Baby Love - Sex in der Schwangerschaft und danach

Baby Love - sex during pregnancy and afterwards

A positive pregnancy test usually not only marks the beginning of a pregnancy, but also comes with all kinds of obligations and sacrifices. In the spirit of Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility", women* have to pay for their newly gained superpower to fabricate people. It's bittersweet. Because with the confirmation of pregnancy begins a life of abstinence and lost autonomy. It starts abruptly with the ban on raw milk cheese, smoked ham, alcohol, sushi and large amounts of caffeine and slowly but inexorably spreads to other areas of your life: sports (not too hard), clothes (no high heels), Shopping habits (not lifting too heavy), even spas (I'm just saying reflexology). The only thing missing is forcing you to cancel your Netflix subscription. Because otherwise practically everything that is fun is forbidden. And how about sex? To quote Facebook: "It's complicated".

Can I have sex while pregnant?

Anyone who is going through the transition from a responsible adult to a pregnant woman who is being patronised, who can practically no longer make decisions on her own and who needs a permanent line to her gynecologist or midwife to clarify whether she is allowed to do something or not, finds it difficult, he/she has my fullest sympathy. It's like having regressed and having to ask your parents for permission to stay up late.

The short answer to the question of sex during pregnancy is: yes! Please listen to your bodies, sex is a basic human need and pregnancy shouldn't just undermine that. It is very sad that we are asking this question at all, but very understandable. After all, almost have a quarter of women* fear having sex during pregnancy, what on missing and adequate information on the topic is due. That alone should make us ponder how we handle pregnancy in our society and what we communicate to pregnant women*. Because for most women* there is actually no medical reason for the fear, because there are some risk factors (When should you avoid sex during pregnancy?), where sex should be avoided, but this is not the norm.

The more important question to ask yourself is:

Do I want to have sex while pregnant?

Now it will be more complicated or not. Because here, too, everything is okay and not immediately worrying. You can feel more pleasure because the genitals are better supplied with blood during pregnancy and, for example, the breasts are also more sensitive or less or just as much as before. And that can also change in the different phases of pregnancy. In any case, you shouldn't put yourself under pressure.

However, what is clear and clear is that pregnancy affects the sex life of the pregnant woman*. In a Portuguese study, showed that the frequency of sexual intercourse decreases over the trimesters of pregnancy. This continues in the first 3-6 months after birth. Almost 40% of the participants stated that their sexual desire was unchanged, while a third of the women* reported a decrease in sexual desire. Just as many reported that their sexual satisfaction decreased.

But when we talk about sex, we also have to question our own, often narrow, definitions of sex. Like many studies, we tend to think of sex only as penetrative vaginal sex. But maybe they could also during pregnancy change and adjust our sexual actsto achieve the same satisfaction and closeness in a relationship or even improve it.

From double experience I can only say: I completely underestimated what it means to be pregnant. And also in the posts that I find online, they always only talk about nausea at the beginning and the big stomach at the end. But there are a thousand and one symptoms that one can have during pregnancy. I always say, "You can have anything during pregnancy". As with me, this can be symphysis pain, an unpredictable bladder or shortness of breath. But there are still other things that can spoil one's desire. Although I don't want to say that the nausea at the beginning can't actually be a massive damper. In layman's terms, one can imagine a gastro-intestinal flu lasting 3 months. Also, the big belly is definitely an obstacle. After all, you're happy if you can get into your shoes or off the couch to the toilet in less than 10 minutes, so it's certainly questionable whether you're willing to mobilize yourself for sex. The question of whether you still feel particularly sexy is not trivial, after all, as a woman* you are rarely less of a sexual being than during pregnancy.

The pregnant woman: the asexual being

The changing body also affects the own body perception and thus also on the sexual function. Most people realize that the belly grows during pregnancy, but many women* certainly only realize how extensive and lasting this change is during pregnancy. Your own body not only looks different, it also feels different and long after birth. He is dispossessed a bit, no longer just feels like "mine". Even if that sounds naive, it actually came as a surprise to me.

And not only your own perception changes, but also that of the environment, especially when you are visibly pregnant. Because once you have finally fulfilled your reproductive purpose, you fall off the grid of sexual relevance. In her wonderful Ted Talk, Sofia Jawed-Wessel describes this transition of women* as sexual objects of desire for "cute" pregnant women. Suddenly we fall into the same category as older people. After all, seats on public transport are also cleared for us. By the way, thank you very much.

The statement that as a pregnant woman* one ceases to exist as a sexual being is safe for pregnant women most obvious without a steady partner or in open relationships. But there can also be changes in permanent partnerships. This also applies beyond pregnancy: as a woman*, you can never really show enough breasts, after all, they are shown often enough on advertising posters, that’s okay Breastfeeding usually problematic and definitely one thing: unsexy.

This not only changes our own self-image, but this is also reflected in our environment. This requires a major adjustment process for pregnant women* and it can certainly affect sexual pleasure. This requires patience and empathy on the part of women* with themselves, but also with their partners.

Sex in childbirth and lactation

Anyone who thinks that everything is "back to normal" after the birth is unfortunately mistaken, because now the childbed comes and the body adjusts again. Many don't think much about it, because then it's "over" and the advice usually only goes up to the birth and then only about the baby. But what about the mother? After all, your* body has just done an incredible job and still has a long way to go before it recovers. So how is it after the birth?

Vaginal sex is not recommended during the weekly flow (approximately 4 - 8 weeks), but can occur if both partners feel like it. A condom is advised, especially to prevent infection. Well, I've never felt less sexy than wearing mesh panties and pads big enough to stand up paddling on, but maybe I'm being weird...

But the wounds that can result from childbirth, e.g. perineal tears or caesarean scars, can also cause pain for longer. If you are breastfeeding, you often need some time here too, because unfortunately it is not as easy as it looks. The pelvic floor is no longer the same from pregnancy and birth. The loosened ligaments can make sex feel different or even painful. This is where pelvic floor exercises can help.

But the body has also changed permanently in other ways: the tummy looks at first as if the baby had forgotten its sibling in the tummy and then as if a balloon had been deflated. Usually the whole surface is marbled with stretch marks and if you have a cesarean scar, it looks a bit like Frankenstein's monster. Breastfeeding suddenly has huge breasts that sometimes feel like they're about to burst, and the most innocent thoughts can trigger a torrent and you'll drip like an old faucet. Unfortunately, after breastfeeding, the breasts look a lot sadder and are suddenly a whole bit closer to the feet. Many things that changed during pregnancy return to their original state afterwards, but many others do not either. And it often takes a while to get used to your new body. January Harshe also has the wonderful Instagram page for this "Take back postpartum", where women* are allowed to present their new bodies without any shame.

As if that weren't enough, add to that the sleep deprivation and exhaustion that comes from the incredible feats of pregnancy and childbirth. The change in one's own life in that a new being lives with one, which forces one to put one's own needs aside because it needs its own to be met immediately. I don't know who wouldn't necessarily want to rip their clothes off because they feel insatiable sexual desire.

Sex during pregnancy and after childbirth has to do with one thing above all: adaptation. Because there are many changes taking place during this time and many of them "have come to stay". This requires patience, with yourself and your own body. Above all, we should listen to our bodies better, because, as is so often the case with sex, whatever is good is allowed, even during pregnancy. But it shouldn't be a must and we should define "sex" as broadly as possible to empower women* during pregnancy, because they already have to do without enough.

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