Sex During & After Pregnancy

There are a lot of myths about sex during pregnancy, but it is perfectly safe for women with healthy pregnancies. It will not harm the baby, and the baby does not know what’s going on! Unless your midwife or other health care provider tells you otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for you and your baby. You may actually find that you want to have sex more often when you are pregnant, and that may be due to the influence of all the hormones. Here’s how it might break down by trimester:

  • First trimester: because of common symptoms like fatigue or morning sickness, you might feel like having sex less.
  • Second trimester: your other symptoms have probably gone away, your blood vessels dilate, and more blood is circulating in your body, mostly below the waist. You might want to have sex more often, and you might find that it’s easier to have orgasms. When you have an orgasm, your uterus contracts. In pregnancy, you might experience a contraction during orgasm. This is normal.
  • Third trimester: because of your growing belly and the anticipation of childbirth, you may have less interest in sex, though many women enjoy the comfort of an intimate relationship at this time. The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open with your partner regarding your sexual interest during pregnancy. While you might not want to have intercourse, having intimacy with your partner is important. You may feel the need for more snuggling and kissing.

After you give birth, your body will start to change again. Some changes will happen quickly, though getting back to feeling like yourself may take longer. Remember: it took you 9 months to get here. Be patient and understanding with yourself as you start to “return to normal.” You can start having sex again about 4-6 weeks after you have your baby, or when your bleeding stops and you feel ready. Check with your midwife or other health care provider if you have questions, and consider using a lubricant. After giving birth, breastmilk may leak during orgasm. This is also normal. It’s okay to take it slow. You can and will achieve a healthy sex life again after giving birth, and you can do it at your own pace.