Many couples worry about continuing to have sex when pregnant – are you going to harm the baby, or will it be too taxing, or even painful, for mum-to-be? But for the majority of women there's no reason why you can't continue to enjoy sex throughout your pregnancy.
According to the NHS, it's perfectly safe to still have sex during pregnancy, unless your doctor or midwife advises you not to for health reasons. Having sex will not hurt the baby and rest assured your partner's penis cannot penetrate beyond your vagina.
Sex and relationship educator Tracey Cox agrees that it's completely safe to continue being intimate with your other half. 'Assuming you haven't been told otherwise, sex is safe when you're pregnant,' says Cox. 'Even if he'd like to think his penis is so big and it will harm the baby, the reality is it won't!'
However, while sex is safe for most couples throughout pregnancy, the logistics of getting jiggy with it may be slightly more complicated as your bump develops. To still enjoy a healthy, happy sex life and remain as comfortable a possible, it's worth experimenting with different sexual positions.
Tracey Cox recommends the following sex positions to try during pregnancy:
💟 Girls on top
Get him to sit on a sturdy surface or the floor, legs straight out in front of him or crossed (depending on how flexible he is!) and then climb on top of him.
Alternatively get him to lie flat while you climb on top, facing his feet for a reverse cowgirl. 'This works because there's no pressure on your stomach and it's up to you to control the pace and depth of penetration,' says Cox.
Squatting can become difficult in the third trimester because your bump is heavier, so you can try kneeling down on your partner instead.
💟 Sex on a (sturdy) chair
You can do this two ways, advises Cox. Sit with your back to him (if your feet don't touch the ground, put something underneath to bring the floor closer to you). Or face him straddled, with two legs either side. Make sure your feet can touch the ground so you feel grounded.
'You control the action by bouncing up and down, using your feet as leverage,' says Cox. Again you are in control of this position, so it should be comfortable for your bump.
💟 Spoon sex
Lie on your side, with your legs drawn up towards your chest. He lies behind you and penetrates.
'This provides support for her tummy, is relaxed and loving with shallow penetration,' says Cox. This is great for all three trimesters, but especially for the third when your bump is too big to get close and face to face, and the position isn't too strenuous either.
💟 Doggy style
This position usually involves shallower penetration than a face-to-face position, but bear in mind you can't control the movement as much, especially as your bump grows bigger it will be heavier.
💡 Doggy style works at the start of the pregnancy, but although lots of couples find this position easier, it can get trickier as the belly gets bigger so proceed with caution.
You can relax your weight down onto pillows or try on your hands and knees at the edge of the bed, with your partner standing behind you. You can also lower yourself onto your forearms.
'As the pregnancy progresses, try getting lower by leaning on your forearms and using pillows underneath as support,' says Cox.
Penetration in this position can be deep, and if it is too much for your liking, put a pillow between your bottom and his lower tummy and this will help.
Both lie at opposite ends of the bed with legs scissored together, say Cox. 'You can do it in the comfort of your bed and it makes for slower, gentler sex.'
There is not much to worry about in this position since penetration tends to be shallow and slow. You can put a pillow under your bump to support it during sex.
💟 Edge of the bed
Sit on the edge of the bed, then lie back. He kneels or stands on the floor in front you. 'It gets the bump out of the way and alters the angle of the vagina for less deep penetration,' says Cox.
You can wrap your legs around your partner's waist, bringing him in and controlling his thrusts and how deep he goes. If you start to feel dizzy lying flat, use a few pillows behind your upper back and head to prop yourself up.
Last updated: 08-10-19
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