“First off, sex during pregnancy is FINE!,” says Angela Jones, OBGYN and Astroglide’s Sexual Health Advisor. “As long as you haven’t been given the directive of ‘pelvic rest,’ all systems are go. In fact, pregnancy sex can be some of the best sex you’ve ever had, as everything is more engorged during pregnancy. That lends itself to better “natural” lubrication and heightened sensitivity of things vaginal and vulvar related.”
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That being said, you may need to make some tweaks here and there to accommodate any growing bodily changes throughout pregnancy. “Sex during pregnancy can be amazing, but be prepared to pivot and change up the position or routine as the mama’s belly and body changes during each trimester,” explains Heather Bartos MD, OBGYN, founder of the ME Spot Movement. “Partners should be accommodating and understanding that sometimes pregnancy causes some sudden pains or even sexual appetites!”
Whatever you’re doing, it’s probably good as long as it feels good for you. “Whatever is comfortable is ok,” adds Elizabeth West, MD, an OBGYN at MemorialCare in Long Beach CA. “Since everyone’s anatomy is different, the position that works for your friend might not work for you.”
Some general tips for pregnancy sex from our experts:
- Lube it up: “Use a water or silicone-based lube to reduce friction, irritation, unwanted sexual pain, and increase sexual comfort,” says Janet Brito, PhD, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and Supervisor at the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Use props: Try pillows to provide additional support,” says Brito. Toys can also be your pregnancy BFF.
- Skip the rough stuff: “I don’t recommend vigorous action which could irritate the placenta and cause bleeding,” adds Bartos.
- Most importantly, talk with your gyno if you’re on pelvic rest: “If your doctor has taken you off the sex bench that usually means orgasm/oral/anal sex, too. But always check if you’re needing some action in other ways,” Bartos explains.
- And… talk to your partner. “The most important thing is to sex-communicate about what you prefer, and to discuss these interests in advance,” Brito says.
If all things are a-go from your doctor and you’re ready to get bonin’, check out these positions on the best positions for pregnancy sex. If you’re looking for even more ways to make pregnancy sex so much better, we gotchu there too.
“During the first trimester, it’s normal to still be getting used to the concept of an actual human being growing inside of you. Don’t worry, you are not going to hurt the baby… For those that tend to be a bit conservative in their sexual escapades, missionary style is a safe position at this point in pregnancy,” said Jones.
Missionary While You Can
If you’re going with missionary, just notice how your body feels about it. “Some women feel more nauseous on their backs,” says Bartos.” And as some women get bigger, they feel too much pressure on their abdomen.”
The “Hold My Waist, Honey.”
Standing positions aren’t completely out during the first trimester, you just need to hold on. “Place your palms on a sturdy wall, hold a grounding stance, and then ask your partner to hold your waist, and enter you from behind. For clitoral stimulation, have your partner hold a vibrator and place it on your clit. To reduce falls, don’t stand on anything,” recommends Brito.
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“In the second trimester, the pregnancy will push you to be a bit more creative. It is not recommended to lie flat on your back beyond the 16th week of pregnancy due to the weight of the uterus on the vasculature or blood supply that supplies not only the uterus, but the rest of the body.” Not to worry! “This is where you can be a bit more creative….This includes sex from a side position, the woman on top or sex from behind,” says Jones.
Bartos polled 50 of her patients and the winner for “maximum aesthetics and functionality” was—ta-da!— doggie style. Why? Not only does it create the feeling of a natural waist again, it also takes pressure off the growing uterus, per Bartos. Plus, “some women felt the tilt of the uterus provided more pleasure,” Bartos reported.
This is like spooning, but the back spoon is a bit more horizontal, explains Bartos. “This has the benefit of aesthetics (for lack of a better word) AND functionality, as the partner can reach around and externally stimulate the partner (or she could self-stimulate),” Bartos adds.
Third Trimester (Almost There!)
“Any position that takes stress off your back—doggy style, sex from the side, sex with woman on top, facing your partner or reverse—are all great options for the third trimester. Keep in mind, sex is more than penetrative. Pay attention to massaging the vulva, perineum, etc… as all of these things are hot spots!” says Jones.
“During your third trimester, go outside of the box, and try Sensate Focus Touch (aka mindful touch) as you may find that penetration is uncomfortable,” recommends Brito. Sensate Focus is basically setting aside the time to touch each other—either sexually or not—and just really focus on the sensations. “Sensate Focus gives you the opportunity to explore each other’s bodies without the pressure to perform, but instead to be open and curious to learn about each other’s bodies and appreciate the changes,” Brito adds.
The Outer Limits
“If penetration is uncomfortable, I recommend outercourse, or non-penetrative sexual activities, like making out naked, kissing, and grinding or mutual masturbation or oral sex,” Brito suggests. Try covering yourselves with a sh*t-ton of lube and going in for some mutual masturbation.
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