Is BDSM Safe When Pregnant? Here's The Deal

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Feeling like you want to bump and grind while you have a bump is totally normal and fine to do so in most cases. It's widely known that sex can relieve stress, help you sleep, and nurture feelings of intimacy with your partner. But what if the sex you're into isn't talked about as much in mainstream culture, like BDSM? Many people practice sexual acts under the umbrella term "BDSM," and those who are into it may wonder, is BDSM safe when pregnant? As it turns out, in many cases it is.

BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism. It sounds like a lot of words, but basically it's a dominance/submissive sexual relationship where partners explore their alternative sexual fantasies that could involve bondage, sadomasochism, or any of the hundreds of fetishes, according to Submissive Guide. Both people understand what's happening in the relationship and, obviously, consent to it.

Generally speaking, sex for pregnant women is safe unless there are pregnancy complications or a past medical history that indicates it's not a good idea, according to Baby Center. Bear in mind, everyone has unique pregnancies and everyone practices sex differently too. What turns you on might not turn the next person on and that needs to be accounted for and talked about. Whether it's oral sex, masturbation, or BDSM sex should be talked about with pregnant women.

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In regards to BDSM, Lamaze certified childbirth educator Deena Blumenfeld of Shining Light Prenatal Education tells Romper that it's important, "to separate bondage and domination from sado-masochism, as the two things don't always go together." "The psychological components of this sex play, or lifestyle will do no harm during pregnancy," she says, adding that if pregnant women and their partner(s) want to continue in that way, they can and there are no safety issues.

There are other aspects of BDSM, however, that might need to be looked at more closely. "The bondage and pain components need to be evaluated a bit more in detail to ensure a mother and baby's safety," Blumenfeld says. "Most aspects of this will cause no issue." She says sex acts like spankings, whether with a hand or a flagellation device, would generally be fine.

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Blumenfled added that gags, handcuffs and other restraints are OK as well. "The concern will rise as the severity level of bondage and pain/pleasure does,"  she says, adding  that rope bondage and suspensions may restrict blood flow to a fetus, depending on how it's performed. Additionally, hook suspensions put a mother at risk for infection and possibly septicemia. There is also a fall hazard with both.

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If you're trying to figure out safety, Blumenfeld says you should ask, if there is a risk of falling, infection, or overheating.  If the act does, then it should be skipped.

Beyond the sexual acts practiced through BDSM, Blumenfield stresses the need for good communication. "If mom is the sub, she needs to be able to utilize her safe word/safe gesture effectively with a partner(s) who is compassionate and responsible," she says. "If mom is the domme or top, she can engage as she pleases. She is the domme after all."

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BDSM is really no different than any other sexual relationship in that all require communication and trust. If a woman is pregnant and has no complications sex, however she practices is it, is generally safe. But if a concern arises, modifications can always be made and your medical provider will help you make the best decision for you and your baby.