Last Reviewed: April 2017
Important signs to watch for if you are pregnant
- Bad cramps or stomach pains that don't go away.
- Bleeding or a trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina.
- Lower back pain/pressure or change in lower back pain.
- A feeling that the baby is pushing down.
- Contractions or change in the strength or number of them.
- An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge.
- Fever, chills, dizziness, vomiting or a bad headache.
- Blurry vision or spots before your eyes.
- Sudden or severe swelling of your feet, hand or face.
- A significant change in your baby's movements.
Go to a hospital right away and contact your doctor/midwife if you have any of these symptoms.
Adapted with permission from:
Best Start: Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre
Taking Care of Yourself
Managing nausea & vomiting | Coping with heartburn | Constipation & pregnancy | Exercising safely | Sex during pregnancy | Emotional changes |
Sleep During Pregnancy |
Sex during pregnancy
Hormonal levels in pregnancy fluctuate rapidly and this may affect your desire for intimacy. Although you may not always feel like having sex, there are many other ways to have an intimate and loving relationship with your partner. Talking about your feelings can help your partner understand how you are feeling. Together you can explore other ways of experiencing intimacy if your sexual relationship is affected.
Will my sexual desire change during pregnancy?
Women may experience sexual changes at different stages of their pregnancy. Some will find that they have an increased desire for sex, while others will not. These changes can affect the desire for intimacy.
- During the early stage of pregnancy it is common to have less energy, as well as breast tenderness and/or nausea and vomiting, which may lower your sexual desire.
- During the middle three months many of these earlier discomforts may disappear and sexual feelings may return or even increase.
- In the last weeks of pregnancy, physical discomforts like increased size, fatigue and breathlessness may make sexual intercourse less comfortable and desirable.
Even though the frequency of intercourse may have decreased, there is still a great need for physical contact, such as hugging and cuddling. Partners may also experience some emotional changes. They may not want to have sex, fearing that it may start labour or harm the baby.
Is sex during pregnancy safe?
In most cases sexual intercourse is safe during pregnancy. There may be certain circumstances in which it is not recommended during pregnancy. Check with your doctor/midwife if you have concerns.
Sexual intercourse is not recommended if:
- You have pre-term labour.
- You have vaginal bleeding.
- Your cervix is opening early.
- You have placenta previa (placenta is over the cervix).
- You are pregnant with more than one baby.
- Your membranes (bag of waters) have ruptured.
How soon after my baby is born can I have intercourse?
Intercourse can be resumed once vaginal bleeding has stopped. This can take up to six weeks after delivery. See your doctor/midwife for your six week postpartum check up. This is a good opportunity to discuss available birth control options and any other questions you might have. Take time to allow your body to heal and resume sexual relations when you and your partner are ready. Remember to talk about your feelings with your partner.
When will we ever have sex again?
It is important to remember that after having a baby, mom needs time to recover. Good communication and not pressuring or rushing mom helps. Mom may be hesitant at first. However, with time and some sleep, this shall pass.
Recovery can take up to six weeks after delivery. Your partner's six week postpartum check-up is a good opportunity to discuss available birth control options and any other questions you both might have. Give your partner time to allow her body to heal and resume sexual relations when you are both ready. Remember to communicate your feelings to your partner.
Tips to maintain your relationship as a couple:
- Talk about something other than the baby. Remember mom is with baby all day.
- Talk about any concerns regarding work and life balance. This may be a time to look at your options.
- Plan time together.
- Go on a date.
- Have fun as a couple.
Exhaustion is likely with a new baby. Your baby will not sleep through the night for several months. This can be difficult on parents. Babies do wake up to be fed every few hours. Eventually, they will start to sleep longer stretches. In the meatime, try to:
- Take turns sleeping-in.
- Go to bed earlier (and not necessarily at the same time).
- Take naps.
If one partner is rested, the other partner can function better.
For more information:
Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216
To speak to a Public Health Nurse