Let’s talk about sex, baby

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This is an excerpt from: How to Grow a Baby (and Push It Out)

Author: Clemmie Hooper, midwife and mother of four

Sex is such a funny old thing, isn’t it? We’re still embarrassed of talking about it openly, so much so that when I talk to women post-natally about contraception I don’t know who is blushing more, me or the woman. And it’s pretty silly, really, as sex is the reason why you’re pregnant in the first place. I mean, if it wasn’t for sex I would be out of a job and the world would be a very strange place.

During all three of my pregnancies, once the hideous morning sickness had gone, I was up for it. And by ‘it’ I mean sex. I could have pounced on my husband at any given opportunity. Poor man, he was totally perplexed by the whole matter. In our normal non-pregnant relationship he would have to do a lot of subtle hinting, and like most couples with young children we would have to schedule in the moment when we might be keen; usually if we had a child-free night away or on a mini-holiday. The classic ‘I’m too tired’ line was often thrown about by either one, or both, of us.

But in pregnancy this seemed to be totally irrelevant and I couldn’t have been less subtle. Pregnancy hormones made me like a dog in heat. And I’m definitely not alone. Speaking to friends the consensus was that, yes, pregnancy made them all much more horny than ever before!

I get so horny when I’m pregnant — it’s fantastic! This lasts into the third trimester, and only fizzles out when I feel too huge to be physically comfortable. I am able to climax really easily too. Good job, really, as being pregnant also means I’m permanently knackered so it tends to be very short and very sweet, then straight to sleep!
— Louis, mum of two

I was rampant throughout my pregnancies! I experienced multiple orgasms and we did it a lot more often than when I wasn’t pregnant. We even did it twice a day up until I went into labour and I was 10 days overdue.
— Sarah, mum of one

It’s no surprise that you may find yourself fantasising more about Ryan Gosling, when you consider all those extra hormones swirling around in your pregnant body. You have higher levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which in addition to supporting your continuing pregnancy also increases lubrication in your vagina, blood flow to the pelvic area and the sensitivity of your breasts and nipples; all of which can make you feel like one horny mama.

You may, however, find that your partner might not be as keen to jump into bed. Often men worry about damaging you or the baby (!) during sex. Rest assured, boys, your manhood is never big or long enough to reach where the baby is growing. A simple biology lesson could be useful here — the cervix remains completely closed during pregnancy to prevent the baby from falling out. If, however, your partner is still uneasy about the whole concept, you could stick to foreplay instead. Here are some things to look out for when you’re having sex while pregnant:

  • You may experience mild contractions during sex and when having an orgasm (or Braxton Hicks), but these contractions are false alarms, and are not powerful enough to start labour, unless it’s imminent. These contractions may continue for about half an hour after sex and your uterus will feel rock-hard. They are not dangerous for you or the baby.
  • Your uterus may experience spasms during sex, which are different from contractions. This is normal and not harmful.
  • You may get cramps during and after an orgasm. Sometimes this is combined with a backache. This, again, is totally normal.
If you experience any fresh bleeding during or after intercourse always speak to your midwife or call your local maternity assessment unit.

About How to Grow a Baby (and Push It Out):

Mum to four and midwife to many, Clemmie Hooper wants to share her knowledge, wisdom and stories about pregnancy and birth. She’ll guide you through pregnancy week by week, with everything you need to know for each stage of pregnancy as well as labour and birth. From how to prevent tearing to what you really need in your hospital bag, Clemmie reveals everything pregnant women need to know with a good dose of humour and wit.

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