Pregnancy is a weird thing. One minute, you feel like a hormonal 20-ton truck; the next, you feel all Life-Giving Earth Mother. One week, you can't even bear the thought of being touched; another week, you're totally in the mood, big belly and all. When this happens late in the pregnancy — as in, up to the 40th week and even beyond your due date — you may wonder not only whether it's safe, but also which sex positions are best in late pregnancy.
Here's the good news: Unless your doctor advises against it for a specific reason (such as placenta previa or leaking amniotic fluid), it's perfectly safe to have sex throughout your pregnancy, right up to the end of the third trimester, according to the Mayo Clinic. Even if you're beyond your due date, you won't put your baby at risk; your uterine muscles and amniotic fluid keep the little one cushioned, and penetration doesn't get close enough to touch your baby, assured BabyCenter.
As for the old-as-dirt advice about deliberately encouraging labor by having sex, the jury is still out. Although WebMD reported that some doctors say the prostaglandins in semen can bring on labor, a 2009 study seems to contradict this. The research, published in the Singapore Medical Journal, found that pregnant women who tried to induce labor through sex were in fact less successful than women in their full term who abstained.
Whether you're hoping to move things along, or just want some final intimate moments with your partner before those long nights of feedings and everything else, knowing which positions are best will make the experience both comfortable and enjoyable.
1. You On Top
When you're pregnant, it's important to keep pressure off your stomach and uterus. Being the one on top not only avoids this problem altogether, it also enables you to control the speed and penetration angle in a way that's most pleasurable for you, sex expert Pepper Schwartz told Parents.
2. Rear Entry
For couples who don't ordinarily go doggie-style, this can be a fun change of pace as well as a pregnancy-approved method. Rest on your elbows and knees to take the weight off your stomach, advised What to Expect.
3. In His Lap
4. Edge Of The Bed
Sitting or lying face-up on the edge of the bed or couch allows your partner either to enter you while standing or kneeling. However, cautioned Parents, this position allows for greater penetration, so you may have to let your partner know how deep and fast is best for you.
5. Spooning Position
This sweetly intimate position allows both of you to experiment to see which angle works best; it's also a gentler method, because it calls for shallower penetration. American Pregnancy recommends that pregnant women should lie on their left side when possible, as it allows for greater blood flow to the placenta.
6. Reverse Seated (Cowgirl)
The Bump suggested this woman-on-top pregnancy position, in which your partner lies on his back while you face away from him as you sit. This has the added benefit of providing more stimulation to your G-spot, making for potentially stronger orgasms.
7. Oral Pleasure
Sex educator Anne Hodder told the dads' website Fatherly that "sex doesn't have to be all about penises in vaginas." A simple massage can still make you feel connected, or you can pleasure each other orally and manually for a satisfying experience that may be more comfortable than intercourse in your final trimester.
Whichever position or approach works best for you, making time for intimacy when you're pregnant can help you feel more connected to your partner and remind you that you're a sexual being — something that can be easy to forget once the baby arrives.