Intimacy while Pregnant & Parenting | Northwest PA Doulas


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. A history of preterm labor or certain medical conditions can prevent you from doing the deed during those 9 months of baby growing. 
  • 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. 
  • Three words: orgasm without insertion. Its totally possible for both females and males. Finger play, toys or oral stimulation can be a great way to get intimate & connected without the discomfort that insertion can bring. 
  • 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 wound around half 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, uninterrupted healing from stitches or episiotomies is imperative to a healthy (and functional) 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. Both of your emotional and sexual needs deserve to be respected and heard, especially during this vulnerable time. 
  • 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 sex. 
  • Breastfeeding sometimes suppresses the ability for women to get moist during intercourse. Using a water based lubricant is a great solution to this temporary problem. This is very normal and you are not alone. Mix it up with a cool flavor or different sensation! 

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. 
  • Get creative. Sex can happen anytime and ... "anywhere". Even a quick make-out session can ramp up the connection between your partner and you.  
  • 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 when needing help with postpartum pain, incontinence or other pelvic floor issues.