Even when you and your partner both have the energy and desire to make love, there's a major hurdle now--a very round hurdle. If this is your first child, there may be a learning curve to go along with your body's new curves as you face the challenge of combining parenthood with a great sex life. You'll need a sense of humor, an appreciation of the absurd, and a lot of tender, frank conversation.
Good positions. Don't ever assume that your partner knows what you want, and always be clear about what feels good--and what doesn't--during lovemaking. The missionary position is probably out now. Your partner can't really hurt the baby by lying on top of you, but he'll probably feel like he's lying on a watermelon, and you might gasp for air. Ask your partner to hold himself up on his arms to take the pressure off or sit on top of him to better control speed and penetration during intercourse. Your plumper vaginal tissues will probably cause lovemaking to be more pleasurable for both of you, and this position makes it easier for you to orgasm.
You can also try a rear-entry position, as long as your partner is careful about how deep and fast he penetrates you. Get up on your hands and knees and, for extra support, hold on to the headboard or stack pillows beneath your upper body.
Another comfortable position for late-pregnancy lovemaking is the back-to-front style. From behind you, your partner can slide his penis in and caress your genitals at the same time while he moves in and out and reaches around you to gently stroke your breasts.
Concerns about the baby. Now that your belly is so prominent, your partner may be afraid that he's going to hurt you or the baby. Reassure him that if a certain position is uncomfortable for you, you'll tell him. Remind him that the baby is well protected inside your thick uterine walls and that there's no chance of infection because of the mucus plug blocking your cervix.
Getting comfortable with your body. If this is your first child, you may feel shy about showing off your body, even in front of your partner. That may cause you to avoid sex or any type of intimacy. Instead of shying away from the topic, talk with your partner. He may surprise you by saying how great and sexy you look to him. Men aren't always good at saying what they're thinking. So while you may be thinking he's turned off by your growing belly or bigger thighs, you're probably off the mark.
Even if you don't go through a phase of feeling lustier this trimester, revel in body-to-body contact with your partner while you watch a movie or lie near the fireplace, holding hands and talking about the future of your growing family. Time together as a couple is what's important.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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