Sex during pregnancy 

An expert discusses the myths surrounding sex during pregnancy and reveals what's true and what's not.

Will having sex during pregnancy harm my baby?

Transcript of Sex during pregnancy

There are lots of myths surrounding pregnancy,

but in fact sex during pregnancy is absolutely safe.

There's a small proportion of women who might need to think, clinically,

about why they might need to abstain,

but that group of women is very small.

For the majority of women sex is absolutely fine during pregnancy.

I'm not really aware of the myths. There's nothing that I took seriously.

That it will hurt the baby.

That it can harm the baby.

The other thing people worry about is, "Am I going to hurt the baby?"

Lots of fathers very often want to ask that question.

And again, absolutely safe in pregnancy.

They're not going to hurt the baby, hit the baby's head.

It's absolutely fine.

No, I have more fears that flying when you're pregnant or whatever

will harm the baby.

I'm sure people have been having sex with their partner when they're pregnant

for many hundreds or even thousands of years.

Likewise in the last throes of pregnancy,

when you become large and the baby's quite big,

it can be uncomfortable for some women,

but you just need to be innovative

about the types of positions you might want to be in when you're having sex.

It didn't cause us any concern or any problem at all

with Lorna's pregnancy, so...

I'd say do what feels comfortable for you.

There isn't anything to worry about

but if it doesn't feel comfortable then don't do it.

There is a myth that having sex during pregnancy

can bring on the baby or put you into premature labour,

but that really is a myth.

If your body is not ready to go into labour, nothing will happen.

For some women who are about to go into labour,

it may be that sex will bring things on,

but actually there is no research to say it definitely does happen.

Doing your pelvic floor exercises after you've had your baby

is vital to ensure that your vagina goes back to its normal shape and size.

I've talked about it with friends.

I think their husbands find it difficult because there's a baby in there

and they think it's in the room with you somehow.

So, each to his own, but it's absolutely...

If you feel in the mood, just go for it, I would say.

Stitches can affect sensation

because it's like any wound that you may have in that part of your body.

Yes, there will be some degree of loss of sensation,

which is why we would encourage women

to ensure that their stitches have healed before they resume making love.

The baby is cocooned in there, if that's the right word,

and they don't really know what's going on in the real world

and they're quite secure in there,

so I don't think anything that happens in the bedroom

is going to affect them in any way.

Women again often say, "When can I resume my love life?"

There isn't a specific time, but I think what's important for the couple

is to start communicating about making love again,

and it's important that they're both ready when they do so.

A lot of people think you can't get pregnant when you're breastfeeding.

That is absolutely a myth.

Women can conceive straightaway after having had a baby

and they need to think about contraception very early on.

There are a number of women who can get pregnant

within weeks of having their baby.

For some women, one of the myths is that if they're breastfeeding,

they won't get pregnant again.

I need to dispel that myth

because you can get pregnant if you don't use contraception.

Just do whatever you feel is comfortable for you.

I think it's a shame

if people alter their sex lives as a result of being pregnant.

All women worry to some extent about what sex is going to be like

once childbirth is over.

Depending on the type of birth that you've had,

there could be some stretching of muscles

and some slight loss of sensation,

but for the majority of women,

within about six weeks things do return back to normal.

The baby is very well taken care of,

so a little bit of hokey-pokey is not going to hurt the baby.

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