by Danielle Cavallucci
With so many myths surrounding sex and pregnancy, it's no wonder many couples forego the urge completely.
Sex, however, is recommended for mom, baby and partner well-being, save in rare cases of medically risky pregnancies like those with placentia previa or historical issues.
Eight Reasons to Keep Sensual Self
The effects of that nasty stress hormone cortisol on your body are significantly reduced by intimate contact and regular touch.
Cortisol is cause for many undesirable outcomes, including its favorite past-time: helping your body stow away unwanted fats and toxins. It can disrupt your sleep cycle, throw your bio-rhythms off-kilter and kill your sexual response. Cortisol has been shown to increase your risk for stroke, cancer and a slew of other undesirable maladies. It decreases pain tolerance, enhances discomforts associated with pregnancy, blosters negative feeling and makes you feel tired.
A rarely necessary leftover from our hunter-gatherer days when high-alert was necessary for survival, cortisol, halts digestion, stores fat and prepares the body for severe stresses like starvation, flight and fight. None of these are really necessary in our modern day, but the body hasn’t quite figured that out yet. Do yourself a favor and take the time to curb the effects of cortisol on you and your child!
In-utero massage, a bath of the "love" hormones oxytocin and endorphins, an improved sense of overall well-being -- all products of the orgasmic response. Why wouldn't you give these things to your baby and yourself?
As my co-author of "Your Orgasmic Pregnancy: Little Sex Secrets Every Hot Mama Should Know" and I always say: Great Sex Makes Great Citizens. Promoting good feelings about self, partner, baby and the world at large, sexual activity makes you a better person. By taking the edge off of your exhaustion, negativity and anxieties, sex can induce feelings of calm, centeredness and gratitude which allow for greater love, creativity and success. The positive benefits of a healthy sexuality on an individual and those around them cannot be overstated. I implore you -- enjoy your body and make the world a better place by example!
Strengthening the vital underpinnings of partnership, regular sexual contact between partners keeps them in tune, maintains a sense of closeness and connection and keeps you in synch.
The foundation of a healthy parenting partnership is rooted in communication and intimacy. Try engaging in loving touch at least once a day, whether you feel like it or not. Such touch reminds you that there is much more to pregnancy and childbirth than planning a college fund and picking color palettes for your nursery. Renewing your appreciation for your partner's skin and touch will keep you in tune with the bigger picture and prevent you from getting too bogged down in the endless details preparing for a child can breed.
The love that binds a family and keeps it together is forged of these intimate bonds, not in the details of aesthetics and planning. Couples who focus on regular intimate touch and sensual intimacy communicate more lovingly and mitigate arguments more effectively. Their sense of one another is infinitely more positive, lending a superb edge when navigating the waters of co-parenting and plotting the course for a lifetime together with their new addition.
It's great exercise!
Wanna work off that snack attack you had this morning? For a 140 pound woman, just 20 minutes of sexual intercourse can burn as many as 96 calories. Decaf skinny latte anyone?
Sex will help you to enjoy your blossoming body even more.
Learning to associate your body with pleasurable sensations will enable you and your partner to more fully enjoy your pregnancy. Enjoying every aspect of your bodies, including the pregnant parts, you will deepen your physical bond, sink more deeply into the subtler, more sensual aspects of your sexual selves and become more attuned to one another. Savoring your sexual energies and relishing the response each of your bodies can elicit will allow you some of the most mind-blowing orgasms ever.
As mentioned in my book, many women become orgasmic or multiply orgasmic for the first time in their lives during pregnancy due to hormonal response, vaso-dilation and downward pressure exerting itself on all of your sexual nerves down below.
You will sleep better!
Want to fall asleep more deeply, stay in deep sleep longer and to feel more well-rested? Try sex! Every mom-to-be knows how precious rest can be when hormones are surging, feet are aching, strange spots are swelling and the pounds start packing on. Sex can help you feel less overwhelmed and more rested.
Sex improves immunity and helps you stay healthier.
Regular sex results in a 305% higher level of immunoglobulin A. That's right -- this key component in your body's ability to ward off diseases can be enhanced that dramatically by engaging in sexual activity at least once or twice a week. It can ward heart disease, stroke, cancer and act as a natural remedy for colds and flu. Who wouldn't want to enjoy these health benefits?
Sex increases pain tolerance.
Whether taking matters into your own hands or asking for a partner assist downstairs, regular vaginal stimulation acts as a mild analgesic and increases pain tolerance. This is great news for the multitude of pregnancy-accompanying discomforts most women complain of.
Checking in with your physician first is a definite must before you get down, girl; so don't find yourself in the 70% of pregnant women who never broach the subject of sex with their doctors. Join the other 30% of us who know for sure whether it's OK to play.
Danielle Cavallucci has been involved with health-focused advocacy for over a decade. After the birth of her first child she became a birthing mentor and a specialist in pregnancy fitness. A Reiki master and holistic practitioner, her works include founding Sensual Fusion and working with both men and women to achieve their highest potential for sensual, physical and spiritual fulfillment within the context of facilitation and re-centering. Her energetic influence has reached thousands of mothers-to-be and their partners via internet, broadcast and written word. She works with people nationwide via telephone, teleconference and face time from her home in Laguna Beach.
For additional information on staying sexy during pregnancy, check out her book "Your Orgasmic Pregnancy: Little Sex Secrets Every Hot Mama Should Know."
Copyright © Danielle Cavallucci. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.