy.
5. Oral Stimulation: Engaging in oral sex can be a pleasurable option during pregnancy. However, it's important to communicate with your partner about comfort levels and preferences, as sensitivity and preferences may change during this time.
6. Mutual Masturbation: Self-pleasure in the presence of your partner can be an intimate and satisfying experience. Encourage each other, communicate desires, and explore different techniques that bring pleasure.
Communication and Comfort
Throughout your pregnancy, open communication with your partner is key. Discuss any discomfort or concerns you may have, and be willing to explore new positions or sexual activities that are mutually enjoyable. Keep in mind that emotional intimacy and physical closeness are equally important, and sex is just one aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship during this transformative time.
Engaging in sexual activity during pregnancy can be safe and pleasurable, but it's essential to prioritise your health and seek advice from your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or specific medical conditions. Remember that sexual intimacy is not limited to penetrative sex, and there are numerous alternative ways to create intimacy and maintain a strong emotional connection with your partner during pregnancy. Explore various options, communicate openly, and focus on nurturing your bond as you navigate this transformative journey together.
Did you know, sex during pregnancy is a topic we cover at our FREE Pregnancy Class. Or book onto one of our Antenatal Classes where we explore natural induction techniques and whether or no sex will really help bring on the baby