There are so many myths surrounding sex and pregnancy that many couples quell the urge altogether. Barring specific medical risks involved with particular pregnancies, such as those with placentia previa, sex is recommended for the well-being of mother, baby and partner. Here are just a few of the wonderful reasons to keep your physical intimacy in high gear throughout your pregnancy:
1. Regular touch and sexual intimacy significantly reduce the effects of cortisol on your body.
Cortisol helps your body to retain unwanted fat and toxins which can cause a slew of trouble for you and your child. It disrupts your sleep cycles, your bio-rhythms and you sexual response. It has been shown to increase your risk for cancer, stroke and a whack of other serious health issues. It decreases your tolerance to pain and discomfort, increases feelings of negativity and wears you out.
All in all, cortisol is a rarely necessary, overly present hormone leftover from the days of hunter-gatherer society when stress responses of this nature were vital to survival. Your body doesn't realize it's no longer in mortal danger when you're stressed, so it releases hormones that quell digestion, horde fat stores and batton down the hatches for some trauma such as starvation, flight or fight.
2. The orgasmic response gives your baby an in-utero massage coupled with a bath of love hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins which have a major effect on your sense of well-being.
Sexual activity promotes good feelings about yourself, your partner, your baby and the world in general. As my Sensual Fusion co-founder, Yvonne K. Fulbright, and I always said: Great Sex Makes Great Citizens. In other words, you'll be a better person and a better member of our human community as a result. those post-coital rosy colored glasses can take the edge off negative thought and action and put you into a space of calm, centered and grateful - the place where success and creativity and love happen. What the world needs now is more people who enjoy a healthy and happy sex life, who will pay forward all of those positive benefits!
3. Regular sexual contact with your partner keeps you in tune, maintains your sense of connection and coupledom, and strengthens the close bonds so vital to founding a solid familial foundation. Intimacy and communication are the cornerstones of a healthy parenting relationship. Even if you don't really feel like it, try to engage in loving touch at least once a day. You and your partner will enjoy the renewal of affectionate appreciation for one another's skin, reminding you both that there is much more to pregnancy and childbirth than picking a nursery pallette or planning for college. There is the love that binds and keeps a family together, the love that prefaces just about everything else. Those couples who focus on maintaining a regular sexual intimacy find it easier to communicate lovingly and effectively about problems and disagreements, enjoy an edge when it comes to co-parenting and problem-solving and revel in the notion of plotting and planning their shared futures together.
4. It's great exercise!
20 minutes of sexual intercourse can burn as many as 96 calories in a 140 lb woman. What better way to work off that snack attack!?
5. Sex will help you to enjoy your blossoming body even more.
By associating your body with pleasurable sensations, you will enable yourself and your partner to maximize your enjoyment of this precious time. When you can both enjoy the pleasure your bodies are capable of, including the pregnancy affected bits, you'll deepen bonds, sink more deeply into your subtle energy and attune yourself to the natural energy of your sensual beings. When you savor your sexual energy and response, pregnancy can offer you some of the most mind-blowing orgasms of your life.
As mentioned in my book Your Orgasmic Pregnancy: Little Sex Secrets Every Hot Mama Should Know: many women become orgasmic or multiply orgasmic for the first time in their lives during pregnancy due to hormonal response, vaso-dilation and downward pressure exerting itself on all of your sexual nerves down below.
6. You will sleep better!
Sex helps you to fall asleep more deeply, stay in deep sleep longer and to feel more well rested after you do. Every mother to be knows how important rest is during this roller coaster of surging hormones, achy feet, swelling in strange places, extra weight to tote and the sense of overwhelm that is all to common among parents-to-be.
7. Sex improves immunity and helps you stay healthier.
That's right - regular sex results in a 305 higher level of immunoglobulin A, a key component in your body's ability to ward off diseases. Sex at least once or twice a week can fend off cancer, heart disease and stroke, and can act as a natural remedy for colds and flu.
8. Sex increases pain tolerance.
Whether you're taking matters into your own hands or asking your partner for help down there, vaginal stimulation increases pain tolerance and acts as a mild analgesic for many of the discomforts women report during pregnancy. Think natural relief for the less desirable results of a growing girth and get down, girl!!
Of course, you should always check with your physician first. Unfortunately, only about 30% of women ever broach the subject of sex with their physicians. Don't find yourself in the other 70% of women who deny themselves the peace of mind associated with a doctor's green light to get it on.