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Pregnancy Sex: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Just because you’re growing a human, doesn't mean you don’t have needs.

One of my main concerns about being pregnant was that I wouldn’t want to have sex, that my partner wouldn’t find me attractive anymore, and that I wouldn’t feel attractive in myself. I was worried that, after birth, things would be different, and of course they will be! I will have a baby and a new body both inside and out… things may not quite be where they were before. I am still pretty terrified of how to cope with these changes, but I am very lucky to have a wonderfully loving and supportive partner who has been nothing less than a dream throughout my pregnancy.

I still want him to find me desirable, I want to be the sex goddess he fell for, that drove him wild for the honey moon period and that learnt every inch of his body and everything he liked… will we be able to rekindle that fire? Or will we find a different groove? Who knows?

You hear the horror stories of couples that say their sex life died after having children, but on the other hand there are stories of those that fell MORE in love, that found each other MORE attractive.

This has definitely been true for me. My first trimester was hell. My baby boy definitely showed up a little earlier then we had imagined, and we weren’t truly prepared for that positive test. I struggled, I cried, I was emotional, I wasn’t sure if I was ready or if I ever would be ready. I felt like a bad mother because I didn’t feel elated and excited. I was throwing up from my 6th week, I was exhausted, we were in a rush to move house, my other half was on and off tour and I just felt lost and alone, but as I eased into my pregnancy (I’ve had a pretty crap one the whole way through in regards to sickness, but I definitely mellowed out come my second trimester) my emotions stabilised and the more I looked at my partner, my love, the human that helped me create another human, the more I fell in love with him, the more desirable he became to me.

He definitely became more protective, loving, attentive and "touchy feely." We have always been that slightly gross PDA couple and I do not apologise that it has gotten worse through my pregnancy.

Sex During the First Trimester

In regards to sex, everything changed. From the moment we took the test my partner became very aware that his child was growing inside me, even in the early stages there is always the "can the baby feel, does the baby know?" question, let’s clear that one up. During the first trimester, especially early on, the baby is not a baby, the baby is a collection of cells. It has no nerves, feelings, emotions, body parts… at this point, this small cluster of cells is not aware of anything at all. You also probably won’t be showing, aside from maybe feeling sick and tired, you will look almost the same. My body didn’t change at all for my entire first trimester. We continued to have sex as we usually would, after a little reassurance from me that "baby" is not actually "baby" yet. I had an increased sex drive from day one of my pregnancy and with my other half being constantly away on tour, it meant a little porn and my hand, became my very close friends.

Sex didn’t feel different, if anything it felt better, more blood rushes to that area due to the increased blood volume in your body during pregnancy, which makes it feel pretty good down there, I did find it frustratingly hard to orgasm though.

Aside from the fact I spent most of my first trimester crying, puking and sleeping, sex was no issue at all for me. If you have a high risk pregnancy, however, you may be told to make changes to your sex life by your midwife or doctor.

Sex During the Second Trimester

Most "first time mums" will start to notice real body changes at some point in the second trimester. I started "showing" at around the five-month mark, but only to the point where I looked like I’d eaten a big meal. My sex drive remained high and our sex life stayed pretty much exactly the same. I started to get slight cramps after sex but nothing too painful, this is completely normal. When you orgasm, your uterus contracts, so it’s normal for a little mild cramping whilst baby is growing inside.

You may notice, as your belly grows a little bigger, certain positions become uncomfortable, or you don’t feel sexy. Missionary may feel uncomfortable if your partner puts weight on your belly. As your baby grows, laying on your back is also not a good option as the baby in your uterus can weigh down on major blood vessels. Spoons is always a great option, cow girl if you feel energetic and are not entirely insecure about watching your larger than usual belly bounce around, i gave that one a miss quite early because my self loathing levels during my pregnancy have been quite high. Side note: There is NOTHING wrong with your belly. At all. But it is completely normal to feel a little image insecure and not yourself when you’re pregnant, just remember this is temporary and you are growing another human being.

Sex During the Third Trimester

OK, bare with me, I am still in my third trimester and we stopped having sex toward the end of my second trimester, for a number of reasons: I didn’t feel particularly sexual and neither did he, this was largely down to the fact that whenever my partner and I began to kiss, baby would start kicking aggressively and both he and I could feel it… talk about an unwelcome distraction.

I have spoken to many couples that also didn’t have sex toward the end of pregnancy, it is completely normal. It is also normal for your partner to maybe feel a little protective over you and less sexual, don’t worry, it’ll come back. It doesn’t mean they love you any less or don’t want to be with you, it is hard for some men to think of their partner in a sexual light whilst they are carrying their child. I get it, I don’t think of myself in a sexual light right now. At all.

On the other hand, my levels of horny are still quite increased, so I would suggest investing in a vibrator just encase you need a little release. Remember that sex doesn’t always have to be penetration either, there are a lot of other ways of fulfilling each others needs, and sometimes just the intimacy of taking a bath together or cuddling and kissing in bed is the level of intimacy you need at this stage in your pregnancy.

Tip: Many people say sex induces labour, so if it does come to the time where you just want baby to arrive already! Try doing the deed. See if it spurs on those contractions.

There are many benefits to keeping your sex life alive whilst pregnant, sex releases hormones that can improve your mood, it can help you sleep better, ease those pregnancy aches and pains and even help tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Do what feels right for you and your partner and don’t feel pressure to keep your normal pattern of intimacy whilst you are pregnant.

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