Pregnant sex 101
Taking you through your body (and libido) changes. 
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Now that you have found out you are pregnant, there may be many other things on your mind that do not have anything to do with you and your partner’s intimacy. Sex is probably not on the agenda right now at all. And that’s alright, but remember that to have a fully-rounded happy relationship, intimacy is a big thing that you need to look after. Think of these nine months as practice for when your baby comes. If you are distracted enough to let your intimacy take a dive now, imagine once you are parents and the tiredness, lack of time and privacy kick in. Now is the time to learn to work around such obstacles. Have a look at this guide as it takes you through the trimesters and how they may be affecting your sex drive... and ideas to keep that spark alive.

FIRST TRIMESTER 

This may be the most difficult time for your sex drive. You may have morning sickness, fatigue and a lot of things on your mind since that pee stick turned up two lines. Getting through each day at this stage means all you want to do is drop into your bed and sleep. So it’s not surprising that your sex drive has probably taken a dive. However, your partner may be feeling similar. Not with the physical symptoms, but he may also have a lot on his mind, and questions about pregnancy and sex too.

It is important for the two of you to communicate openly at this stage. Talking openly about sex to your partner shouldn’t be embarrassing – after all it’s what got you pregnant in the first place! Let him know that your lack of desire right now has everything to do with the fact that you are not feeling at your best physically, and nothing to do with him. Explain to him that this stage will most likely not last your whole pregnancy either. He may also have questions about sex during pregnancy and whether it is safe – you need to reassure him that it is, and urge him to ask the doctor any questions you don’t know the answer to at your next appointment. Penetrative intercourse does not hurt your unborn baby. Your cervix is sealed with a thick mucous plug and the sac of waters (or amniotic uid), acts as a cushion to protect your baby.

Physically, your body is going through changes that can make certain areas more sensitive. Your breasts, especially in your first trimester, may feel especially sensitive. While this might make foreplay for you more enjoyable, some may find it slightly unbearable. Again, speak openly to your partner about this.

POSITIONS

Because you are not showing at the moment, you aren't limited to certain sexual positions. However, try stay away form anything that may find you losing your balance and falling. If you are tired and don't feel like doing much of the work, the standard missionary position will do wonders. 

SECOND TRIMESTER

Around the second trimester,your sexual desires may increase. The surge of hormones in your body may heighten your libido. Also, the morning sickness and other negative pregnancy symptoms may have faded by this point, leaving you feeling more energetic. There is an increase in blood flow to your pelvic area too – making your vaginal area more sensitive as well as moist... which can add more pleasure to sex. Not only your desire, but your ability to orgasm easily will increase as well.

It is at around 20 weeks that you may start feeling your baby move. What a lot of people don’t know is that the baby can move during sex and is often stimulated to move more after an adrenalin release from you having an orgasm.

Some women experience Braxton Hicks‘ tightenings’ or contractions during sex and orgasm. These are a normal part of the pregnancy after about 20 weeks and are not of any concern. They will generally subside after a few minutes to half an hour.

POSITIONS

If you have had an increase in libido, take advantage and have fun. Though once your bump begins to show, you may want to adjust positions to get more comfortable. That is what it is all about at this stage: feeling comfortable, so work at figuring out the best positions for both you and your partner at this stage, according to your growing bump. 

THIRD TRIMESTER

With your ever-growing bump, and probably feet, don’t be surprised if your sex drive starts to wane again during this final stretch. Being this pregnant often puts a strain on your body as a whole, especially your joints, muscles and even your balance. If there is one time in your pregnancy you really should take it easy, it’s now.

Caregivers used to advise against sex in case it triggered premature labour. However, it is now known that sex does not influence the likelihood of preterm birth and is therefore not discouraged unless there are pregnancy complications, such as the waters breaking prematurely or vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.

Talk to your partner about how you are feeling during this time and perhaps spend your intimate moments cuddling and talking to your baby, if you are not up for sex.

POSITIONS

Because of the size of your bump, you may find that some of your favourite positions are now out of play. Try being on top, or using the 'spooning' position to ensure there is no pressure on your tummy. 

Turn up the heat

Here are some simple steps to let your intimacy flow: 

  • Invest in sexy yet comfortable maternity underwear (yes, it does exist) and even a few slinky nightgowns. If oyu feel a little sexier, you may want sex a little more. 
  • Look after yourself. You may be putting on weight and waddling around, but a manicure, pedicure and wax go a long way in helping you feel better about yourself and upping that self-confidence. 
  • Make one night a week a special night. Light the candles, out on the music and get out the strawberries. It may sound cliché, but try it, it works!
  • After your first trimester, ask your partner to give you a backrub with some baby oil, or to massage your aching feet. Simple touch can lead to naughty thoughts. 

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