Everything you need to know about what sex when you’re pregnant is actually like

Yes, sex during pregnancy can be great and no, your baby can’t feel it.

Words by TantrumXYZ editor Lisa Williams

It can be good for the pregnancy

Not only can a nice orgasm help to relax you after a day of swollen ankles and sore boobs, but if you’re overdue and trying to induce labour, you will probably be nudged to have penetrative sex (because an element in a man’s semen can help to trigger labour).

Not only that, but throughout pregnancy, it is sometimes recommended that you and your partner partake in some perineum massage. Yes, some believe that massaging the area in between your vagina and your anus can help to strengthen it up before labour and, well, it’s hard to reach that area alone.

Sometimes you can’t have sex

If you’re experiencing complications such a low-lying placenta or if you are at high risk of a premature labour, then doctors will advise that you don’t have sex. Speak to your consultant or midwife to get the all-clear before you take part.

You may not want to have sex

When couples have been trying a long time for a baby, they sometimes find it hard to get in the mood again once the deed has been done. Similarly, your hormones will be all over the place. One day you might feel like ripping your clothes off and recreating a porno, the next might be a Call-the-Midwife-nun kind of day.

You can feel more body confident

If you’ve spent past encounters switching off the lights and sucking in your stomach, sex while pregnant can give you a nice boost in confidence. Many women say they feel pride in their swelling stomach, and this translates into more confidence in the bedroom. There’s also something wonderfully curvaceous about a pregnant woman, which is often a turn-on for their partners rather than anything weird.

It can be just as wild as before, if not more so

Pregnant women engage in all kinds of sex: from the standard under-the-duvet stuff to tantric sex and even threesomes. If that last bit shocked you, it’s probably because pregnancy sex is still a taboo topic. But being pregnant can be surprisingly liberating, with many women seeing no reason not to carry on with their pre-bump sex life, and some even seeing it as their last chance to be adventurous before the baby arrives.

But post-orgasm contractions are weird

Like, really weird. Your stomach area can tense up and it can feel as if you are going into labour, but it’s usually just your body’s reaction to the orgasm and should subside within a few minutes.

It’s easier

If there’s no risk of STIs then there’s no need to use contraception. No pills to take, no fear of pregnancy (well, duh..), no fiddly condoms, and no periods. You can have sex whenever and wherever you want (within reason).

But certain bits are harder

It’s unlikely you’ll want to try anything too acrobatic while pregnant. Sex positions which involve your partner bearing your weight might be tricky, and positions which give you a deeper penetration, such as the mermaid, may be uncomfortable while you’re up the duff.

Your boobs can leak

For real; your boobs can leak. If you’re having sex near your due date and your boobs have already started producing milk, something like an orgasm can trigger a minor leakage.

You’ll think the baby can feel it

He can’t, of course, but you’ll feel like he can, and this will be a bit strange the first few times.

Some people have sex during labour (AKA orgasmic birthing)

While doctors will advise you not to have sex after your waters have broken, for fear of infection, some women engage in nipple or clitoral massage while in labour because the love hormone oxytocin can have a pain-relieving effect which is obviously much appreciated during birthing.

Lisa Williams is the editor of parenting website TantrumXYZ, follow their postnatal sex campaign under the hashtag #BackInTheSack 

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