Let’s talk about sex, baby! Specifically, the best sex positions for pregnant women. Finding the perfect sex position can be stressful enough with your partner. Now, try doing that with a bun in the oven. It’s bad enough that you could be uncomfortable and exhausted, or your sex drive is through the roof due to hormonal changes. So often, many parents are afraid of “hurting the baby/babies” or not being able to perform as they did before pregnancy. But understand that a baby stops nothing, especially keeping those sparks alive in the bedroom.
But what are the best sex positions for pregnant women, and do those positions only cater to people in specific trimesters? Luckily, birthing expert, teacher, and founder of Empowered Black Doula, Keshia Lockett, is here to answer some of our most pressing questions about the best sex positions for pregnant women, including women who may not be able to engage physically. Keshia explains that the task may not be the easiest, but it’s very doable and worth it, no matter what trimester you’re in.
Here are Keshia’s tips and tricks for having sex safely while pregnant.
What To Know About Sex During Pregnancy
"The best advice I can give is that it will not hurt you when you have sex while pregnant. The biggest thing to understand is that your baby is protected. Your baby is in the uterus. Your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid, and there is no way for your partner to get that far up to harm your baby.
"And there is another barrier protecting your baby from that [which] is your cervix. Your cervix is down extremely low into your pelvis, another way you’re protected. So you can cross that off [your list of concerns] because there is no way to reach the baby. And you should be able to enjoy it as much as you want to enjoy it."
Sex During the First 3 Months of Pregnancy
"Before your belly grows, you have a free for all. You can pretty much do the same sex positions you were doing before pre-pregnancy. Everyone is different; some people’s [belly] start showing much earlier than others."
After the First Trimester: The Best Sex Positions To Try While Pregnant
1. Reverse cowgirl
"When you’re on top but facing the opposite of your partner. That’s a very comfortable position, and you’ll have more control. You can control everything while also being more comfortable. Your belly isn’t on them too much, and they’re also comfortable."
"[For spooning,] you’ll want to lay the leg you’re lying on straight and your other leg up. And [you can] rest the raised leg on your partner for additional support."
"Another one where you’re on top and in control. [Control in terms of the level of penetration and motion of straddle.]"
4. Edge of the bed (table top)
"[In this position,] your body is at the edge of the bed but not too much on your back. There are blood vessels in your back, and laying on your back while pregnant can cause breathing issues with the placenta, you, and the baby. So, I would suggest tilting to the side."
5. Doggy style
"Everyone loves this one, and it’s the easiest one, too, because your belly isn’t in the way of this position."
How to Use Sex Toys During Pregnancy Safely
"[During pregnancy], you can enjoy [sex] toys as much as you want to. And for many women, towards the end of their pregnancy, sex is uncomfortable. Sex toys provide you and your partner options when penetration isn’t as comfortable.
"Sex releases oxytocin, the primary hormone that makes you go into labor. I have had clients call me to tell me they were in labor and had sex the night before. So, therefore, using sex toys can release those hormones and put your body in labor.
"Sex can be achievable and pleasurable for everyone. Even rough sex is okay unless a woman is diagnosed with a short cervix. Then she has to avoid rough sex, or else she can go into preterm labor. And sometimes, their doctor will prohibit sex altogether and want their patient to stay away from an orgasm. If that is the case, she and her partner can focus on clitoris-stimulating toys, which is another reason sex toys are great.
"Unfortunately, Black women are more at risk for developing a short cervix, and having it can stop you from doing many things you enjoyed before pregnancy."
In addition to all of the insightful information Keshia provided, she also wants women to know that if they're at a stage of their pregnancy where they do not want sex as much or at all, there are other options for intimacy – dates, foot massages, baths together, etc.
Lastly, couples should listen to each other, listen to their bodies, and not be afraid to ask their doula or medical provider questions. That is what they are there for.
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Feature image by Jana Ritcher/ Getty Images