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Doing the “Deed” During and After Pregnancy

Doing the “Deed” During and After Pregnancy

Whether you are pregnant or have recently given birth, you are likely considering the impact of your choices on your baby with every single decision you make—from what to eat, how much to exercise, to whether or not to have sex.

But for many, the latter begs the question: “Is it safe to have sex during and after pregnancy?”

Sex During Pregnancy

It is absolutely safe to have sex during pregnancy! Engaging in sexual activities during pregnancy carries a number of benefits, including:

  • Strengthening Your Connection: Being intimate during pregnancy can strengthen your relationship with your partner (who may be feeling a little left out).
  • Improving Your Health: Sex is a great way to burn calories, lower blood pressure and more.
  • Easing Pregnancy Discomfort: The oxytocin released during orgasm can help ease pregnancy pains (and boost your mood, too!).
  • Enhancing Your Sleep: Sex can help you relax, which in turn can help improve your sleep.
  • Helping Labor: It is not just an old wives’ tale … having sex can help spur labor (but keep in mind, this doesn’t work for everyone).

Other things you may be wondering about sex while pregnant:

Before engaging in sex, you may wonder if any harm can come to your unborn baby, so keep in mind:

  • It is important to maintain safe sex practices as it is still possible to contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs), some of which can be harmful to your unborn baby.
  • Oral sex is safe, just make sure your partner refrains from blowing air into your vagina as this can cause an air embolism, which can be life-threatening to you and your unborn baby.
  • There are some instances in which sex during pregnancy is not safe. Those include:
    • Moms-to-be with a history of preterm labor or premature birth (including moms-to-be with symptoms of these)
    • Pregnancies in which there is an incompetent cervix or placenta previa diagnosis
    • Pregnancies in which unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge or cramping are experienced
    • When amniotic fluid is leaking
    • When carrying multiples, such as twins or triplets
    • When you are experiencing contractions or your water has broken

Be sure to consult your physician or midwife with any questions or concerns about having sex during your pregnancy. Your prenatal care appointments offer a great opportunity to have these conversations.

Sex After Pregnancy

Just like during pregnancy, postpartum (after birth) sex is safe, but it may not be at the top of your mind! For many new moms, establishing a routine with your new baby is priority (as is trying to get some sleep or even a shower!).

However, as you get settled and the mood starts to strike again, it is important to:

  • Let Your Body Heal: Your body has been through a lot, so refrain from sexual activity until your body has had some time to recover. For many, this can take up to four to six weeks, depending on how you gave birth.
  • Wait It Out: Hold off on sex until your postpartum bleeding has ceased.
  • Take Precautions: Consider birth control methods as it is possible to get pregnant all over again (yes, even if you are breastfeeding).
  • Take Things Slow: Find a position that feels comfortable for you, consider using lubricants to reduce pain and tell your partner if something does (or does not) feel good.
  • Communicate with Your Partner: Your energy or sex drive may be low after birth, so keep the lines of communication open with your partner to talk about needs, feelings and more.

If you experience pain with sex—or simply have some doubt—it is important to consult your physician or midwife. Remember, you did the deed to get pregnant, so there really should not be anything stopping you from enjoying yourself during and after your pregnancy, too.

To learn more about Southwest General’s Cosgrove Maternity Center, visit our website.