Ok girls.  Anyone want to talk about sex?  All I can do is talk from experience (and what I’ve heard of course – all the negative stuff is from other people) but it seems that it goes one way or another.  While pregnant, you either discover the stripper/bondage-loving sex-goddess that you’ve always wanted to be, or you have a perpetual headache.

Positions for Sex During Pregnancy?

Achy breasts that you don’t want to have jiggle, a lower back that is tender and a bump in the front that might not want to be suspended in mid air might make the woman-on-top position unappealing.  From what I’ve heard.. lying on one’s side while having intercourse allows you to lie on one side with your partner starting at your back (which may feel like your most attractive part during the third trimester).  Standing up can be great, as can straddling.

PrivacyI feel weird about the baby being ‘present’ during sex.

Many women and men feel strange about sex with an unborn baby ‘present’.  Many men worry about bumping the baby in the head, so to speak.  The penis may hit the cervix, which remains closed until the baby is ready to be delivered.  The baby is in the uterus, surrounded by an amniotic sac filled with fluid.  Worries of this sort are normal, but unnecessary.  See Sue Johansen explain this on Talk Sex.

Done? When do you stop having sex while pregnant?

If you have been placed on bedrest or pelvic rest, sex and other activity is a no-no (always discuss with your practitioner).  If you are having a “normal pregnancy” sex is safe during all stages, should you desire to have it.  Make sure you keep the lines of communication with your partner open, and discuss any physical concerns with your doctor or midwife.  Remember that there are many ways that you can express intimacy with your partner without engaging in intercourse.

Orgasm or Labour During Pregnancy.

Can you tell an orgasm from labour?  When a woman has an orgasm she produces oxytocin – a love and bonding hormone.  This is the same hormone that is present during labour (the synthetic form – pitocin – is often used to induce).  The major difference between these two states is that in labour, you feel like a huge rubber band is being tightened around your back and middle, and contractions will emanate from your back.  You will feel the contractions at regular intervals without additional stimulation or activity, unlike most orgasms, which do not continue.  Laura Shanley posts a beautiful synopsis of sensuality while pregnant and gives lovely quotes from literature.

Sex Inducing Labour.

What’s the deal with inducing labour and having sex?  On the list of ‘natural ways to induce labour’ includes dosing the cervix with sperm.  The protstaglandins in semen, coupled with a female orgasm can stimulate contractions.  This does not always work if your body is not ready to go into labour, and many women would rather wash all of the floors in the house instead of having sex in the last month.  Experts seem to agree that sex prompts a woman to relax, and this state of relaxation is always conducive and recommended for labour.

Bleeding and Spotting after Sex.

Some women experience spotting after intercourse.  While this can be normal, you should always call your practitioner for an assessment.  While it could be something very minor, it could also indicate a serious problem.  You are always entitled to check with your doctor or midwife and no concern is ever too small to be addressed.  If this spotting or bleeding is accompanied by cramping and pain, head to the emergency room.  Spotting is very light bleeding (less than the size of a loonie when you wipe with a tissue).  It can vary from red to brown in colour.

Sex Life After Pregnancy.

Most health workers tell you that at 6 weeks postpartum after a vaginal birth, sex may be resumed.  Sorry, but are you kidding?!  If you know anyone who actually had sex after 6 weeks, please comment on this article and we may just have to send a prize.  Most women I’ve met tell their partners that the 2 month mark is a reasonable ‘doctor recommendation’ for resuming of activity.  That’s with a natural birth.  No tearing, no cesarean.  Typically in this case, you would wait at least 8 weeks and discuss with your caregiver before resuming physical activities such as sex.

The Milk. Breastmilk Leaking During Sex.

Did anyone ever mention the whole – getting turned on and then you start lactating thing?  It’s lovely.  Making passionate love to your partner, and you drown him with milk.  Remember that this phenomenon is natural and can be very beautiful for some.  It also can confuse you about your role – you are a woman and sexual being, but have also just become a mother, as evidenced by the white liquid coming our of your body.  Nursing right before intercourse can help, and wearing a bra and breast pads could also make you feel more comfortable.  Remember to be honest with your partner and work on good communication.

As with many things in life, your sexuality will develop and progress over time.  These are all stages, and if you can learn to cherish each one and retain the lessons, your future sex life will be very rich.

– Jill Amery really doesn’t like to talk about sex.  Honest.