safe motherhood



Sex during pregnancy is quite safe for the baby, unless your doctor advises you otherwise. Whether you feel more keen on sex or totally off it, there's no cause for concern.

"I've never felt as turned on as I did when I was pregnant. Even towards the end, we made love far more often than usual." Sue, first baby.

Bloodflow to the pelvic region, combined with increased vaginal lubrication, means that in theory making love can be better than ever. And, of course, there are no contraceptives to worry about and - if this is your first pregnancy - no sudden distractions in the shape of a crying infant. Plus, as your bump gets bigger, the challenge of having to find new positions for intercourse is often a turn-on in itself. Pregnancy is a great time to enjoy sex - if you can.

But if the beginning of a new life deep inside means new responsibilities to take on board for both of you, you may no longer think of yourselves as playful lovers, but rather as sensible parents.

"I feel very close to Pete as we lie in bed together talking about our future as parents, but it doesn't make either of us want sex. Pete thinks it would be like doing it with someone watching." Anita, first baby.

If you feel the same as this, just keep talking to one another and sharing cuddles or a massage. Remember that sex isn't just about penetration - closeness is what counts.

Sex to start labour

If you go several days post-date with your pregnancy and would like to go into labour naturally, you might be interested to know that the prostaglandins (hormones) in semen help to ‘ripen’ your cervix and the oxytocin you produce when you get sexually aroused can kick-start labour - though bear in mind that:

• It doesn't always work;
• It can be uncomfortable.

Massage and nipple stimulation can also help labour to start.