Photo by Fiona Anderson
For most first-trimester mamas the idea of having sex during pregnancy is not only completely unappealing but also slightly daunting. Even if you can get past the fact that you feel like crap, have zero energy, and can hardly keep your breakfast down, you still might be worrying about the safety and, well, logistics of having sex with a bun in the oven. There are many myths and misconceptions about intimacy during pregnancy so we’re here to dish out a little truth while giving you the confidence and knowledge you need to keep the flames burning while your little one cooks.
Myth: The baby will see or feel your husband’s penis. (Yes, this is a real myth. And it’s just downright silly.)
Truth: There is a thick and protective mucus plug that seals the cervix and protects your baby so no matter how manly your man is, he won’t be getting past that closed door.
Myth: Sex could hurt the baby.
Truth: On the contrary, the rhythmic movements of sex can often rock your little one to sleep. Your mucus plug and a tightly closed cervix both protect baby from infection, along with a supportive amniotic sac and strong uterine muscles.
Myth: Sex could send the mother into premature labor
Truth: With a normal healthy pregnancy, there is no medical evidence that having sex will cause premature labor. Certain aspects can help kick start things once a mother is full-term but we will go into that later!
Myth: Sex could hurt the mother.
Truth: There will probably be positions that are less comfortable for mom, especially during the later months of pregnancy. But as long as you are open to new positions and avoid being on your back for a long period of time (bye, bye missionary) while in your third trimester, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a good romp in the hay with your mate.
So now that we’ve busted many of the myths surrounding sex and pregnancy let’s talk about a few reasons you SHOULD be getting busy with your bump-in-tow using a little Sesame Street spelling lesson.
S is for semen, which contains natural prostaglandins to help soften and ripen the cervix – perfect when you’re at the end of your pregnancy! It also contains seminalplasmin- an antibiotic that can destroy certain bacteria, which may help control the abundance of vaginal infections. Certain researchers have even discovered the potency of this natural antibiotic is comparable to penicillin.
N is for nipple stimulation, which is one of the most effective ways to naturally induce labor in full-term mothers and has been known to help stimulate contractions when already in labor.
O is for orgasms, which release oxytocin (pain relief) and endorphins (happiness hormone), both of which can aid in a fuller and more relaxed sleep. Something every pregnant woman can benefit from. Oxytocin can also help stimulate contractions in full term mothers, so there is a reason your OB might tell you to get busy if you go past your ‘due date’.
In other words, let it S.N.O. ladies! Don’t be afraid of sex while you’re pregnant. Many pregnant women feel a surge of energy and boost in libido during the second trimester so when you can’t fight the urge to pounce on your hunk of a man, go for it! Just remember to listen to your body. If something is uncomfortable or painful, stop. Try new positions, communicate with your partner, and enjoy what may end up being a more pleasurable experience than you ever expected.
These facts are based on normal, healthy pregnancies. If you are experiencing any of the following, abstain from sexual intercourse and contact your OB:
Your water has broken.
You are at a high risk of miscarriage.
You are experiencing any abnormal bleeding or cramping (pain).
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