I totally understand the allure of a pregnant woman’s curvaceous figure and her fertility-driven pheromones. I know first-hand how a mom-to-be’s libido can rev up well into week 40. And while having sex might naturally induce labor as the big day nears — my midwife called it “due date insurance” as semen softens the cervix, and a woman’s orgasm can cause uterine contractions — apparently some people have sex during labor, too. Which lead me to wondering can you have sex while in labor? Is that even possible? Safe? Comfortable?
Speaking as someone who vividly remembers the body-rocking contractions and intense nausea during labor — not to mention the constant in-flow of nurses and visitors checking vitals and chatting — I truly can’t fathom thinking, “You know what sounds good right about now? Some sex.”
And yet not all women would agree. Labor and delivery nurse Chaunie Brusie never imagined “stopping hanky panky” would be included in her job description, let alone that any woman in the about-to-have-a-baby (or worse, just-had-a-baby) state would even entertain the idea. As a mother of four herself, she knows the intensity of labor from both perspectives. And yet, as she detailed for Mommyish.com, she and her co-workers have seen plenty of X-rated scenes on the OB floor, including a live-action show for an entire triage-room full of people.
“The couple in question was there for a labor evaluation,” Brusie wrote for Mommyish.com. “She had experienced a few contractions and thought she may be in labor, but after being evaluated, her doctor decided to send her home. Her nurse unhooked her from the monitors and walked out to gather her discharge paperwork, a task that takes 15 minutes, tops. But that was all the time they needed.” Brusie then detailed how the couple, who set up doggy-style behind a hospital curtain, was in front of a window, and that window’s reflection was clearly visible to the triage room. So much that a patient’s husband was able to snap a photo of the reflection, leaving no doubt as to what the couple was up to.
When speaking to Brusie, she emphasized that having sex during labor is not recommended, and definitely not after your water breaks. Once you start leaking amniotic fluid, putting anything in your vagina — especially a penis — can increase the risk of infection in your womb, according to Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals’ website. Knowing this, another mom we spoke with took a different route to during-labor sex.
“I had to be admitted to the hospital after my water partially broke because I had Group B strep,” Michelle R., a 25-year-old mom tells us. “My contractions weren’t strong, and we were getting really impatient, so our nurse suggested nipple stimulation. My husband volunteered to help with the stimulation, so we went into the bathroom, I took off my bra, and he immediately got turned on.” Michelle briefly considered having sex before remembering that her water broke a few hours earlier. But that didn’t stop her and her husband from getting it on “I blew him, right in the hospital bathroom. We never told anyone about it; sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person in history to give her husband a blow job while she’s in labor.”
Somehow I doubt she’s the only one, but it’s still impressive nonetheless.
And yet for some pregnant couples, getting down during labor isn’t a matter of sky-high libido or unexpected arousal. For some — like Anne O., a 30-year-old mom of three, it’s done out of sheer necessity. “I was in early labor and super duper uncomfortable,” Anne recalls. “[The baby] was already late, well over 40 weeks, and I was growing bigger by the minute. My contractions would start up, and then die down a few hours later. So the night before my scheduled induction, we had sex as soon as my contractions started up. It was really uncomfortable and not fun for anyone. But within 24 hours, I had the baby. No induction needed.”
Moral of the story, folks: Sex during labor can be uncomfortable as hell, potentially dangerous, and fodder for L&D nurses to laugh about with their friends (or for anyone with a cell phone camera in a triage room.)