Don’t put romance and love on hold now you’re pregnant – it could make your relationship better than ever
There’s a terrible myth about pregnancy. That it means romance is out, swollen ankles are in.
It’s true you’ll notice a shift in your relationship as your priorities and circumstances change – but that doesn’t mean romance and intimacy is off the cards.
Far from it, in fact.
Make the most of your hormones
Pregnancy might give you nausea and heartburn but, for many women, it also boosts sexual appetite.
‘There are higher levels of the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen floating around your body, which can really increase your sex drive,’ says consultant obstetrician Devender Roberts.
You’ll have more fun
A brilliant side effect of all the extra blood pumping around in pregnancy is a heightened sensitivity and better, or even multiple, orgasms.
‘Swelling in your clitoral area can make for a much more intense experience,’ says Devender.
Add to this the increase in sex hormones and not having to worry about contraception, and you could be having the wildest, most satisfying sex of your life.
Pregnancy can be a turn-on
It’s pretty well known that men like women’s curves and the voluptuous hips, bottom and breasts that come with pregnancy can be hugely attractive.
Not only are you more womanly and rounded, but there’s also the power and sexiness
‘Not only are you more womanly and rounded, but there’s also the power and sexiness you’re exuding as a woman who’s growing a baby,’ says relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet.
‘Men pick up on this confidence and find it extremely sexy.’
Less sex, more cuddles
For some, having sex in pregnancy is not such an appealing prospect.
But taking it off the agenda can leave more room for intimate cuddling and stroking, which, according to a study by the Kinsey Institute in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University, is a far better indicator of the strength of a relationship than how often you’re swinging from the chandeliers.
‘It helps you feel connected physically, as well as comforted and reassured at a time when you both might feel a little anxious about the future,’ says Corinne.
Oxytocin isn’t known as the love hormone for nothing. It’s released during sex and cuddling, and keeps you calm, loving and content.
It also starts your contractions and stimulates your breasts to produce milk.
‘While the surge in oxytocin during birth encourages mum and baby to bond, if fathers are present, their oxytocin levels rise, too, and it means you can all connect as a family,’ says midwife and hypnobirthing practitioner Amanda Gwynne.
Healthy new outlook
When you’re pregnant, you feel a huge responsibility towards your own health and you’ll eat better, drink less alcohol and want to do the best for your baby. And you’re not the only one.
‘Fathers-to-be also feel this responsibility and start to think more about living a healthy life and being around to look after their family,’ says Amanda.
Yes, you’re going to be the smug ‘we eat mostly organic’ couple.
You’re a family now
Having children improves a married couple’s satisfaction and, the more you have, the happier you are, according to a recent Glasgow University study that quizzed 90,000 British mums and dads.
‘You’ve created this human being together – it’s a triangular love affair like no other,’ says Corinne. ‘Your relationship also becomes more rounded, as you open yourselves up to a new world as parents, with fresh experiences and friendships.’
What’s not to love?