It’s OK to enjoy romance and sexual relations with your partner while pregnant and after birth. But what if during these emotionally changing times your hormones seem to be all over the place? Here are a few simple principles to consider for reigniting your sex drive and keeping the flame shining bright.
Focus on Your Partner
Can you remember a time when you felt so much desire for your partner? There are several phases to our sexual response. The first is the time excitement phase. Most of the time, this arousal starts with physical excitement or emotional/mental arousal. Try sending racy text messages to your partner throughout the day to build excitement and arousal. It never hurts for both partners in the relationship to know they are loved and desired. That always helps to heat things up later.
Focus on Feeling Desirable
Another important factor to consider to help improve sex drive during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby is that you need to physically “feel” sexy and attractive. Ensure your lingerie (or whatever nighttime or exciting attire you enjoy) compliments your beautiful body. This is not the time to attempt to squeeze into the same nightie you wore at your smallest weight or body frame. Embrace your pregnancy weight and allow yourself to feel desirable. That starts with wearing something you can feel comfortable in. If you have already given birth, remember it took 9 months to create your beautiful baby; your partner should not expect you to be the same size you were before your bundle of joy was born. So, buy something in your current size and in your favorite color, or maybe a new color you’ve never worn before. Who says sexy only comes in red?
Focus on the Good Feelings
Finally, in this initial phase of excitement, really get in touch with what makes you feel good, and make sure your partner is in tune to that as well. How about trying a hot shower together? Lathering each other up with soap and oils can be a terrific way to stir up your hormones, allowing you to feel refreshed and relaxed. And massages standing up can be just as relaxing and fun as massages in bed! If you’re used to getting massages in the bedroom while lying down, trying one in the shower can add a bit of spontaneity to your routine. The most important thing to remember is that your health and comfort are the main priority. Outside of medical complications or your healthcare provider’s recommendations, pregnancy does not have to mean an end to an enjoyable sex life. Having a decreased sex drive can be more complicated for some people. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for here, don’t hesitate to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
Rev Up The Romance
Once you’ve worked hard to create a romantic and intimate evening, here are few things to consider to rev up the romance and increase possible sex drive:
- Scented candles with your favorite essential oil or fragrance—the more you can light can create a relaxing, stress free environment.
- High quality vaginal lubricant can be helpful, especially if you’re nursing or really nervous about intercourse after childbirth. You can also use it to stimulate you and your partner before intercourse.
- Music can create a mood—set the tunes to set the tone.
- Pop a cork—a bottle of champagne or nice bottle of wine to help to put you or your partner in the mood. If you’re breastfeeding, ask your lactation consultant about alcohol during breastfeeding. If alcohol isn’t your thing, sparkling ciders can be just as fun!
- Change positions—trying a new sexual position can be exciting for you and your partner and can provide increased comfort both during and after pregnancy. While pregnant, you may enjoy positions such as side-lying, being on all fours with your partner behind you or being on top of your partner. If you find penetrative sex uncomfortable, you and your partner may enjoy oral sex and/or utilizing toys to enhance your sexual experiences.
- Fixing Vaginal Dryness—during the postpartum period, many women experience vaginal dryness. Consider using a vaginal moisturizer and/or lubricant if you experience vaginal dryness or irritation. You can also try slowly easing into missionary position to enhance comfort.
- Play with toys—it is safe to use most toys during and after pregnancy, unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider. General rules for safely using toys include:
- Ensure toys are clean prior to use and make sure to clean them after each use
- Make sure to only use toys and techniques that do not cause any pain or discomfort. Toys that may have previously been enjoyable may be uncomfortable to use during pregnancy or postpartum. If at any point you begin to experience discomfort, immediately stop using that toy, or use it in a different way
- Never use the same toy for both anal and vaginal sex as this can introduce bacteria and cause infection
- Never share toys, as this too can lead to infection
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