Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: How to Feel Intimate with Your Growing Belly

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Expecting mom and partner happy and snuggling in bedSex – it’s what created your oversized stomach and those painful, middle-of-the-night, charley horse cramps. If you spent a few months or more trying to conceive, it’s likely your sex life was as exciting as the premiere of Breaking Dawn prior to pregnancy, only to be followed by a first trimester lull, thanks to nausea and fatigue.

By the time you hit the second trimester, something other than just your hips shift. Hormones kick into high gear, nausea subsides, and your libido matches that of a teenage boy’s. In fact, many women have a super-charged libido during pregnancy, says Dr. Jennifer Landa, MD and Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD in Orlando, thanks to an increase in hormones, such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

There’s just one problem that might get in the way: that big, old baby bump in the middle of your body.

While sex is typically considered safe during pregnancy – as long as the pregnancy is a healthy one – some moms feel self-conscious with the physical changes taking place. Wobbling when walking is only considered attractive to penguins; and the term “linea nigra” might sound like an exotic drink you’d sip on the beaches of the Caribbean, but the actual black hairs running from your belly button to your nether regions are anything but.

While your first instinct may be to cover it all up and feign nightly headaches for the next four months (much to the dismay of your husband), Jennifer Landa, M.D. and author of The Sex Drive Solution for Women: Dr. Jen’s Power Plan to Fire Up Your Libido, says it’s important to continue intimacy during pregnancy. “You want to remain close to your partner, and even strengthen the bond with your partner during this time,” she says – because those first few months of having a newborn around can put a stop to intimacy.

Take heed, pregnant ladies – you can feel sexy, even if you can’t see your feet. Here’s how:

  • Exercise – Exercise gets blood flowing, relieves stress, and increases testosterone levels, which has been linked to an increase in self-confidence. As long as your doctor approves, you can continue to exercise throughout pregnancy; and you don’t need to run a marathon to see these wonderful effects. Make it a point to walk, dance, or do something else that gets you moving at least several times each week.
  • Experiment – Landa says that with your expanding body you may find the sex positions you once enjoyed don’t work as well anymore. “Have fun finding new ones,” she says, like lying on your left side spoon-style or taking the lead on top.
  • Dress Up – Check out lingerie that hides what you want to hide and accentuates the features that seemed to grow four cup sizes overnight. “Women forget to concentrate on our boobs getting bigger,” says Landa, because we spend so much time fretting about our expanding hips and butt. Put on something silky and pretty; you’ll feel good, and your spouse will love you for it.
  • Pamper Yourself – Feeling sexy goes beyond the physical and includes doing things that make you feel good mentally as well. Pamper yourself by taking a lukewarm bath, getting a monthly massage or pedicure, finding a great salon for a sleek cut, or simply hanging out with good friends and laughing about the absurdities of life. When you don’t take time for yourself, says Landa, you don’t feel like giving something to another person.
  • Consider using lubricant – Sometimes shifting hormones cause dryness and pain with sex, says Landa. While this is not unusual, it can be uncomfortable and unexpected. If you’re avoiding your husband due to dryness and pain, use a water-based lubricant.

What do you think? Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: How to Feel Intimate with Your Growing Belly

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16 comments

  1. Avatar of Amanda Amanda says:

    This is my fourth go round and yet the first time that I dont want it. Im not dry its just uncomfortable and almost painful up inside near my cervix. Almost feels like my baby is fighting back. I have been told by my doc that all is fine but no other explanation for the pressure. I’ve had 3 C-sections so I’m not sure what’s going on! Please help!

  2. Avatar of Tiffany Tiffany says:

    Well, I am 35 weeks, and it seems like I don’t really want to even be touched, kissed, hugged, anything and I feel bad because my man always wants to “love on me” and its like when he kisses me or anything I get bothered, so sex is out of the question. Is it because I do feel unattractive now? Or is it because I am getting to the point where I am so far along, because I do love him with all my heart and I just really need some advice if at all possible.

  3. Avatar of Amber Amber says:

    With my other 2 pregnancies I wanted sex the entire time and all the time even when I was nauseous. Well this time around I have only felt as if I needed to twice and I am 6 months. However I know my husband still has his sexual desires so I do not say no except for the one time I was in a lot of pain just by moving. I have not been able to achieve an orgasm since I was 2 months which is very frustrating. So I am beyond ready to get back to normal.

  4. Avatar of Maytte Maytte says:

    Something that worked for us was moving the bed and the furniture in a way that it would be comfortable for me and I would have a place to rest my legs and move around easily. Of course he has to do most of the work and bending to accommodate the belly but if he really wants it then its worth the work. Plus we turn of the lights so I can hide my stretch marks

  5. Avatar of Crystal says:

    Sex feels so uncomfortable for me and it seems like he doesn’t help me feel any better about myself. He only thinks about himself. :/

  6. Avatar of gfeld gfeld says:

    Having sex, my husband told me that it is really healthy for mother and baby during pregnancy. In the first trimester it is close to impossible with the nausea level. The second and third trimester, try to stop me……

  7. Avatar of Kellie Kellie says:

    I do still have sex with my fiance being pregnant not quite often, but i cant help the fact of how tired i am most of the time and whatnot i just cant stay awake and whatnot and certain positions just dont go well for me…they tend to be a lil painful and we have to switch and at times completely kills my mood so i say screw it

  8. Avatar of Marina Marina says:

    Being nauseous for 32 wks. 24/7 and then having pelvic instability and back pain for rest of pregnancy really does not put you into the "mood".

  9. I’m in my 2nd trimester and find that my libido has practically vanished and I’m more irritable than normal. Needless to say this has not had a positive impact on our relationship. Any tips?

  10. Avatar of MamaCat MamaCat says:

    I would love to do it more but I’ve been so exhausted and had really bad hip pain so that has stopped us more often than not. We have to be creative to find something comfortable and luckily my hubby is very understanding.

  11. Me & my partner still have great sex . Just not so often or for too long . But , everytime we do, we enjoy it just like if i were never preganant . us women always feel self-conscious while pregnant , but we shouldn’t

  12. Why not just make sex into an all foreplay night? finnish like you start and It’s an interesting way to get you and your partner back into that happy place!

  13. I have found sex painful and frustrating, I have tried all different suggestions from lube to extended foreplay. I feel especially bad for my husband. I wish I could get as close to him as I used to be.

  14. Avatar of Julie Julie says:

    We’ve tried different ways, but I still don’t feel as close to my husband after sex as I used to.

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