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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Sex During Pregnancy

Sex is what got you here...pregnant; however, there is a tendency for both expectant mothers and fathers to cut back on sex once they've achieved pregnancy (especially if getting pregnant has been a challenge instead of a surprise). But take a good look at yourself; what could be sexier? You can bet your partner will agree, so now's a good time to take advantage of hassle-free, fun sex. You certainly don't have to worry about birth control, and in spite of your increasing size, it will be easier to have sex now, before your little one arrives. Just ask anyone who has already had their first baby! And sex is perfectly safe during most pregnancies. With a normal pregnancy, you can keep doing it right up until your water breaks. Make sure to check with your doctor or midwife first if you're having any problems, such as placenta previa or bleeding, or if you have a history of miscarriage.

Some women report that sex during pregnancy is the best they've ever had while others admit that it's not what it once was. The heightened pleasure is usually attributed to increased blood flow to the pelvic area, also known as engorgement of the genitals. If you find that sex has become particularly enjoyable during pregnancy it may be because you finally feel free from worries about conception and contraception, and are feeling sexier than ever. But if you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum and sex is not as appealing, this can be due to several factors. The same engorgement that can push some women over the threshold of ecstasy can give other women an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after having sex and some women may feel abdominal cramping during or after sex. It may just be that you're tired or too nauseated to have sex or even care about it, especially in the first trimester. Things should pick up once you're past the first trimester and the second trimester is often marked by a resurging libido.

Your libido may wane again in the third trimester, as impending labor and delivery - and your belly - loom large. By this point, some women just simply feel unattractive. Ironically, your partner's sex drive may actually increase as your pregnancy progresses, as he's drawn to your more curvaceous and feminine body. But some partners do experience a decreased libido if he's overly concerned for your health and that of your baby, or if he's apprehensive about becoming a father, that he'll hurt the baby, or if he's feeling self-conscious about making love in the presence of the unborn child.

Here are the most common myths about having sex during pregnancy:

Myth #1 - Sex will hurt the baby

Sex is not harmful for your baby. In fact, in most cases, the motion of having sex will rock your little one off to sleep. The thick mucus plug that seals the cervix will prevent your partner's penis from ever coming into contact with the baby and helps guard against infection, while the amniotic sac and strong uterine muscles also protect your baby. You may notice that your baby is very active after your orgasm and this is because of your pounding heart, not because your baby knows what is happening or feels pain.

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