Fit Pregnancy, August-September 2000
A Man's Guide to Sex and Pregnancy
Contrary to myth, making a baby doesn't spell the end of making whoopee.
When I was asked to write an overview of sex and pregnancy from a man’s point of
view, I was thrilled. What a great service I could provide, having been down the
pregnancy road twice already.
Now if only I could remember what having sex was like.
Don’t panic—I’m kidding. Despite what you’ve heard, guys, your sex life will
continue after the baby’s arrival. But like everything else that’s happening to you
now, the intimacy between you and your partner will have to adapt to the new family
As many of you already know, the spontaneity of your sex life underwent its first
significant change when you were trying to conceive (“Honey, according to my
calculations, I’ll be ovulating 15 minutes into Ally McBeal, so don’t get hooked on
tonight’s show”), but that’s nothing compared to what’s in store over the next nine
Month One: She’s glowing and you’re dazed. In other words, both of you are too
overwhelmed by the impending bundle to get truly lustful. So don’t be surprised if
month one is marked by more holding and tenderness than down-and-dirty
whoopee. Also, with a tidal wave of hormones now swamping her system, morning
sickness is likely to develop, the symptoms of which include lethargy, nausea and
vomiting. Not exactly a turn-on.
Month Two: So much for the sexual lay-off. By month two you’ve begun calculating
in your head just how long it’s been since the two of you rocked-and-rolled. To
compound matters, her breasts have begin to grow at an alarming rate. Bottom line:
Feeling deprived and suddenly married to Dolly Parton, you’re on the prowl.
Month Three: Morning sickness is beginning to fade, and her motherly tingle is
giving way to good old-fashioned horniness. Add to that your already frisky state,
and we’re looking down the line at some pretty athletic sex. Be warned, however:
Up to one out of five women experience spotting (light bleeding) during the first
trimester. If this occurs, intercourse should cease until you’ve consulted a doctor.
Month Four: Fasten your seat belts. With the bumpy first trimester a thing of the
past, her libido blooms, and she begins having sex dreams. Most of them don’t
include you, and instead feature an eclectic supporting cast. Are we talking about
Mel Gibson? Occasionally. A co-worker? Pretty likely. The bagger at the grocery
store? Definitely. But what do you care? You’re finally getting it, right?
Month Five: Oops. The same hormonal rushes that increase sexual desire also
provoke mood swings. Expect to be in the dog house this month for a variety of
transgressions that include: folding your socks wrong, forgetting to pass her the
ketchup, and getting her pregnant in the first place.
Month Six: For the first time, the obvious presence of a third party growing inside
of her makes sex....weird. This is not the menage-a-trois you fantasized about in
college. Most frightening to you is the idea of harming the baby while having
intercourse. A valid fear, but not to worry: a mucous plug that seals the cervix to
protect the fetus from infection protects the babe from even your most impressive
thrusts. In other words: chill out and get busy.
Month Seven: Among the physical phenomena overtaking her body in the third
trimester is an engorgement of the genitalia—the same type of enlargement that
occurs when she’s sexually aroused. That spells sexual sensitivity, with a capital
O—for orgasm. That’s right, despite her orgasmic history, the seven-monther
frequently experiences climaxes that are longer in duration and much more intense.
What does this mean for you? Delight in her thrashing about, and pretend you
actually had something to do with it.
Month Eight: Her size is officially an impediment to sex. The fullness of her belly,
coupled with the unwieldy condition of the cargo, makes frontal penetration virtually
impossible. The solution: it’s time to try new positions. I’d tell you which ones are the
most successful, but, hey, that would spoil your experimentation.
Month Nine: With baby packed and ready and only a brief stork flight away, it’s
freak-out time again. In other words: see Month One, only without the vomiting.
Labor: Believe it or not, some couples use sex to help with delivery. Say your
partner’s water breaks at 6:00 AM, and by noon she’s still not in active labor. By
stimulating her nipples and genitals, you can help bring on contractions. Warning:
Don’t expect your partner to return the favor. It’s zero hour now, and she’s got other
things on her mind.
Post-pregnancy: If I had a dollar for every new father who swore that he and his
wife would never have sex again, I wouldn’t be writing for this magazine—I’d own it.
When the dust settles, and your partner is beginning to reconnect with her
sexuality—and, yes, once the baby stops crying—you and your partner will indeed
rediscover the bedroom. Some take longer than others to do this. I’ve heard of men
who were so transformed by what they saw in the delivery room, that it took up to a
year to move past those lasting images; other men get back into the sexual swing
without missing a beat.
But in the end, yours and your partner’s sex life is just like the baby you created: it’s
yours, it’s precious, and it’s not going away.