One of the main reasons I talk about sex, educate about the sexiness of sex and keep the sex talk fun with the families I serve is to bring about the connection factor between the two of them. Sex is the direct line to how most of us get to the planet. It’s one of our greatest commonalities among humans even though we don’t typically recognize it as such. Sex has the power to connect and unify when things are uncertain. That’s why birth workers get really busy ten months after – war time, elections, blackouts, three day blizzards and after natural disasters. Our intimacy desire increases and that instinctual want for connection, love and safety is manifested when things on the outside are uncertain.
When we first become pregnant our bodies are slammed with new baby hormones. We are sick, sleepy and just “not in the mood so back the heck off” to put it nicely. We push our partners away(out of necessity) but no one talks about how that can leave our partners feeling. Your partner is not only feeling a lack of intimacy with you, but also possible feelings of overwhelm with a new financial stress on its way in a few short months. They may be wondering how they are going to share YOU with this new little one.
Let’s not forget the banter your partner is most likely hearing from co-workers, friends and family members about how their old life is gone and there will be no sex in their new one! These phrases are only further reinforced if we keep that distance throughout the pregnancy and don’t reconnect before baby comes.
Partners have shared with me the guilt they felt in being jealous of the new baby even before the baby was born. Yes, they were excited for their baby but with so much change so fast- it felt isolating because they were the ones who needed to be strong for their woman’s physical and emotional changes. In our culture we don’t leave room for partners to share anything but POSITIVE feelings about what they are experiencing during the pregnancy. Afterall – THEY are not the pregnant one, so they couldn’t possibly have any room to complain! Really? The last thing a partner wants his/her person to feel is that they are not supportive or that they are also anxious about the changes this baby is bringing. Many partners feel alone, scared and have worries they don’t feel they can share with anyone. This lack of connection in pregnancy can also illuminates anything previously amiss in the relationship that hasn’t been resolved. With so much time to reflect on what’s going wrong in the relationship, this can bring more conflict from partners towards women that seems out of the blue. Personally I feel that this lack of connection in pregnancy also contributes to the growing rate of postpartum anxiety disorder in men after baby comes.
Sex when you’re pregnant leads to a feeling of connection if you’ve lost sight of that with all of these new changes in your situation and with your body. If the sexual relationship is kept intact, partners feel less like they have “lost their woman” and that you care enough to make them a priority when pregnancy in society seems to be all about the woman. Remember that once baby comes, there will be a period of 6 to possibly 10 weeks where you may not be able to have sex or want to have sex. If you have not had sexual intimacy for 3 to 6 months before your baby is born, how much harder is it going to be for both of you to reconnect the sexual intimacy with the physical exhaustion a baby just naturally brings?
There are more ways to intimately connect with someone besides the physical act of sex(you know this but it’s worth mentioning you may need to make the effort to be creative and keep things fun and light). Cuddles, foot/neck rubs and meeting each others love languages can help in keeping this great divide feeling not so GREAT a division. The hormones and pheromones involved with connecting sexually(especially when adding orgasm), leave baby with a feeling of love, well-being and a sense of safety that everything is okay. Truly the way baby gets in is the way baby gets out. Keeping a relationship connected before baby is born is only going to lower the stress once baby joins the family.
How have you kept the connection during pregnancy?