Whether your pre-pregnancy sex was all business (an effort to conceive) or you were completely distracted the entire time hoping you wouldn’t get pregnant, sex while you’re actually pregnant should be all about the pleasure and no pressure. However, it’s obvious your body is changing — in more ways than one — and in turn, your approach might need to as well.  Here’s everything women with a male partner should know about making pregnancy sex safer and more enjoyable — after all, that’s what it’s all about.

Feel free to have sex
It’s common for expectant mothers (and fathers) to be too afraid to have sex when pregnant — not to mention, the anxiety some people have that your unborn baby could be “watching” is enough to kill the mood. However, sex during pregnancy is not only normal, it’s totally safe. Your baby is secure within the uterine walls, behind the cervix and cocooned by amniotic fluid. Trust us, your baby is safe.

But…perhaps avoid if you’re on pelvic rest
If you’re at risk for a premature birth, your doctor may have suggested you go on “pelvic rest.” Not to be confused with “bed rest,” this just means you can’t put any strain specifically on the pelvic area as a precaution to prevent early labor. In this case, sex is completely off the table, including oral sex. Though there is no physical penetration in oral sex, ending with an orgasm may trigger uterine contractions.

Experiment with different positions
By your second trimester, your belly will become an obvious obstruction, but luckily there are positions that feel comfortable and don’t cause too much strain on your body. Side-lying positions (face-to-face, or partner behind you) keep the pressure off your back. The classic cowgirl (woman on top) position is a great option for you because you can control the depth of penetration and it doesn’t put any strain on your belly. However, it might be difficult to maneuver in the later months. Rear entry is also an option to consider. It doesn’t put uncomfortable pressure on your belly or back and you can even try it kneeling or standing up.

Don’t try the missionary position in your third trimester
While you’re encouraged to experiment and almost nothing is off limits with pregnancy sex, you might want to consider avoiding the missionary position during your third trimester. Not only will your belly get in the way here (that’s no fun!), but doctors don’t want you on your back for too long. When you’re on your back, the uterus can press on the vein that flows blood to the heart — this can cause an elevated blood pressure and decrease the amount of blood that flows to the baby.

It’s likely worth the extra effort
Scientifically speaking, orgasms release endorphins and the hormone oxytocin, which reduce stress and anxiety (and we know there’s a lot of that happening right now). Stress aside, sex can help strengthen the bonds with your partner before the baby is born. Besides, once the baby is born, sex will probably be the last thing on your mind. Have at it while you can.

 

Stephanie Montes is a Los-Angeles based fashion, beauty and wellness writer. Her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Brides, Well + Good, Hello Giggles, The Zoe Report and more. She loves traveling, trying new beauty products, photography, and cuddling her two dogs and husband. Follow her on Instagram at @stephanie_montes.