You’ve seen those miraculous lines appear on your pregnancy test and you’re overjoyed. But what now? How much do you need to change your typical lifestyle when it comes to nutrition, exercise or even, gulp, sex during pregnancy?
The truth is that the female body is extremely resilient and perfectly designed to carry a child — so you don’t need to treat yourself like a precious princess, unless you have particular health concerns.
It’s what got you here in the first place, but women have varying attitudes to intimacy during pregnancy. For the first 12 weeks, many moms-to-be struggle with nausea from morning sickness, extreme fatigue and feeling like their bodies are expanding way beyond what they are used to!
Never mind the raging hormones that make their emotions go up and down. This can leave them not feeling very attractive, and certainly not in the mood for intimacy.
On the other side of the coin, sometimes it’s your partner who doesn’t think sex is a good idea, for a whole host of reasons. With all these variables, sex during pregnancy can be difficult to navigate, especially if you don’t know the facts.
Read more: How to have better sex today
Sex during pregnancy — do’s and don’t’s
- Think of intimacy as being only about intercourse and orgasms. Kissing, stroking, massaging each other or simply lying naked together can be effective ways to be intimate too.
- Get upset if you or your partner simply aren’t interested. Changing bodies, volatile emotions and a huge shift in your life stage all add up to feelings of being unsettled. As a pregnant woman, your focus does shift to your unborn child and your partner needs to understand that.
- Worry about hurting the baby. Your unborn child is perfectly cushioned and protected and sexual intercourse will not harm them in any way.
- Take those screens to bed. Ditching the phones, iPads or laptops and making your bedroom a screen-free zone is one sure way to encourage more communication and intimacy.
- Forget the lubricant. Pregnancy can cause vaginal dryness so make sure you have the right lubricant at the ready, should the moment present itself.
Read more: Natural ways to boost your libido
- Make time for each other. Whether this is a date night once a week, or a weekend away where there is no talk of baby names or what kind of pram to buy — take the time to connect as partners, and not only as would-be parents.
- Choose sexual positions that are more comfortable for you, especially as you head into the third trimester and are carrying more weight.
- Embrace all the changes! Celebrate those curvy hips or fuller breasts and enjoy them together while you can.
- Feelings can get hurt if either party isn’t in the mood but explaining why (“I feel unattractive”) is essential if you want to keep connected throughout this pregnancy.
- Enjoy not having to worry about contraception! You’re pregnant already so relish not having this extra chore to worry about.
Read more: The relationship secret you need to know
Now is also the time to make sure you have the right medical aid for your needs as a growing family. Fedhealth’s Maxima basis plan offers great maternity benefits. This option is perfect for couples thinking about starting a family and offers a generous scheme-funded maternity benefit (rather than coming from the member’s savings account). On this point, it is so important to join a medical aid before falling pregnant.