Intimacy During and After Pregnancy
By Lupe Cruz
Nov 27, 2017
Updated Jul 13, 2023
5 min read
Pregnancy is an exciting time and expecting a baby with someone you love can bring you together in many ways. However, it can also change your intimate relationship—and not always for the better. But with a little effort and knowledge, that doesn’t have to be the case. You and your partner can have a safe and happy sex life during pregnancy and beyond by following a few simple tips.
Healthy communication is the key in any relationship. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page regarding intimacy during pregnancy. Also, if you’re not the one who’s pregnant, talk to your partner about her body image concerns. Changes during pregnancy (i.e. gaining weight, enlarged and sore breasts) can leave her feeling big and unattractive. Tell her you find her attractive, even during pregnancy.
Sometimes couples are worried that intercourse could hurt the baby, or they’re going to hurt their partner. Sexual intercourse is safe throughout pregnancy unless otherwise stated by your provider. For example, if your healthcare provider says you need to be careful, or if you’ve been placed on bed rest, it’s not a good idea to engage in intercourse.
While you’re pregnant, you may experience light spotting after intercourse. That’s completely normal. Talk to your care provider if spotting continues for a prolonged period of time (several hours).
It’s important to communicate your intimate needs during pregnancy, and even more important after the baby arrives. Although most doctors recommend avoiding intercourse during the six weeks after delivering a baby, you can still experience other kinds of intimacy with your partner. Be sensitive to your partner’s needs and wants.
She may have sore breasts and right now they belong to the baby. Her body and belly maybe sore from delivery. Her ankles may be swollen. Her hormone levels have dropped significantly. This combined with general lack of sleep means she’ll be emotional. Comfort her during this period and watch for signs of depression.
He may feel left out and unnecessary. He’ll be fatigued in a different way and may not know how to help. Remember to keep communicating.
If you had a normal sex drive before pregnancy, it should return after recovery. The same is true if you had a low or high sex drive. All things should return to your pre-pregnancy state. In some cases, your libido increases during pregnancy and may stay high even after you recover from delivery.
It’s important to note that after delivery, your vagina may seem drier due to a decrease in hormones. This can also happen for breastfeeding mothers. Instead of avoiding sex, spend extra time on foreplay and consider using a personal lubricant.
Your intimate relationships during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby don’t have to suffer. With extra care, you and your partner can enjoy the romance and relationship you had before your baby was born.