There seems to be a big question mark over our heads when it comes to sex during pregnancy. When ironically enough, the same way the baby got in is the same way it’s going to get out (in a lot of ways). A wise person said that to me – I just can’t recall who, so consider this to be a shoutout to a real one because in all actuality it’s true.
While people tend to view sex as a very monolithic thing, in reality, oral sex is in fact sex and so is masturbation. With that said, it seems likely that there might be some confusion as to whether masturbation is 'acceptable' during pregnancy. And the answer is: YES! Yes, you can absolutely masturbate. More often than not all types of sex are welcome, however, some positions might require adaption.
There are exceptions to the rule and to be safe, you should absolutely double-check with your OB. But if you have a low-risk pregnancy without complications, it’s typically a safe bet that you can pass go and collect your 200 in the sex department.
If everything checks out from your doctor, here are four benefits to masturbating while pregnant, according to experts.
1. Reduces Anxiety and StressGiphy
The ease you wish to feel might be possible with the help of an orgasm or two. Clinical Sexologist and Sex, Intimacy, and Relationship Advisor Katie Lasson explains, "Not only is masturbation safe for the majority of pregnant women, but it can also be a great stress reliever. Masturbation when followed by orgasm releases the feel-good hormones such as oxytocin into our bodies. This helps to make us feel calm and relaxed. As an added bonus your unborn baby will also get the benefit of these feel-good hormones."
She adds, "A lot of women find that their libido increases during pregnancy so masturbation can be a great way to manage that. You may notice some mild cramping in your stomach after you reach orgasm but that is normal. If you experience any pain, seek medical help immediately. Some women also experience more intense orgasms when they're pregnant."
2. Melatonin Vibes
Any parent will tell you that you should sleep as much as you can before the baby gets here. However, postpartum and the body changes experienced during each stage of your pregnancy can make sleeping well difficult. During the prenatal phase, one might find themselves coping with insomnia due to your belly growing and/or breast and body aches. And when you do finally get to sleep, you might experience nightmares that are said to be caused by the anxiety of bringing a child into this world. Trouble sleeping might also be coupled with a newfound ability to snore due to pregnancy rhinitis.
Due to the 'feel-good hormones' mentioned in the previous post, masturbation or bringing yourself to orgasm also makes for a better night’s sleep.
3. Inducing Overdue Babies
Suzannah Weiss, certified sex educator, sex/love coach, and trained doula, says, “If you're pregnant past your due date, masturbation (as well as partnered sex) can also be a way to bring on labor. Sexual pleasure, especially when it involves orgasm, releases oxytocin, which can stimulate labor contractions, and prostaglandins, which help the cervix dilate. The only thing to be careful about is not to insert anything into your vagina after your water breaks.”
Additionally, Weiss recommends trying the following items if you’re someone who has difficulty reaching where you need to be, to get where you want to go (if you catch my drift). "Sex toys such as wand vibrators may be helpful,” she begins, adding that a few other accessories, such as this pillow can also prove reliable for achieving orgasm.
4. Sense of Pre-Parent SelfGiphy
You don't stop being a sexual or sensual being just because your journey is evolving into motherhood. Masturbation is a great way to remind yourself of who you are in the process of becoming more. “As a woman’s body changes during pregnancy, they may become more confident and feel more feminine and desirable – or less. Masturbation can help [those expecting] stay connected to their body and find ways to satisfy needs they may not be able to otherwise or like they were accustomed to before pregnancy. In turn, this can help her keep her sense of self during these changes,” according to the Director of Kiiroo’s Helen Zeal.
Before you partake in getting your solo sex session on, it is also worth noting that “in the third trimester of your pregnancy, sometimes orgasm after masturbation can increase the frequency of your Braxton Hicks contractions." Relationship Expert Psychologist and Sex Therapist Tatyana Dyachenko confirms that this occurrence is pretty normal.
Without a doubt, there are some amazing benefits to masturbating during pregnancy. Let us know if you decide to try it.
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Featured image by Getty Images