Sex during pregnancy doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Know which positions are best for you and your bump.
WORDS STEFFI TAN
Pregnancy means making all sorts of changes to accommodate the little one growing in your tummy, and this includes matters in the bedroom. When it comes to sex during pregnancy, your usual positions might start to feel a bit tricky or uncomfortable especially as that bump of yours increases in size. But as long as you get a little creative, sex is definitely not out of the picture. Motherhood speaks to some experts on how to stay safe and still be able to have fun!
Pregnancy Sex Positions to Try and When to Try Them
During the first trimester, Dr Martha Tara Lee, clinical sexologist of Eros Coaching says that anything goes. Since there is no big belly to work around yet, your go-to positions will still be of service. For example, with no abdomen in the way, you can still use the common “missionary” position, says Dr Christopher Chong, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Gleneagles Hospital.
But once you are 20 weeks along, Dr Lee says to avoid positions that have you lying flat on your back (such as the abovementioned “missionary” position). This is because when you lie on your back, the enlarged uterus puts pressure on your aorta, which compromises blood flow to the placenta that nourishes and maintains the growth of the foetus.
By the time the second trimester comes around, the couple may wish to change to positions that have the woman in the superior position (on top), lying on her side, or penetration through a posterior approach by her husband, says Dr KK Chow, specialist in obstetrician and gynaecology at the Raffles Women’s Centre, Raffles Hospital. A few of such poses are:
Spooning or reverse spooning
Says Dr Lee, in this position, the two partners should lie down sideways like two spoons combined together. The male should be behind the female and choose a comfortable angle of penetration from behind. Reverse spooning also involves lying side-by-side but facing one another instead — enjoy this face-to-face pose while you still can with a belly that’s not quite so large yet.
The position is ideal for people with a retroverted womb (one that is tilted backwards) as it reduces strain on the back, says Dr Chong. It also reduces the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI), adds Dr Chong.
Pregnant women are at increased risk of UTIs starting week six
through week 24 due to hormone changes.
Dr Lee suggests a version of the rear entry position called “hands and knees”, which as the name suggests involves rear entry while the female is on her hands and knees on the ground, facilitating deep penetration. This position is good to try during the second trimester but might be something you find uncomfortable once you hit the third trimester, notes Dr Lee.
Sit and stare, or the lap top
With your man sitting on a chair, straddle him face-forward so you can gaze into each other’s eyes, describes Dr Lee of the “sit and stare”. The “lap top” also involves the man sitting down on a chair and the female on his lap, but this time with her back facing the male partner.
Once you reach the third trimester, the ideal position places no pressure on your belly and
lets the female control the depth of penetration, says Dr Lee.
Woman on top
Dr Lee recommends what she terms the “ultimate sex position” that can be used across all trimesters, the “woman on top”. In this position, the male partner should lie down on the bed with the female partner sitting on top of him as this will help not to place any weight on her abdomen. The female is in full control of her movements and she can guide the session along at a pace she is comfortable with.
If the sight of your pregnant belly is making him anxious, Dr Lee provides an alternative — the “reverse cowgirl” position. It’s the same as “woman on top” with the only difference being that the female partner should face away from the man.
Other sex positions that Dr Lee says that still work at this stage include the abovementioned “spooning” or other side entry positions, which involves no weight on your belly and shallower penetration. Or you could try the following poses that facilitate rear entry — besides the “lap top” (as described above), try kneeling on a bed, chair or sofa, or standing up with your hands resting on a wall or the back of a sofa. Rear entry when both are standing against the wall together is helpful for those with a backache, which is pretty much a given at this stage of the pregnancy, says Dr Chong.
Dr Lee describes another pose you might be comfortable with trying at this point, which involves you sitting on the edge of a bed, chair, or the kitchen counter — whatever works. Lie down on the edge of the bed with your legs down. Your partner should face you and penetrate in a kneeling position so that there is no pressure on the abdomen. If you choose a chair or the kitchen counter, the male partner can kneel or stand and adjust as necessary to the right height for comfortable penetration.
Each couple is unique and positions that work for them will largely depend on the couple’s usual bedroom practices, says Dr Chow. You and hubby have to try out the above positions to see which is most suitable, and fine tune as you go along, adds Dr Chong.