Courtesy of Steph Montgomery
What Pregnancy Sex Can Actually Teach You

by Steph Montgomery

I didn't have a ton of pregnancy sex during my first two pregnancies. TBH, I thought it was terrible. I felt awkward, ashamed, and unattractive. Thankfully, that was not the case this time around. I did learn a lot about my relationships from the way my partners and I approached and engaged in pregnancy sex. As it turns out, there are things you can only learn about your relationship during pregnancy sex, at least it was true for me.

A little disclaimer: this is meant to be a fun exercise in relationship exploration. No one, pregnant or not, should be forced to do anything with their body that they don't want to. Ever. Also, at this point, I should probably warn my parents to stop reading.

Anyways, what did I learn about my relationships during pregnant sex?

First off, I learned is just how important sex was to me and my partner. Is it something you are willing to give up when you feel like crap or are told you have to by your obstetrics provider, or will that be a deal breaker? Also things like: are you creative, adaptable, and (perhaps literally) flexible in the bedroom, but also in your relationship with one another? Do you understand that people change and so do their likes, dislikes, turn-ons, and turn-offs? Is it more important to you to finish what you start or be understanding when things don't go as planned (which are pretty important skills for partners and parents if you think about it)?

Do you care more about your partner's pleasure or your own and what does that mean for your ability to compromise or change you mind. And when it comes to the bedroom (and life in general), are you a better listener or do you prefer to call the shots?

Just How Important Is Sex, Anyway?

Sex is important to many relationships, including mine. I learned that not having sex when I was super sick or out on bedrest was a huge deal for my ex — something he wouldn't let me forget and something that became a source of constant conflict.

My current husband, however, showed me that he cared more about me and my wellbeing, than he did about sex.

How Do You Handle Disappointment?

Things don't always go as planned, in the bedroom and in relationships. How you or your partner react if you aren't digging a new position, don't have an orgasm, or are too tired to finish says a lot about how you handle disappointment in your relationship, too.

Are You Ashamed About Bodily Functions?

Are you the type of person who won't poop if your partner is in the house or one who lets farts rip under the covers? If you are the former, pregnancy sex might take some getting used to. You might just find that exploring your pregnant body together, allows you to be more open and unashamed of the way your body works, even when it's super gross. I know I did.

Do You Like To Try New Things?

Are you and your partner adventurous risk-takers or comforted by routine and stability?

How Adaptable And Flexible Are You?

Partnerships and parenthood both require a certain amount of flexibility and adaptability. If you can find ways to get it on, despite morning sickness, aches and pains, and dramatic changes in your body and mood, you might just find that you become more adaptable and resilient in other aspects of your life, too.

How Superficial Is Your Relationship?

Are you all about looks and appearances, or who your partner is as a human and vice versa? Will he love loving your body when you've gained 30 (or 50 or 90 pounds) and are leaking breast milk from your hyper-sensitive nipples? Or will he say things to make you feel terrible about how your body changes when growing a freaking human (which is so not OK)?

How Do You Respond When Things Get Weird?

What happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom, especially when things get weird. How will your partner (and you) react if you start spotting, if the baby kicks him or makes your tummy move like a wave pool or if he gets sprayed in the eye with breast milk? Their reactions just might teach you about how they will handle weird happenings in their life with you outside of the bedroom (or the shower or the kitchen).

Do You Trust Each Other?

Having sex when you feel insecure or unattractive takes a certain amount of trust. When your partner tells you you look like a goddess and makes you feel sexy it can make you trust them more, in all areas of your relationship.

How Creative Are You?

To make pregnancy sex work, you sometimes have to get creative. Your old standbys might no longer work or be logistically possible. Are you willing to try new things and explore different positions, maneuvers, lube, or even entirely different ways of expressing intimacy?

How To Communicate Your Needs, Even When They Are Bizarre

Just like food cravings and aversions, your sexual desires during pregnancy can be, well, different. I totally wanted to be touched differently, in different positions, with different intensity. I found that my partner appreciated a direct approach. Who knew? Being able to communicate your needs is key to a healthy relationship. Pregnancy sex helped us learn how.