Enjoying intimacy while pregnant

You would be surprised at the answer you got if you had the courage to ask a pregnant woman if she is still intimate with her husband. For most women, as long as the pregnancy does not have complications, they have sex as often as they are comfortable to. People have a misconception that because of morning sickness, these women do not like intimacy with their partners. It is true that during the early months of the pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain and back pain might lower the sexual desire of some of them. A pregnant woman’s emotions – that can swing from both ends of the pendulum with alarming frequency – also take their toll.

Wild hormones
However, they do not kill the sexual urge completely. Samuel Kizito, a radio show host, and a father of one, says during pregnancy some women do have a high libido. “Yes, the desire is low because she fears hurting the baby. But when she wants it, she wants it. I always tried to be gentle to my fiancee because I felt that she was vulnerable, but she did not want my gentleness.” Ssenga Justine Nantume, a sex counsellor, says pregnancy treats every woman differently. Some women fall head-over-heels in love with their husbands. It is almost like the first days of courtship. “She will want to be around him all the time.

If he is at work, she moves around with his shirt, sniffing it to feel closer to him. I have known some women who can sit in a sofa and cradle their husband’s clothes next to their hearts, for over an hour. Such women want to have sex all the time. Surprisingly, once the baby is born, their urge reduces.”
This was probably the experience Florence Katera went through. “My boyfriend and I retained our intimacy during my pregnancy. We had sex regularly. I only had cause for alarm, once, in the eighth month when after making love, I felt strange contractions.” It was late at night, so Katera packed her baby suitcase, thinking she was in labour and called friends.

“They laughed at me, telling me to relax. But it was hard to remain calm. I thought the baby was coming. Luckily, the contractions stopped after about 30 minutes.”

For the sake of pushing
For Kizito, his fiancee’s sex life hinged a lot on the safety of their child. “I was told of a woman who did not want to be intimate with her man for the whole nine months. When she went into labour, the birth passage was too small for the baby to pass so she had to give birth by C-section.” Musa Katongole, a self-styled Kojja, agrees, saying that sometimes, a pregnant woman’s disgust for sex is only in her mind.

“They always imagine they will get complications, but doctors aise pregnant women to have sex often. Regular sex helps the vaginal muscles to relax, easing the passage of the baby during labour.”

When the fire dies
Shiela Nandudu, a first time mother of a three months-old-baby, says during her pregnancy, making love was unthinkable.“I think it was because of the weight of the pregnancy. It was my first baby and I felt very uncomfortable. Turning in bed was complicated. We had to do it at a specific angle, which I came to hate.” Like any first time mother, Nandudu had read about pregnancy and sex and how to make it enjoyable for her spouse. However, she did not have the urge for it.

“I did not want it. There were just too many changes happening to my body for me to feel confident with my husband. Besides, I just wasn’t there, emotionally, I had to make him understand that I needed time.” Her husband understood her feelings and left her alone.

Ssenga Nantume says, “Some women spit constantly throughout the nine months or eat a lot of clay. Some even hate their husbands – the sight and smell of him makes her throw up. The desire only comes back during the final months of the pregnancy.” During the third trimester, the hormones have stabilised and the morning sickness and fatigue have eased up.

Ssenga says in the older days, it was acceptable for men to have two or more wives to cater for their conjugal needs at times like this. “Nowadays, because of sexually transmitted diseases, it is aisable for the husbands to be patient until three months after their wives have given birth.” Kojja Katongole also talks about women taking aantage of the fact that pregnant women are known to hate many things. “She will starve her husband because in her state, he cannot demand for his conjugal rights. All she has to do it tell him that the pregnancy has made her hate sex, just like it has made her hate doughnuts or fish.”

Therapists say a large percentage of intimacy actually takes place in the brain. Only a small portion of it is physical. The comfort levels of the partners are crucial, especially so for a pregnant woman. “I had a healthy sexual urge, but there were times when I had a severe heartburn and sex was the last thing on my mind, says Jovan Mbabazi, a mother of two.

“If I spent the whole day throwing up, it was the last thing on my mind. My main concern was beating the nausea and hunger. I was a prisoner of my body. There were days when I wanted to make love but my stomach felt too full and I was belching all the time,” Mbabazi says.

Choosing the right position
Kojja Katongole says, “People should know that the sex positions they use in their normal relations might not work during pregnancy. Some of these styles are extreme and could hurt the baby.”
It is important that the pregnant woman is in the right frame of mind and is comfortable while making love. Therefore, experiment with different positions until you find what works for both of you.

Attraction to pregnant women
“Some men are attracted to pregnant women because it is believed they have special warmth,” Kojja Katongole adds.

Your social life during pregnancy

For many, sex and pregnancy do not go together, because there are many myths surrounding sex during pregnancy that scare couples. However, the truth is that sex during pregnancy is safe and harmless, though there are exceptions. But if you are healthy and do not suffer from any complications of pregnancy then you can enjoy that part of your life to the fullest. Keep in mind, though, that it will not be the same as it was before and you (along with your partner) might have to make a little adjustment.

The first trimester
It is best to abstain from sex during the first trimester of your pregnancy. This is because this phase is considered the most delicate phase of pregnancy. Apart from that, fatigue can pull your energy levels down making sex tiring. If you do not trust your partner, ask him to use a condom each time you have sex to ensure that you do not get an STD. If, while making love, you feel uneasy, get cramps or feel queasy, stop the act immediately.

The second trimester
During pregnancy, the progesterone and eostrogen levels are high, causing changes in the body, that boost libido. Eostrogen increases lubrication and heightens sensitivity in the breasts. These hormones are responsible for a woman’s arousal and increased sexual desire. That is the reason why the second trimester of pregnancy is called as the ‘honeymoon period’.

With a surge in your energy levels, sex will be more enjoyable and fun. This is the time you can get more creative with sex and try new positions.

The third trimester
Towards the end of the pregnancy, you might feel too huge and ungainly but you can still enjoy sex without much trouble. However, it is best to refrain from sexual activities at least four weeks prior to your labour.
Remember to go slow with the speed and pace, and in case you experience spotting, abdominal cramps, heaviness or fatigue, stop the act immediately.



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