Intimacy while Pregnant & Parenting | Northwest PA Doulas

Sex. 

Lets chat about it. 

At Northwest PA Doulas, we hear about sex a lot more than one would anticipate. Sex requires vulnerability and doulas have an amazing way about helping you to get to, and through, vulnerable spots in your pregnancy and postpartum. Its no surprise that sex just comes up! 

Sex During Pregnancy 

Things you should know: 

  • Its okay to feel a variety of emotions around sexuality during pregnancy. Sometimes, it can be hard to even fathom through nausea, peeing nonstop or aches and pains. Othertimes it may seem as though you can't get enough. Wherever you are on the spectrum, know that this is normal. 
  • Check with your midwife or OBGYN to see if sex is safe for you. In most pregnancies, however, sexual intercourse is safe. 
  • You may find it more comfortable to have sex in different postitions. Its important to listen to your body and learn what works at each stage of pregnancy. Many women find woman on top, the spooning position or hands and knees to be a little more comfortable than others. 
  • Its common to experience some cramping (especially after orgasm) and light spotting after sex. Normal amounts of spotting are no more than a few drops in your underwear. 

Sex During Your Fourth Trimester

Things you should know: 

  • Its important to wait the full recovery period that your Midwife or OBGYN advises you to wait to have sex. (Typically 6 weeks) Why you ask? If you happened to catch a glimpse of your placenta after the birth, you'll know that its a rather large organ. When you birth that placenta, it leaves a large wound the size of your placenta on your uterine wall. This is why regardless of vaginal or cesarean birth, it is important to give this area time to heal. In addition to the uterus, your cervix goes through many changes during birth. It needs to revert back to a closed state. 
  • Full, uninterupped healing from stitches or episiotomies is also imperative to a healthy sex life later on. Cesarean incision sites also need ample to heal.
  • The first time (or couple times) may be uncomfortable. Use open and clear communication with your partner to express your needs and feelings. If you're experiencing pain that doesn't seem to go away, its important to make an appointment with your Midwife or OBGYN. Some women experience a variety of pelvic floor issues after birth. Physical therapy and at home treatments are solutions for painful or uncomfortable side effects. 
  • Breastfeeding sometimes supresses the ability for women to get moist during intercourse. Using a water based lubricant is a great solution. 

Sex During The First Year & Beyond 

Things you should know

  • One of the most difficult parts about having sex while parenting is finding the time for it. Connection with your partner is important but after little sleep and cranky kids, getting in the mood can seem impossible! Don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen as often as you'd like. As kids grow older, often couples find that it is much easier to make sex a priority. 
  • If you're still experiencing pain from postpartum recovery, reach out. No one wants to find sex unenjoyable. These issues are common with relatively simple solutions. Your midwife or OB is a great place to start chatting about postpartum pain.