Originally published @ shape.com
By Isadora Baum
There’s no reason to not have sex when you’re pregnant. These pregnancy-safe sex positions will maximize your enjoyment.
Whether you have safety concerns or confidence issues surrounding your changing body, don’t let pregnancy stop you from finding pleasure and connecting with your partner in the bedroom. While you should always get the green light from your doctor first, when you’re ready, there are a few things that make pregnancy sex unique that you should consider. For starters, there are few positions during pregnancy that might be better than others in term of both satisfaction and safety, for both you and your partner.
What to avoid? “In general there are only two types of positions that are off the table while pregnant—anything where you are lying on your belly or your partner is lying on your belly. So, no missionary and no facedown,” says Holly Richmond, Ph.D., a somatic psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, and AASECT certified sex therapist. “My rule of thumb is, if it doesn’t feel good or is making you the least bit nervous, don’t do it,” says Richmond.
Also, most pregnant women report increased nipple and breast sensitivity. That could mean even better tingles in those areas or, conversely, too much tenderness and sensitivity. For the latter, “tell your partner to lighten their touch or avoid your nipples altogether,” says Richmond.
Bottom line: “There are plenty of safe, feel-good positions, and pregnancy is an ideal time to expand your horizons,” she says. Here are eight pregnancy sex positions you’ll want to try, risk-free. (Plus, here’s how to have better sex after childbirth, too.)
Woman On Top
The woman straddles her partner, who is lying on his back. “Since you’re not lying on your abdomen, you can control the depth of penetration, which is why this position can be particularly comfortable—especially later in pregnancy,” says “Dr. Nita” Landry, M.D., FACOG, an ob-gyn and cohost on The Doctors. (Related: How to Get More Pleasure Out of Common Sex Positions)
What’s more, this sex position is great for women who are feeling sexy AF while pregnant. “Every woman has a different level of comfort with this position, but if you love your pregnant body, this is the position for you,” says Richmond. “He’ll get a perfect view of your ample breasts, full hips, and round belly. This can be so empowering during pregnancy, and of course, in this position, you completely control the speed, depth, and pattern of thrusts.”
This is like “woman on top,” but this time the woman has spun around, which can result in more clitoral stimulation, says Dr. Nita. “If needed, you can also use a vibrator for clitoral stimulation with some of the positions,” she says. And, like other woman-on-top positions, Reverse Cowgirl gives the woman full control of her body, so she can quickly notice if anything feels off. “You’re on top but facing backward, and can do whatever feels best with your hands, whether that’s clitoral stimulation or supporting your belly or breasts. Your partner will still get a great view of your hips and butt, but you’ll be entirely in control,” says Richmond.
Seated On the Edge of a Bed or Chair
Here’s how it works: You’re seated on the edge of the bed or in a sturdy chair and your partner is standing or kneeling in front of you (whichever is appropriate for the height of the bed or chair), explains Dr. Nita. This sex position during pregnancy is totally safe (and pleasurable) for mom. “The woman is not lying on her abdomen and her partner is doing a lot of the work,” she says.
Not only does this position win in the romance department, but it’s also a great option for pregnant women. The woman lies on her side with her partner lying behind her. “This position takes pressure off of her uterus and back,” says Dr. Nita. Also, penetration usually isn’t as deep in the spooning position, so it can be particularly beneficial if a woman finds deep penetration uncomfortable during pregnancy, she says.
“This is ideal because there is no pressure on the belly, and it is supported on one side by the bed, so in the third trimester this sex position during pregnancy is a go-to for sure,” says Richmond. To make this sex position as pleasurable as possible, she suggests clitoral stimulation. “Either you can do it yourself or ask your partner to do it, which he’ll most likely find incredibly sexy.”
This sex position is great for pregnant women, as there’s no pressure on you; the man is doing most of the movements. “The man kneels on the bed and the woman sits back in his lap, like a kneeling reverse cowgirl—there’s no pressure on your belly or back,” says Dr. Nita. “This is great for penetrative sex or oral sex,” says Richmond. This position can easily morph into doggy style by placing all fours on the bed, a great sex position during pregnancy. “Your partner can continue standing, or kneel on the bed. Again, this is a great opportunity for you to speak up and tell your partner what you like as far as depth and speed are concerned, and if you prefer clitoral stimulation,” adds Richmond. Just make sure not collapse your knees to lie flat on your belly, which is an unsafe sex position during pregnancy.
The woman is on her hands and knees, and her partner enters from behind, which offers shallower penetration with no harm to the belly, says Dr. Nita. This sex position is a great way to control speed and depth if you’re timid about sex during your pregnancy. “If being on all fours is placing too much weight on your shoulders, arms, and wrists (which some women report), I recommend the ‘puppy’ pose,” says Richmond. “Place your forearms on the bed or floor with your palms facing down, and have your partner kneel and enter you from behind. All of the work will be on his end, and you should feel like you’re in a comfortable and supported position.”
Lie at opposite ends of the bed with legs scissored together. Why is this a great sex position during pregnancy? From here, sex can be slower and gentler, says Dr. Nita. Besides, it also offers a great view and is a steamier sex position that works wonders if you’re are trying to find ways to keep your sex drive up during pregnancy and connect with your partner in a sexier setting.
Standing & Leaning On the Bed
“Another favorite position during pregnancy is standing while leaning forward with your hands on the side of the bed, back of the couch, countertop, or dresser,” says Richmond. Again, this keeps all pressure off the belly and creates a great opportunity for you to communicate with your partner about speed and depth of penetration. “Let him worry about standing on something or doing squats to find the ideal angle,” she says. Bonus: “This is another position where reaching your clitoris is easy.”