sex during pregnancy: intimacy with a bump

If you’ve moved from trying for a baby to actually expecting one, chances are you’re familiar with the sideways tango. As your new little bundle grows though, you may find that your love life changes. From shifts in your libido to awkward belly-bumping, sex during pregnancy can be different to what you’re used to.

That’s not to say that you can’t still enjoy being intimate while you’re expecting though. You just have to find a way that works for you. That could be spooning and a romcom or sex toys and a new position. No matter whether you’re a mum-in-the-making or a dad-in-the-waiting, hopefully this blog will give you some reassurances about sex during pregnancy, a bit of inspiration for keeping close as a couple and advice on position perfection.

So without further ado, here’s probably the most important question when it comes to intimacy with a bump…

is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

Quite simply, yes! It is perfectly safe to have sex during pregnancy, as long as your doctor or midwife hasn’t said otherwise. There’s also no risk that it will hurt your baby as a man’s penis can’t penetrate beyond a woman’s vagina.

What’s more, you needn’t worry that your baby will ‘know’ what’s going on. Hearing sounds from outside the womb and feeling you move are everyday occurrences for your little one so they won’t know any different when you have sex. They may move around themselves but that’s simply in response to your movement and increased heart rate.

Expectant mum stroking her bump

can sex bring on labour?

It wouldn’t be ridiculous to believe that having sex can bring on labour. After all, having an orgasm can stimulate your uterus and cause the release of oxytocin, a hormone which causes contractions. But while it’s biologically plausible, science has yet to prove that sex during pregnancy can bring on an early labour.

What it might do later in pregnancy though is trigger practice contractions. Known as Braxton Hicks, they can be uncomfortable but are perfectly normal and pose no risk to your baby. Try lying down and focussing on your breathing (the perfect opportunity to practice before birth!) until they pass. You can tell these “false” contractions from the real thing as they’re usually irregular, last less than a minute and don’t increase in intensity over time.

what is the best pregnancy sex position?

If you find that things in the bedroom are becoming more Position: Impossible than Fifty Shades of Great, you may need to change things up a bit. Though your growing bump may mean your usual positions aren’t comfortable, or even possible, there are still plenty of ways for you and your partner to enjoy sex when you're expecting. Just have fun experimenting together to find out what works for you both.

For many mums-to-be, being on top is the best position. It’s accommodating for their bump and gives more control over the depth of penetration. If you’re more comfortable lying down, why not ask your partner to be big spoon? Penetration tends to be shallower in this position so even those feeling a little tender can still enjoy being intimate.

Expectant mum lying on her side in bed

will my sex drive change?

It’s not news to anyone that children bring about change, and that starts even before they’re born! For expectant mums, an achy body, nausea and mood swings can mean that sex during pregnancy is the last thing on their mind. Expectant dads can lose interest in sex too, especially if they’re worried about hurting the baby or mum.

These changes in libido are experienced by many couples and shouldn’t stop you being intimate. Make sure you talk to your partner about how you’re feeling; you might find they’re not in the mood either. Instead, why not unwind with a relaxing massage or share a bubble bath together. Though sex during pregnancy can be amazing for some couples, others may prefer to keep the romance alive without getting steamy in the bedroom. And that’s just fine.

when should we avoid sex during pregnancy?

While your bedroom antics are normally only limited by your libido, there are times when you’ll be advised to avoid sex during pregnancy. If you have a low-lying placenta or have had any heavy bleeding, sex can increase the chances of further bleeds. And having sex once your waters have broken can increase the risk of infection. If you have any concerns about being intimate, or your pregnancy in general, it’s always best to talk to your doctor.

So there you have it, the answers to some of your burning bedroom questions. Possibly the most important thing to remember about sex during pregnancy is to do what feels right for you. If the mood doesn’t take you behind closed doors, find other ways to be intimate. But if you’ve got urges, follow them and know that your bump is safe. After all, with years of parenthood ahead of you, why not make the most of what little one-on-one time you have left!


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