Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sex During Pregnancy

Sexual desire and needs change during the course of pregnancy. A woman can experience times of increased desire and low lobido, due to hormonal fluctuations and growing discomfort. Being in tune with your own sexual needs and feelings goes a long way in communicating this with your partner. Some couples are afraid they will harm the baby by enjoying an intimate encounter between the sheets. However, the baby is well cushioned and protected by the uterus and the amniotic fluid. It is best, however for the expectant partner to assume a position other than flat on her back.

Unless your doctor or midwife has warned against sex during pregnancy for medical reasons, it is not only safe but beneficial to both of you. The male hormones in the semen (prostaglandins) have anti-bacterial propterties and also stimulate slight contractions in the woman. This is beneficial as her body prepares for birth. Continued braxton hicks contractions (false labor) may also occur after orgasm, due to increased oxytocin production. All forms of sexual contact from kissing to cuddling can stimulate these false contractions, as well. In late pregnancy, some women experience a release of colostrum from their breasts as well.

Even though it is usually safe and healthy to continue enjoying sex during pregnancy, there are a few warnings.
  1. No blowing into the vagina.
  2. No sex after the amniotic sac has broken.
  3. No sex if you have a medical condition such as the threat of miscarriage or pre term labor, until your medical caregiver gives clearance. 
  4. Find a position where the expectant mom is not lying on her back.
  5. Use a natural oil such as olive oil or almond oil for lubricant, if necessary.
Communicate your needs openly with one another. Be creative in loving  your partner and enjoying  your changing body.

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