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Sex and Pregnancy

Ah Sex and Pregnancy, this is a topic i read a lot about from medical perspectives, but not a great deal from personal experiences. It's almost as if we are too embarrassed or scared to talk about sex, let alone what sex is like for pregnant women. This particular blog might be important for your partner to have a look at, just in case they still don't fully understand how it feels for a pregnant woman during sex. I'm basing this off my experience, but i have no doubt that many, MANY other women feel the same things i do during sex whilst pregnant.

First Trimester

During the first few weeks after finding out i was pregnant, for me was always when our sex life increased, because i'd missed a period, Woohoo! Let's celebrate. But that super fun lusty kind of moment is always cut short with me. By the bare minimum of six weeks and sometimes earlier in my pregnancy, morning sickness and nausea will start, and will peak half way through week seven, so the thought for sex flies right out the window. And it sucks! Because even though i still want it, and i still need it, i can't bring myself to have it because i just feel too sick, it's too hard to get past the nausea feeling or the vomiting. I have found during the first trimester, is when yes our sex life will drop, but it's when my appreciation for my husband absolutely skyrockets, because he takes on extra jobs around the house, he does the cooking if i can't and he helps out more with our one year old (not that he doesn't help normally, he just almost takes over so i can rest). And that makes me so grateful to have him. That need for sex is still quite high, because obviously seeing my husband become so hands on and jump in to my rescue is something i really, really like to see. But i don't feel like i have to jump his bones by this point, i just feel content and happy, that he cares enough about me and my situation to take over things when i need him to. And honestly i feel like it makes our relationship stronger, because he's understanding what i need. For me, my husband and i have never put a great reliance on sex in our relationship, we love it obviously, and we aren't shy to say we have it quite often, but for us, sex is just one way that we show each other love. But it's not always what we demand, i love just spending time with him any chance i get, and he's happy to be beside me while he does his own thing like watching movies or playing his games. So losing the amount of sex we have during first trimester isn't a massive issue, which i am thankful for.

During first trimester, if you're feeling far too nauseous for sex, you can always try other ways to be intimate that doesn't involve too much movement. Toys are perfectly safe during pregnancy if you want to introduce or utilise them in the bedroom. As long as they are well cleaned and looked after there will be no harm to your baby if you use them. I find during first trimester is when hands become more important. Because massive amounts of movement can be too much on my stomach, and it feels like my insides are churning, we would opt for hands rather than the 'real deal' just simply because it's easier on me. If your partner isn't too caught up in their own pleasure, they will be very happy to participate in something that will be easier on you. Its important to gently remind your partner that pregnancy isn't easy, and the first trimester is typically when a woman will feel at her worst. Headaches, morning sickness, increased appetite, decreased appetite, etc. can make dealing with life hard, and being made to feel bad because you can't participate in sex only makes it worse. Communication is very important, and your partner will grow to understand how hard it is for you if you both openly talk about it. Make your feelings and issues clear, and i'm sure your partner will be happy with whatever outcome you both choose together.

Second Trimester

For most women, second trimester is when they start to feel great! Their morning sickness is over, most of their initial pregnancy symptoms/woes are subsiding and they're hormone levels are leveling nicely. In a lot of cases, their sex drive and desire also increases which makes for a lot of fun. In my particular case, and i know i am not alone, second trimester is when my hormones level, but my sex drive is fluctuating. Some days it's high and other days its quite low, which unfortunately makes it pretty hard on my husband. I also still have pregnancy sickness, and the only great feeling i feel, is that i'm not as tired as the first trimester. But otherwise i still feel as bad as i did in the first trimester. But for me this lasts for about half the second trimester. I gradually start to feel better after i find the correct nausea medication to tackle my Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and the right delegation of tasks to help myself get the perfect amount of rest. I usually start to feel at my best by about twenty four weeks of pregnancy, closer to third trimester unfortunately. But my sex drive is always up and down during second trimester. I feel like i can't keep up as much as i'd like but on the plus side i am able to actually have sex again.

Finding a good balance is pretty important for me during this stage of pregnancy. I like to try and have sex even if i'm not feeling like it, because typically after i start trying, the rest just falls into place and i enjoy what we're doing. I also feel like my husband appreciates me trying, and he is happy that i'm giving it a go for him. As i stated before, communication is important, so even though i may have started having sex, if i still can't get past my sick feeling, or if i'm in some sort of pain, i always let my husband know, and we will stop and try again in different ways. If you find your sex drive is just really low and you just do not want it at all, i'd suggest seeing your GP to see if they can help with that, as sometimes you could be having a hormonal issue, or you may just not be getting enough rest, and eating well enough and your body is telling you don't have enough energy. There could be a number of reasons. There are times for me where i just don't want to have sex for a few days, and after a few days i want to have it again. Another thing to remember is that you are not a bad partner if you don't want to have sex everyday, or as often as you used to have it before you got pregnant. Your body is going through massive changes, and no one should be made to feel bad if they can't participate as often.

Third Trimester

Third Trimester for me is when my sex drives has made a proper appearance again, and i feel like i want sex all the time again. The only issue being my baby bump. My baby bump is rapidly growing in the third trimester, and i find it difficult to have sex without pain. This is where we like to experiment with safe and comfortable positions. Changing positions helps to make sex both fun and painless. And sometimes it takes a few tries before we find a spot that works for both of us. Third trimester, is uncomfortable, hot, and can be painful, but i actually feel my best at third trimester sick wise, so i like to take advantage of that and have more sex than i could previously. I know my husband is pretty thankful for it, and he doesn't mind experimenting with positions. At this stage our sex has increased to where it was before we got pregnant or just below and for that i am thankful. And its good in my opinion as we can have it as much as we can before the baby arrives, and i have to go through the dreaded post partum wait before having sex again.

Third trimester is typically the most exciting and a little stressful, as we begin preparing the most for the baby's arrival. So being able to increase our sex life during this time makes for great stress relief and honestly i think all mummies to be need that. This time is typically when parents to be go on a baby-moon, which is when couples go away for a short trip together before baby arrives. It's a good suggestion if you have the money, to get some real time together before your baby comes, as intimacy and romance may be put on hold for the first weeks after your baby is born. Hubby and i went on a short baby-moon with our first baby and i'm quite thankful for that. It was also our first time in about a week that we were able to engage in intimacy. At the time we were living with his mum, waiting for our house to be built, and we had just gotten married. SO we spent all of my second trimester, preparing a wedding and dealing with housing plans, all whilst both working full time and living with hubby's mum. To say it was stressful and overwhelming is a massive understatement. But we did well to get through it all together, and managed to keep up with our sex life even though i wasn't feeling as good as i hoped. This is where the importance of communication really steps in. When life gets in the way and you just can't find the time or energy to keep up with your sex life, talk about it, make sure you are both okay with where things are at, if not work through it together.

Always remember that what you're feeling about sex and pregnancy, you're probably not alone, and it's important to reach out. Whether that be to friends, family, your partner or even a medical professional, don't deal with it alone. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health when you are pregnant.

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