Monday, February 13, 2012
Sex During Pregnancy
I feel like sex during pregnancy is such an important topic. Family is growing, things are changing and you will hear people talk about how after kids they never have sex anymore. It doesn't have to be that way- you can usually even have sex while pregnant.
Before we get started.
Dad- don't read this. I am serious.
I have debated in my head if I should write this post for quite some time.
Maybe, despite my birth obsession, I am really a little prudish underneath it all. Maybe talking about sex during pregnancy somehow qualifies as marriage advice and....Well, I think the last person I gave marriage advice actually left her husband.
So, I know I am not so good at that.
But really, the thing that makes me uncomfortable about talking about sex is that I think it is really a sacred thing. I see it as the power of procreation entrusted to men and women. I think it is a very serious endeavor and not one to just be spoken lightly of or treated irreverently in online, faceless forums.
Not only does sex give us the power to create life, it also is simply amazing it it's ability to bind two people together, to cement love, to wrap emotion forever around a relationship.
In short, I think sex is both pleasurable and also pretty serious business. And I don't think everybody thinks that. Frankly, the idea of tons of horrid comments kind of freaks me out too.
With that glorious introduction, let's get started.
Sex and Pregnancy....dun dun duuuun!
Like birth, I think every body's experience with this is really very different. When I talk to couples about this in class it seems like many of them (the ones who speak up at least) find pregnancy sex to be kind of fantastic because...............there is no pressure! (Well, obviously there is pressure if you are pregnant.) What I mean is there aren't worries. You don't have to worry about TRYING to get pregnant and you don't have to worry about PREVENTING pregnancy. You are already there! Yahoo!
So, in that way, being intimate when you are pregnant can be a great thing for a couple, it is kind of stress free and you can just enjoy your time together.
But---this isn't how it works for everybody.
I have talked to women who have zero interest while pregnant. Others have a very strong sex drive during pregnancy. Men can be just the same. Some men find their pregnant wives very desirable and others are simply not interested. Some women have even told me that their husbands refuse to touch them until they have the baby and lose the baby weight. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW! WTH?!)
Pregnancy impacts women differently. For some the hormones and the changes associated with them cause either more or less desire. Some women are quite ill and the idea of doing anything extra is just mind boggling.
Let's not forget that pregnancy impacts the dad too. Many men who I talk to are really excited about having a baby, but also a little overwhelmed. Some are planning on being the sole money maker after the baby comes and feel a lot of stress about that. Others just worry about how it will impact the relationship with their partner or HOW they will be a dad. This is new stuff!
Having a baby directly involves three people, mom, dad, and baby. And of course, it impacts the intimate relationship.
(Now, despite my horrid track record in relationship advice, I am going to tell you what I think. Don't feel obligated to listen.)
So, here are my thoughts on pregnancy sex.
If you love somebody enough to have a baby with them, then having a healthy relationship is probably worth the effort. What does this mean?
It means compromise.
If dad still has a strong drive and mom is feeling tired, then you find a middle ground. You show your hubby that you love him physically if he needs it. He shows you sometimes that he can let you rest if that is what you need. You give and you take and you keep things kind and civil and loving.
It actually makes me really sad to hear about a man who finds his wife kinda yucky just because she is pregnant. I know that I feel so fat and disgusting when I am pregnant. Even if I didn't want to have sex, it would just break my heart if my husband found me fat and disgusting too.
It also makes me feel kind of sad to hear of women who refuse to touch their partners when they are pregnant because they just don't feel like it, are tired, or whatever. He may still need you in that way. He may still need to be shown love by intimate touch.
The thing is, we all have needs. Pregnancy sex isn't just about weird sex while pregnant- it is about relationships and keeping them healthy and strong. That requires give and take, sacrifice and kindness, and love and respect from both people in them. This doesn't end just because you are pregnant. In fact, it is probably more important than ever.
So, be creative, (I am not going to draw pictures, but you can still enjoy each other- SHEESH!) be kind, be loving, and be willing to compromise. Your relationship is worth showing one another physical love- especially during transitional times like pregnancy.
(Disclaimer- if you are some kind of pervert reading this just go away and don't leave a comment. It will stress me out. )