It’s a bit of a cruel joke, isn’t it? That during the time of your life when you’re flooded with horny hormones, your body is also burdened with the wonder of bringing a small human into the world.
Aside from feeling pretty far from sexy, many women can experience anxiety around whether it’s safe to poke and prod in the area that’s responsible from delivering said small human.
Contrary to popular belief, pregnancy sex doesn’t involve stabbing your unborn child, and it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable either. Here’s a list of all the sexy safe things you absolutely can do during your pregnancy, thanks to the team at Love Honey…
DO… Have sex
There are so many reasons why gettin’ down during your pregnancy is a good, nay great idea. Aside from strengthening the pelvic floor muscles that’ll keep you from leaking and help you recover faster post-labour, regular sex serves the dual purpose of keeping your blood pressure low while maintaining the warm and fuzzy intimate feels with your partner so many women worry about throughout their pregnancy.
Fun fact: a bit of rocking back and forth also helps lull your unborn baby back to sleep, which is equal parts fascinating and kind of weird.
DO... Get comfortable and make adjustments when necessary
Unless otherwise advised by your obstetrician/gynaecologist, there's no physical reason why you shouldn't continue, or even experiment with your normal day-to-day sexual activity. That said, it's important to remember that your body is currently doing some amazing work bringing a human into the world, and therefore might be feeling a little (or A LOT) unlike its normal self.
Things up top and down below could feel sore or sensitive, or nothing at all. Emotionally, your self-perception and feeling of attractiveness, as well as hormonal changes and anxieties surrounding your pregnancy can all affect your sex life. That's why making a few modifications can go a long way in keep sex pleasurable for both you and your partner.
Positions wise, missionary during your second and third trimesters isn't advisable due to the increased pressure it puts on your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to the baby, but don't worry because there are a number of positions that are achievable and comfortable. You on top allows you to have complete control over the speed and depth, while doggy keeps the pressure off your pelvis. This is also a great excuse to invest in some gymnastic-like equipment like wedges or frames to help keep you comfortable.
Any positions that might cause air to get trapped in the vaginal canal (think legs in the air) are also not recommended.
DO... Lube up, but read the back of the bottle
Lube is always great, but some brands may contain ingredients or chemicals that could affect your baby's development.
Parabens and phthalates have been linked to foetal development issues, including abnormal sexual development, inhibited production of testosterone later in life, hypospadias (urinary opening located on the underside of the penis) and likelihood of delivering preterm.
That said, there are plenty of foetus-friendly silicon and water-based products on the market to choose from - your safest bet is to select products with as few additives as possible.
DO... Use toys, if you want to
For the same reasons listed above, it's best to avoid any porous sex toys containing phthalates as you will be far more susceptible to infections during your pregnancy. So which toys are porous? Anything in plastic, jelly, rubber or real-feel/cyberskin.
Toys made from glass, metal and high grade silicone are your safest options can be sterilised completely by boiling on the stove or, if you're game, running through the dishwasher. And unfortunately, you should probably steer clear from anything that vibrates.
Like with any penetrative movements, take the same precautions you would during sex in terms of positions, comfort and listening to your body for any signs of pain when using sex toys. Avoid deeper penetration where possible, focusing on external stimulation if need be.
DO... Try anal, but know the risks
As with most sexual activities, the usual risks of anal sex are amplified during pregnancy. Some of these include increasing the blood volume in your body (means more chance of blood loss if an injury occurs), haemorrhoids which are exceedingly common during pregnancy, and a higher risk of developing infections.
If you're going through a high-risk pregnancy, backdoor play is a hard no as it can damaging to the cervix through the recto-vaginal septum. However if your pregnancy is low risk, vaginal sex can often feel uncomfortable due to feeling tight or full, so anal sex can be a good alternative. BUT it's got to be clean, gentle and lubed up using a safe lubricant.
DO... Continue with BDSM, but proceed with caution
If you partake in BDSM either in the bedroom or as a lifestyle choice, there are a few safety considerations you may want to revise for the duration of your pregnancy. The main thing to remember is that your body is under a lot of additional stress during pregnancy, meaning it's important to really listen to your body and communicate your physical and emotional limits clearly with your partner.
Anything that hinders your breathing or blood circulation (be careful with bondage and ties) or puts strain on your body is strictly off limits. Go with gentler options in favour of anything too hardcore.
You can explore a bunch of sex toy options from LoveHoney here.
If you're unsure of how sexual activity might impact your pregnancy, always seek advice from a medical professional.