Sex During Pregnancy and in the Postpartum Period

A satisfying sex life is an important part of an adult relationship and this is likely to be as true during pregnancy and the postpartum period as it is at any other time in life. If you’re in the right mood, there is no reason why your baby bump should get in the way of having enjoyable sex that helps to nourish your relationship as well as your emotional health and wellbeing.

However, there should be no pressure to have sex: given the full spectrum of changes experienced by your body and your sense of self during pregnancy and childbirth, it is understandable if, at various times, you feel too tired, too emotional, too nauseous or too uncomfortable to enjoy any kind of sexual intimacy. The key is to listen to your body, to keep communicating with your partner, and to ensure that you have a reliable source of information relating to sex in pregnancy and the postpartum period.

And this is where My BabyManual can help.

Sex during pregnancy

Unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor, gynaecologist or midwife, it should be perfectly safe for you to have sex throughout your pregnancy without increasing the risk of early labour or miscarriage. Sexual intimacy during pregnancy will not harm your baby – this includes penetrative sex – a penis cannot penetrate further than the vagina and your baby will remain completely oblivious to the activity.

However, sex during pregnancy can be different to sex at other times in your life and it is likely that your interest in and readiness for sex will fluctuate during the various stages. What works in terms of sexual intimacy will depend entirely on you and your partner as well as on your body, your lifestyle and your level of physical and emotional availability.

Some couples have an immensely enjoyable and satisfying sex life during pregnancy, others find that curtailing sexual activity or changing the ways in which they achieve intimacy work best for them. The crucial thing is to find what is right for you and your partner and to maintain honest and open communication around the subject.

My BabyManual has created a range of resources covering all the important sex in pregnancy questions and topics. Click on the links on this page to read on:

Sex During Pregnancy

Sex after childbirth

Every couple will have a different approach to sex following the birth of a baby and initially, you should follow your midwife or doctor’s advice, especially following a caesarean birth or if you have suffered tears or episiotomy.

Contrary to what many people may imagine, there’s no definitive guideline about when you can start having sex again after a straightforward birth and the most pertinent recommendation would be to do what feels right for you (remembering of course, that you could become pregnant again unless you use suitable contraception).

In all likelihood you will be quite sore and tired in the weeks immediately after childbirth so you might not feel in any particular hurry to recommence your sex life; if you do begin again but find that it hurts or is not enjoyable, it is best to stop until you are ready.

The My BabyManual team has created a library of resources to help you negotiate all the important questions related to sex after childbirth. Click through using the on-page links to read more.

Your 24/7 source for information about sex during pregnancy and the postpartum period

My BabyManual is packed with resources and information to help women and their partners at every stage of the journey, from pre-pregnancy through to pregnancy and the postpartum period.

For detailed and thoroughly-researched information about sex in pregnancy and the postpartum period, including many articles written by doctors, midwives, nurses, obstetricians, gynaecologists and other specialists, My BabyManual is your go-to resource.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.