IT’S one of life’s great ironies that the activity that leads to you getting pregnant – having lots of sex – can result in the exact opposite once you have a baby.
One of my friends reports that she didn’t have sex from the moment her baby was conceived until her daughter’s first birthday.
Another said that her boyfriend felt so intimidated by the fact she was now a “maternal goddess” that he couldn’t contemplate anything so “violating” as a bit of bump (literally) and grind.
How a woman feels during pregnancy is as unique as how she likes her coffee, and a quick poll on Instagram reveals that we can range from “horny as a teenage boy” to “get the hell away from me”, sometimes both in a single day.
During my first trimester, I was lucky enough to have lots of energy and the only difference in how I felt about my body was the bonus of bigger boobs.
My boyfriend Guy was worried that he might damage the baby when we had sex, until I gave him a basic biology lesson as to why this would be impossible.
Which is probably the first and last time I want to say the words “amniotic sac” during foreplay. But as everything got more swollen, not just my boobs, the logistics of sex became trickier.
CUMBERSOME AND HEAVY
Now I’m in my third trimester, I feel cumbersome and heavy and even getting off the sofa is too much effort. Certain positions are physically impossible, either because of the bump getting in the way, or the pain in my pelvis.
Things I would normally do to get in the mood – wearing special underwear or having a dirty martini – are no longer in
I now wear knickers that could double up as a marquee and our bed feels increasingly crowded, not just with my massive pregnancy pillow, but the tiny person in my belly who constantly performs internal gymnastics.
Although we might not be having as much sex as we were before I got pregnant, and the sex we do have has undoubtedly changed, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
It feels more intimate, more loving and also really important because it gets me in touch with the person I was pre-pregnancy. Unlike eating Parma ham, wearing high-waisted shorts and, y’know, bending down to put socks on, this is one enjoyable thing I can still (just about) do.
And whether it’s the pregnancy hormones or because we’ve finally figured out what works, I do think sex feels better – and more intense – than it ever has.
It’s also made me realise that your sex life in a long-term relationship will naturally go through phases.
Pregnancy is a big one of course, but a stressful life event, moving in together, or even lockdown can all have an impact on both of your libidos.
This week I’m loving…
Maternity underwear that doesn’t feel frumpy? I’ve found it thanks to this stylish, sexy, Scottish brand.
This free app lets you save the places you love, or can’t wait to visit, in any city in the world.
Obsessing over… anklets
Forget the shell ones we all had when we were 12, I want a gold one from Missoma please.
The only way to approach these bedroom blips is with honest, open chats and a sense of humour.
Especially in the case of my friend who was performing oral sex on her partner during the later stages of her pregnancy, and ended up giving him a breast-milk shower.
If we needed another reason to keep at it, I recently found out that oxytocin, the hormone that acts as a pain reliever during birth, is released when you make love and that a substance found in semen can help speed up your labour.
Plus, as everyone keeps telling me, if we thought sex during pregnancy was challenging, just wait until we have a baby…
Styling: Jess Evans