8 facts you should know about sex during and after pregnancy
Pregnant, or just had a baby? Don’t let any fears stop you – you can still enjoy a fulfilling sex life…
So, you’re pregnant, or you’ve just had a baby. And the irony is that, while having sex got you in this position, right now you may find you’re less likely than ever to feel like getting frisky in the sack. And who can blame you, what with all the indignities of being pregnant and giving birth. Don’t panic, just be patient and make sure you really are ready.
1. The baby’s not going to get hurt
At least 50% of first-time fathers-to-be are worried about hurting the baby if they have sex while their partner is pregnant. Reassure him that this will not happen.
2. You’ll probably feel more like having sex in the second trimester
Some of your symptoms will hopefully have subsided but you’re not yet so big that things are uncomfortable.
3. Be prepared to experiment with different positions
You lying on your back is not going to work with a growing bump so just be prepared to experiment with different positions. Also, both increased blood flow and moistness (sorry) can actually make things more pleasurable.
4. Wait until your six-week check to have sex after birth
It makes sense to let your GP give you the once-over before you restart any bedroom gymnastics – after all, when the placenta comes out it leaves a wound which needs time to heal. That said, a 2013 study by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that 41% of women said they had already had full vaginal sex before six weeks. Still a good idea to get checked out first.
5. You won’t disturb the baby
Given that baby is going to be sharing your bedroom for a while, should you do it when baby is in the room? Before you recoil in horror, consider that the little mite is used to the sounds of your body so any noise will not disturb them (in any sense). And if they do wake up, they won’t know what you’re doing, so they’re not going to judge you! If you just find the whole thing too weird you’re not likely to relax and enjoy yourself. Our advice – get creative, wait until nap time and sneak off to another room. Kitchen table, anyone?
6. Don’t indulge in oral sex just yet
While you’re pregnant and in the weeks after, it may seem like a good idea to indulge in some oral sex (him giving it to you), as it’s got to be one of the most gentle sex acts on the menu. But please try to refrain. Why? Well, for one it could introduce infection into your vagina and womb, but rather more seriously, it could kill you! Cases are rare but if air is accidentally blown into the womb (easy to do when you’ve just given birth), it could cause an ‘air embolism’ and they have proven fatal. Told you you need to know this. It’s OK for you to perform oral sex on him though (what a surprise).
7. You may need to use lubricant after birth
Even if you didn’t need it before you got pregnant, you might need to use a lubricant now. The hormones zooming around your body after you’ve given birth can lead to vaginal dryness. (Who tells you this stuff?)
8. Experiment with positions that limit penetration
Until you feel comfortable, it’s probably best that you’re the one in control of this. Never been on top? Now is the time to try. And if you’ve had a C-section, positions with him behind you may be your new best friend.
Our cute couples pictured feature in Knit Your Own Karma Sutra (£12.99, Apple Press).