A woman often finds that her libido is all over the place during pregnancy; one minute it's in over drive, the next it's totally stalled. Wherever you fall on the sexual spectrum, you may be wondering if certain sexual techniques and positions are safe now that you're pregnant. An alluring sex practice called tantric sex is becoming more and more mainstream lately and especially popular during pregnancy. Many couples practice tantric sex because it touts heightened intimacy. Sure, it may be pleasurable, but is tantric sex safe during the first trimester? In most cases it is, but some modifications may be needed depending on what you're feeling.
"Tantric sex is about creating and maintaining a strong, mindful connection to your partner by using your personal sexual energy," Deena Blumenfeld, Lamaze-certified childbirth educator of Shining Light Prenatal Education, tells Romper. "It involves prolonged eye contact, gentle touch, and dedicated time with your partner." This means one huge difference between this type of sex practice and many others. She explains that with tantric sex, orgasms are not the ultimate goal.
Additionally, because pleasure is more the point in tantric sex (and not an orgasm), breathwork is often a big component. "Partners will synchronize breathing or breath in particular patterns to generate energy and improve flow," Blumenfeld explains. "This is fine during pregnancy, as long as the pregnant woman doesn't become light headed." She emphasizes that if a pregnant woman is feeling light headed with the particular breathwork she's practicing, she may need to find a more appropriate variation. This advice can be used for the first trimester and beyond.
As for tantric positions, you may wonder if any are off limits. And the answer is no. There are many sexual positions couples may use during tantric sex including the hot seat, mermaid, the lap dance, or the tidal wave, as illustrated in Cosmopolitan. Most of the positions have the couples facing each other, which is kind of the point with tantric sex. "They have a stronger focus on eye contact and are generally forward facing, though there are exceptions," Blumenfeld says. "If it feels good, it is good." She also explains that many of these same tantric positions are actually regular sex positions, but the intention with them is different in tantric sex.
As with any and all pregnancy sex, you want to make sure you're cleared to have sex in the first place. In general, 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. Blumenfeld agrees that pregnant women should follow the usual guidelines and adds, "if she's bleeding, her water is broken, or her doctor has otherwise told her not to engage in intercourse, then she can practice the non-penetrative aspects of tantra to grow her relationship with her partner."
All pregnancies and couples are unique so finding what works for you during this time is best. Tantric sex might be something that you've always done, or something you're exploring, but either way it's best to be aware of what is giving you pleasure and what isn't. Using your body and advice from medical providers as guides when having sex will ensure you and your baby are safe.