Pregnancy brings with it a whirlwind of thoughts, emotions, and new experiences. One topic about pregnancy that is interesting to consider is sex. First-time moms may not know what to expect, but luckily there is advice and knowledge out there! Here are four things to keep in mind when it comes to sex during pregnancy:
CommunicationFirst and foremost, it is so incredibly important for mom and dad to have an open line of communication throughout the ENTIRE pregnancy! What felt good last week may not feel good this week. Are you feeling self-conscious? Emotional? Has your libido skyrocketed? Or slumped? Does your husband need to switch deodorant or something else
Safety FirstSex during pregnancy does not hurt the baby! Whether this is mom or dad’s fear, it’s a silly fear. Towards the end, however, when the belly is larger, it is probably a good idea to use positions where mom is not on the bottom--for her comfort, and to ensure that the belly isn’t being squished. Internally, there’s enough separation and cushioning surrounding the baby for any damage to be done. There are some medical conditions that may limit you, but your doctor will make you well aware if sexual intercourse should be avoided.
Mood KillersMany moms experience morning sickness for a period of time while pregnant. This sickness makes it extremely difficult to stomach the idea of having sex. Feeling self-conscious is another factor that has the potential to dampen the mood. It’s weird and almost mysterious what’s going on in a woman’s body--no matter how miraculous! So it sometimes may take mom or dad a little bit to get used to having sex with all of the changes happening. And of course, towards the end, when mom is feeling large and whale-like, she might not be feeling up for intercourse because of the way she looks or due to her limited mobility and lack of comfort. Another mood killer, and perhaps the most common one... exhaustion. So much exhaustion.
While nobody has flat-out said that sexual intercourse induces labor, there are four benefits to having sex near the end of pregnancy that have the potential to help the ball get rolling!
First is orgasm. The act of orgasm may help to stimulate the uterus and start, or increase, contractions.
Second is prostaglandin, which is present in semen. This has the potential to soften and ripen the cervix, which is very helpful towards labor progression!
Third is the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone”. It is an important part of the birthing and breastfeeding stages because of its bonding abilities, but it is also present during sex. So when it is released during sex towards the end of pregnancy, it could stimulate and be a gateway into labor.
Fourth is nipple stimulation. Many women do this to themselves to help prompt contractions, but why not let dad help out as well!