Pregnancy and old wives' tales go together like . . . well, like pregnancy and old wives' tales. Even sex isn't left out of the fun (and not-so-fun) game, and the old wives' tales about first trimester pregnancy sex might have you feeling a little ho-hum (or a little gung-ho) about getting it on in those first 12 weeks.
I heard a lot of old wives' tales when I was pregnant, but I didn't put any thought into them until someone told me sex could cure morning sickness. And the thought I put into that? "Oh hell no." Look, sex during pregnancy can be great, but as someone who had her head in the toilet every morning for about eight to nine weeks, the thought of heading to the bedroom before or after my sacrifice to the porcelain throne made me want to puke again. Seriously, can you think of anything less appealing? Sex while nauseated? No thank you.
But maybe it could've cured my vomiting. That tale is one of five old wives' tales about first trimester pregnancy sex and let me tell you something, they will all make you think. Some will make you feel a little panicky, but here's the thing — old wives' tales are exactly what they sound like. These aren't really backed by evidence or science, so while they're fun to share with friends or stress yourself out over, they aren't really worth committing to memory. (Unless sex does cure your morning sex and then hey, get it, girl.)
1. It Can Cause A Miscarriage
You've heard it before, I know. This one probably gets passed around because some doctors recommend sex to jump start labor. If sex can put you in labor, then surely it can cause a miscarriage, right? Not exactly. According to the Mayo Clinic, as long as your pregnancy is healthy and your doctor hasn't forbidden sex, it's totally safe and won't cause you to miscarry your baby.
2. The Baby Doesn't Like When You Have Sex
You can't feel the baby kicking quite this early, but many are concerned that the old wives' tale about your baby hating when you have sex. The reason? Some think that in later trimesters, if your baby kicks hard during or after sex, it's a warning to you and your partner that they don't like it. If your baby stops moving around, others worry that their baby isn't as active because they didn't like the motion of sex. But What to Expect noted that sometimes sex can lull your baby to sleep (so less activity) and sometimes it can make your baby more active. All normal. Not that you'll feel anything either way right now.
3. It Can Hurt The Baby
Not even close, friend. According to the American Pregnancy Association, your baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in your womb, your abdomen, and by the mucus plug that is keeping your cervix sealed. Seriously, as long as your doctor hasn't told you to refrain from sex, your baby is well protected while you're getting it on, even in the first trimester.
4. It's The Last Thing On Your Mind
There's the stereotype spurned from an old wives' tale that sex will be the absolute last thing on your mind. With all the exhaustion and nausea, it makes sense that you wouldn't be interested in sex. In fact, this is one old wive's tale that's pretty true. But it can also be the total opposite. According to What To Expect, all of those hormones could potentially increase your sex drive and make you want sex more than you did before you were pregnant.
5. It Can Cure Morning Sickness
It's an old wives' tale that I always refused to believe. OK, maybe I believe it, but who's willing to try this? I guess if you're desperate for some relief, you're in luck. Slate reported that Dr. Gordon Gallup, a psychologist at SUNY-Albany, believes that morning sickness is caused by the sperm that impregnated you. His theory is that because half of your fetus has someone else's DNA, your body might treat it as a foreign object or infection, making you feel nauseated. And, like any other type of sickness, the more exposed you are to it, the more immune you become. So if your child's DNA matches your partner's, it stands to reason that the more sex you have, the less sick you'll feel as you become "immune" to your partner's sperm. Crazy, right? Maybe those old wives were actually scientists.