Couple/Sexuality

Sex during pregnancy

Unless of medical problems, pregnant women’s sexuality is an extension of what they were doing before pregnancy", says Julie Pelletier. But this doesn’t mean that there are no changes. First of all, some couples reduce the frequency of their sexual relations during the first weeks following a positive test for fear of causing a miscarriage. "Theoretically, the risks are minimal, but it could still be seen as an obstacle", says the specialist.

If some couples were having problems in bed before the pregnancy, this new period could further widen the gap. Beware! It will take some effort to ensure that the flame does not go out. Still, pregnancy is a time when the desire follows the woman’s hormonal fluctuations. Just stay in tune with yourself and your partner, and above all, talk about it so that everything goes well. The changes should not scare you. Your sexuality may not even change during those nine months during which your body is “creating” your baby. There might be low periods where affection takes more space than intercourse. Feel free to talk to your spouse to ensure a smooth transition. And see your pregnancy as an opportunity to explore another facet of sexuality.

1st trimester: My body? Really?

You have to learn to accept the temporary “loss” of your body, and deal with overwhelming fatigue and nausea. Don’t expect too much during this first trimester. Usually, you’ll see a small decrease in our sex drive", says Julie Pelletier. Of course, there are exceptions ...

2nd trimester: the return of balance

"Pregnancy is deep-rooted, you’re more confident and above all, it shows that you’re pregnant. You feel beautiful and since your belly is not too big, you can use this time to reconnect with your ​​sensuality. Indeed, during pregnancy, women are very close to their senses and if their partner pays attention, well, they’ll just enjoy it even more", says the sexologist.

3rd trimester: Ups and downs

The belly becomes bigger and sometimes even cumbersome. Some movements are not as easy as they used to be, which means that the couple might need to change their sexual positions and make trials… and errors! Don’t be shy to stop your lovemaking session to find a more comfortable position. Also, some people - both the man and woman – feel like there is someone between the two of them during sex, which creates a mental block. “Sometimes, switching to a position where the belly is not as visible can solve the problem", advises Julie Pelletier.

Doggie style, from behind. You crouch on all fours and can even use a pillow to support your belly. This position promotes a deeper penetration.

Sideways. This position has you and your partner lying on your sides facing one another. It keeps weight off of your abdomen while supporting your uterus at the same time.

And after? - Staying connected ... again and forever!

The idea is to maintain the connection between both partners, and not feel guilty either! Respect each other’s pace and listen to each other”, recommends Julie Pelletier. From the adaptation to your new life, the hours of nursing or bottle feeding, the accumulation of fatigue, your other children’s adaptation to the new baby and the changes - again! – in your body, sex may not be your top priority. And this doesn’t mean that you no longer love your spouse! “Take the time to listen to one another and focus on the present moment. Yesterday, you felt good, and tomorrow, who knows? Focus on the ‘here and now’. Also, it's very easy to put the neighbour on a pedestal  according to what she tells you about her sexuality, but who knows what’s really going on in her bed?, notes Pelletier.

So it is important not to force yourself to do something if your heart is not into it. However, maintaining the connection with your partner does not just mean making love. “Hugging, giving a massage or simply holding each other, naked in bed, are easy ways to help you maintain the connection. Sometimes, a simple small gesture will do the trick too. When you’re pregnant or a new mother, you are hypersensitive. Personally, I will always remember the time when my boyfriend came home from work with a bag of M & Ms, my ultimate indulgence! So even if it wasn’t much, it meant a lot to me. He had taken the time to do something special for me”, remembers Julie Pelletier.

No more pressure

Many books on pregnancy and motherhood say that after a few weeks, women can reclaim their sexuality as before. "We often read that 6 weeks after giving birth, everything should be back to normal. We all agree that there’s a huge gap between theory and practice! It puts way too much pressure on women! Becoming a parent is full of turmoil. And in the weeks following childbirth, women are in a process of reclaiming their bodies ", says Julie Pelletier. You must learn to feel beautiful and accept your transformed body... the body that just gave life.

Your spouse tells you you’re beautiful and you don’t believe him? “Accept the compliment and run with it. It’s precious!, adds Pelletier.

Give yourself some time…

To get back to your own pace and full desire, give yourself as much time "after" giving birth as the duration of your pregnancy. If after nine months, if you find that things are not back to normal or that the problem persists, it could be good to see a specialist. But meanwhile, just go with the flow, adjust according to your mood, maintain the connection with your spouse and spend time together”, suggests Julie Pelletier.


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