Print Frances Janisch When I was pregnant with our son, my husband, Rob, got an earful of progressively creative "sorry honey, not tonight" excuses. My linea negra is showing. I have areolae the size of saucers. Rumor has it that some women experience "the best sex ever" during pregnancy, thanks to surging hormones and increased blood flow down below. Sure, there were times over the nine months when I enjoyed a bedroom romp. But typically, doing it was just another item not crossed off my to-do list.
Mine is certainly not an unusual case. In a recent study of pregnant women published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, the researchers found that sexual satisfaction declined as the women's pregnancies progressed.
But it's worth overcoming the common hurdles, like exhaustion, awkwardness, and anxiety. The Common Excuses "I'm too tired. After all, who has the desire to make bedroom eyes when you can barely keep them open? Late hours at work before maternity leave , sleepless nights, frenetic nesting, and carting around 30 or so extra pounds can also take their toll. Do your best to slow down and get the recommended eight hours of sleep.
If you still don't have the energy for intercourse, use this time as an opportunity to explore other activities that give you pleasure, whether that's massaging, kissing, or oral sex, says Dr. Try to focus on your best assets. If you've got great legs, show them off with skinny jeans and hide your bigger behind with a tunic. Or focus on your hair, it's most likely never looked better.
Of course, taking care of you on the inside, through exercise and nutrition, also boosts self-esteem. And why not try a positive attitude on for size? But doctors agree that getting frisky is perfectly safe. The most common complications that can preclude sexual activity are placenta previa a condition in which the placenta covers the cervix , premature rupture of the membranes, and signs of preterm labor.
Otherwise, couples are typically given the green light for the entire pregnancy. That includes the first trimester, when fear of losing the baby causes some couples to fret needlessly about their bedroom behavior. Second-timers, like Kindra Kirkeby of Richmond, Virginia, have an intuitive grasp of this, making their sex life less inhibited. During this stage, Dr. Fulbright recommends the side-by-side position or woman on top, which places no pressure on the abdomen.
I, for one, plan to strike a few new poses and otherwise shake things up a bit more in the bedroom if I get pregnant again. Rob, consider this fair warning. Some of your pre-pregnancy favorites may come in maternity cuts.
Jennifer Loomis, a family and maternity photographer whose work is showcased in Portraits of Pregnancy: Birth of a Mother, recommends scheduling the session six to ten weeks before your due date , when your belly is clearly visible but you're not too close to delivery.