For the labor of their dreams, many moms-to-be prep as much as they can. Music, a favorite pair of socks, and even a blanket from home can get you to relax and hopefully enjoy your labor and delivery. But some women turn to a different type of relaxation during labor — sex. But is sex during labor safe or is getting it on a no-no in the delivery room?
Wondering why this is even a thing? It actually makes sense to have sex during labor. According to What to Expect, semen contains prostaglandin, a hormone that can induce contractions. Laura Kaplan Shanley, author of Unassisted Childbirth, believes sex during labor is not only a great way to get your partner involved, but also has tons of benefits. On her website, she noted that when a woman is sexually stimulated, oxytocin is released, another hormone that can make her uterus contract, whether it's through orgasms or to help speed up labor. Shanley also wrote that another hormone found in semen, relaxin, can actually soften your cervix and lengthen the ligaments in your pelvis, making it easier for you to deliver your baby.
Sounds tempting, right? Orgasms during childbirth aren't new, but is it OK to get it on with your partner during labor or should you just power through?
According to the Mayo Clinic, sex during pregnancy is safe, but a health care provider may recommend you avoid it for a variety of reasons, including if you're leaking amniotic fluid (i.e. the fluid you're leaking when your water breaks.) So sex during labor is a no-go once that water breaks and you move into more active labor. But Everyday Health noted that you shouldn't be having sex while having contractions either.
Want the exact word? Talk to your provider. It seems that most midwives and healthcare professionals advocating for at-home births with little to no intervention are on board with sex during labor to a certain point, where hospitals aren't quite as excited about patients getting it on in the delivery room. If you're starting to feel the beginning stages of labor and are interested in sex, give your doctor a call to find out if it's OK. It could vary between providers, patients, and your particular birth.