How to Stay Intimate During Pregnancy
When you’re thinking about doctor’s appointments, maternity clothes and breastfeeding decisions, intimacy may not be the first thing on your mind when you become pregnant.
But intimacy is an important part of your relationship during your pregnancy, helping you to feel close to your partner. While it may not be the same intimacy you were used to before you became pregnant, you can maintain an intimate relationship in a variety of ways.
5 Steps to Stay Intimate During Pregnancy
1. Talk to your doctor about sex during pregnancy.
While it’s usually fine and will not harm your baby, there are instances and conditions which require pelvic rest — a lack of sexual intercourse — during pregnancy.
If you have a risk for preterm labor, have a history of miscarriage, vaginal bleeding or amniotic fluid leakage, your doctor may advise you to abstain from intercourse, warns the University of Maryland Medical Center.
2. Expect fluctuations in your libido throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy.
During the first trimester, you may feel tired and nauseous, which could affect your sex life. The second trimester usually returns your energy levels to normal and you may even find yourself with increased desire. The third trimester may become more difficult as your growing and changing body affects the way you feel about sex. All phases are completely normal.
3. Communicate your feelings and your desires to your partner so you’re both on the same page when it comes to intimacy.
Your partner could feel rejected if he doesn’t understand that your energy level is too low to be intimate. Alternatively, your partner may have different feelings toward your changing body as well, notes KidsHealth.org. Talk about those changes and discuss ways to stay intimate throughout your pregnancy.
4. Try different positions when engaging in sexual relations during pregnancy.
A traditional missionary position may be uncomfortable — and the March of Dimes recommends discontinuing missionary position after the fourth month of pregnancy — so woman on top or side-by-side may be more comfortable for both partners. You may also try oral sex as a method of intimacy, but air should never be blown into the vagina — it could cause an embolism, which is rare but dangerous for you and your baby.
5. Find ways other than sex to be intimate with your partner while pregnant.
While you may not have the energy level or desire for intercourse, holding hands, giving each other massages and cuddling while watching a movie can give you physical contact and intimacy without intercourse. These can be especially helpful if your OB/GYN has advised you not to have intercourse.
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