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American star Meghan Trainor, 26, and her husband Daryl Sabara are expecting their first child together, a boy.
And the All About That Bass singer has implemented an interesting rule: no sex while pregnant.
“Maybe this is weird,” she’s admitted. “But mentally I can't have sex while our son is in between us,” she said. “All my pregnancy apps say it feels really good.”
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Mum-of-five Katie Price, 42, similarly confessed while on Loose Women that she didn’t enjoy being intimate while expecting her babies.
“I know I’ve had five but I hated being pregnant and did not feel sexy, I felt so ugly.”
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Here, Dr Ellie Rayner, offers us her exclusive advice: “As an Obstetrician, whether it is safe to have sex during pregnancy is a question I get asked a lot,” says Dr Ellie.
So IS it safe for the baby?
“It is safe to have sex when you’re pregnant unless your doctor or midwife has told you not to. Having sex, or an orgasm, won’t harm you or your baby. Your baby is protected by the amniotic sack and strong uterine muscles and they won’t know what’s happening.”
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Does being pregnant affect your libido?
“During pregnancy, it is normal for your sex drive to change, for some women it goes up, but for others the desire to have intercourse might go down. This is completely normal and it is important to discuss this with your partner if this is something worrying you.”
Does sex feel different when you’re pregnant?
“Some women find that intercourse may feel different when they are pregnant compared to previously. This is often due to the normal changes in hormones which can affect your sex drive and may make your vagina feel drier. If this is the case, use a water-based lubricant to help.
“An orgasm, or sex itself, can sometimes trigger Braxton Hicks contractions – when the muscles in your tummy get hard and then relax – but these are harmless.
These are different to labour contractions and do not cause the cervix to dilate. Sexual intercourse or an orgasm doesn’t increase the risk of premature labour or of experiencing a miscarriage.”
Any positions to be avoided?
“As long as you are comfortable, most sexual positions are okay, but you might need to experiment to find out which positions are most favourable for you. Often lying on your side can help.
“Many women ask if having sex can stimulate labour. Semen does contain Prostaglandins in small numbers which may help soften the cervix if you are approaching birth, but the evidence is limited to the effect of this.”
Are there any pregnant women who DO need to avoid sex?
“There are a couple of reasons your midwife or doctor may tell you to avoid intercourse during pregnancy and these include; having a low-lying placenta or a placenta praevia, having heavy bleeding, cervical weakness or if you have gone into premature labour earlier in the pregnancy, if you are carrying twins or if your waters have broken (as this increases the chance of infection).
“Never hesitate to talk to your midwife or Obstetrician if you have any questions or concerns about having intercourse in pregnancy, it’s a question we all get asked a lot, we’ve heard everything before and it is something we are happy to discuss openly and answer any questions you have.”
Dr Ellie Rayner is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, antenatal teacher and founder of The Maternity Collective. She offers lots of free advice on her Instagram @maternitymedic
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