Sex easily falls to the wayside during pregnancy. Research shows that good sex has a significant impact upon not just the relationship, but also a woman’s ability to have an easeful and even joyful birth.
Unfortunately, sex during pregnancy can be quite complicated for a variety of physical and emotional reasons.
This week’s video will outline how to overcome these hurdles and make sure you continue to enjoy the wonders of sex as you embark on the first steps of parenthood.
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Here’s a transcription if you’d rather read:
As us men can barely imagine, birthing a baby is a profoundly intense experience. If a woman is disconnected from her body, then she is more likely to have a difficult birth. If on the other hand, a woman is in the zone, in her body and feeling good in herself, then she is likely to inhabit that moment with grace and relaxation. Feeling emotionally and energetically open and in one’s body allows a woman to more easily ride the intensity of the birth and thus for the baby to more easily come from her body.
For most women, having a baby grow insider her brings up a lot of anxiety and fear. In attempt to manage these feelings, it is natural to worry and go into their heads. It does not make them feel good about themselves and it does not put them in the zone.
Fortunately, there are a number of things that women can do to get themselves in that zone and feel good in their body. Doing yoga, getting massaged, taking baths, naps and dancing all help.
But the most powerful thing a woman can do is have sex.
Sex supports a woman to feel really good in her body and really good in her genitals. Genitals that are profoundly changing and that she may have very mixed feelings about.
Unfortunately, for far too many couples, sex falls to the floor during pregnancy. This has a very detrimental impact on the birth process and their relationship. Both of which can lead to a lot of problems down the line.
There is another really important reason why having lots of sex during pregnancy is so valuable. You are not likely to have a lot of sex for a long time. It is often many months before you can easily have sex with your partner. It is often many years before women really feel their own sexual desire again. This is your chance. There are no kids around to distract you. This is your chance to really solidify that bond with your partner and feel your eroticism with them.
Having this bond will help you face the inherent struggle of having a baby pop up into the mix. You are going to face all kinds of intense challenges and if you feel erotically close and really good with your partner, you are far more likely to handle those challenges without pushing the relationship to its edge.
So here are six steps to supporting your intimacy to thrive during this crucial time period.
Step 1: Don’t Give Up!
Sex can be complicated when pregnant. Certain positions that you relied on in the past may be awkward or may not work at all. You may have to figure out a different way to be sexual. There may be positions that in the past you have had aversion towards. Look at what those aversions might be and see if you can play around and try something a little different.
It is important to stick in there, even in the face of that awkwardness. Talk to your partner about what is working and what is not working as you are engaging in a sexual act and find a way that can work for both of you.
Step 2: It’s not all about Fucking
Making love does not have to include intercourse. We all know this and yet most of us are habituated to over-relying upon penetration and neglecting the myriad other acts that can be even more intimate. There are certain times during pregnancy where intercourse may be too awkward.
It is delightful and very connecting to explore other options for with your partner. Take some time to talk with your partner about what they would like. So many of us never talk once we get sexual. However good our communication is throughout the rest of our relationship, we somehow revert to silence once the clothes come off. Try talking during sex and sharing what you’d like to try. This fosters the connection and opens doors to new options. This will allow you to have this erotic relationship that can flower in the face of the pregnancy.
Step 3: Don’t Worry about the Kid
Many people are scared that sex and especially rough sex will hurt the baby. The reality is that penetration is not going to affect the baby at all. They are well and safe away from everything that is going on.
Many people believe that it’s bad for the baby to be exposed to sex. In fact, it is actually really good for the baby to be next to love and eroticism. It is all just a flowing mass of fluid and yumminess as far as they are concerned.
If you find yourself feeling such aversion, take the time to think about it, feel the actual feeling of aversion and breathe into the discomfort. Don’t let the feeling run the show and prevent the three of you from getting the intimacy you all need. It can really help to share these feelings with your partner.
Step 4: Don’t Accept Pain
Sometimes sex during pregnancy is painful. But it shouldn’t be. You do not have to just accept that. See a physical therapist, doctor or a chiropractor. They are used to helping women with a very normal experience. We can easily avoid getting help due to embarrassment or discomfort, but that can really be detriment to your relationship and an easeful birth.
Step 5: My Family Secret!
I can not recommend this enough as it has been a great benefit to my family. Have a few romantic getaways during your pregnancy. It makes an immense difference if you and your partner are away in a novel setting, having the space to emotionally, romantically and erotically connect. Don’t just stay at home where it’s easy to get distracted. Science has shown that novel environments lead to the release of the hormones associated with love and satisfaction.
Soon there will be a child there and you will not have the space to just really enjoy each other. Take this time to feed your relationship and then you will be able to survive all the difficulties that come. If there are difficulties you’re having with sex itself, the romantic getaway also gives you the time to explore options that maybe you do not have the time and space for at home.
Step 6: Deal with Your History
It’s crucial to check if you have any issues around being sexual with your partner now that you are a parent. For many of us, we unconsciously believe that parents should not have sex. We have an idea that our parents didn’t have sex or should not have had sex. We think now that we are parents, we should not be sexual beings.
The reality is that sex is a wonderful experience throughout life if it is nurtured and supported. There may be history that you have that is making you averse to being sexual now that you are a parent. Take the time to think about it, then go to your partner and share. The more shy you feel, the more important it is to share. This type of emotional intimacy, even if you feel vulnerable and insecure about it, will really help you work through the issue and get back to having great sex.
Becoming a parent does change our relationship with sex. But, there is no reason as a parent we should not have a thriving sexuality. Actually it can get better and better as we age and learn more about how to really enjoy ourselves with our partners.
Why Sex is So Important
In a world where we are all spending more time with our devices, and less time digging in the dirt or doing the plumbing, sex becomes one of the few ways we have to really connect and land into our bodies.
It makes a remarkable difference in the birth for a woman to feel in her body and in the zone. Orgasm for a woman is being in the zone. It is letting go of control and allowing the experience to really happen. It is the same experience during birth. If she can let go control and allow it to move through her, she may be able to have the baby in a more easeful way.
I especially want to thank Britt Fohrman, who is a marvelous doula. She brought this question to my attention and we co-developed many of the ideas. You can read more about her at www.brittfohrman.com.
I would love to hear your ideas about the subject. Please join the conversation and I will see you next time.