What sexuality during pregnancy?: Becoming a mother while remaining a woman. Most of the future parents aspire to it. Thus, there are many who claim the right to a fulfilled sexuality at all periods of their lives. Pregnancy included. Alain Héril, the sex therapist, and psychoanalyst tells us more about these nine months, he mainly sees as a “good pretext for discovery and creativity. ”
“And sexuality, everything goes well? This is a question few pregnant women have heard during their pregnancy. For if many psychological or medical aspects are approached by the different specialists encountered throughout these nine months, sex often remains absent.
“The idea that a pregnant woman should devote her energy thought and body only to gestation is still very present,” says Alain Héril. Result? Books on pregnancy abound in booksellers, but sexuality is at best evoked only at the turn of a chapter, even a few pages.
“And in general,” says the sex therapist, “this is very confidential and set aside. Apart from certain moral positions and a few contra-indications, nothing prevents reconciliation between pregnancy and sexuality. On the contrary.
What sexuality during pregnancy?: Pregnancy, a revolution
Few women have to confide that being pregnant has not changed anything in their sex life. If pregnancy is not a disease, it nevertheless brings about a real hormonal, corporeal and psychological upheaval that leaves neither the women nor their companions indifferent.
“Because it plays on their mood, behavior, and body, pregnancy inevitably has an impact on their sexuality,” says Alain Héril. The opposite would even be surprising. The future mother, when she is pregnant, is no longer alone. She is inhabited by this child growing up in her. This inevitably leads to some questions that did not arise before. ”
It is, therefore, for women to apprehend their intimacy in a new state of mind, but also, in a new relationship with the body. “For many of them, pregnancy is an opportunity to discover new pleasures. For others, it may be more complicated. Because they are tenser, or more inhibited, and they have more difficulty to let go. However, in any case, the sensations are always different, “explains the sex therapist. What about the fathers? It is a bit the same topo. “In men, inhabited by many fantasies, pregnancy can either lead to hyper-eroticization of their companion, or, conversely, cause hypo-sexualization, sometimes even blockages. ”
First Quarter: Installation
The nine months that make up a pregnancy are not all identical, and that is why sexuality evolves and changes according to the steps and physical, hormonal or psychic changes that go through. In the minds of many women, the first trimester is experienced as the installation, nesting, with the worries that this can generate. “Often,” says the sex therapist, “the third month is highly anticipated because it is the one where the risk of miscarriage begins to disappear. ”
For the body, it is also a quarter rich in upheavals, because it is a whole machine that sets out to serve the baby to come. “The body reacts to the installation of pregnancy, with its lot of small disorders. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue … are all obstacles to a truly fulfilling sexuality. The woman focuses her attention on what is happening in her, prepares to accompany the gestation of her child. It is, therefore, common that it is not the moment of the pregnancy where circulates the most desire in its couple. ”
Second Quarter: Fullness
The second quarter, on the other hand, often signals the beginning of a real better being and the return of the libido. “From the fourth month of pregnancy, many women live a kind of state of plenitude in which their sexual desire will awaken and sometimes even take forms even stronger than they had known before, Be pregnant, explains Alain Héril. There are even some who discover and live for the first time the orgasm at that moment in their lives. ”
A sudden blossoming which is explained in particular by the optimization of the five senses of the woman during the pregnancy. In the same way that the latter perceives better the odors or the tastes, its sensoriality and its touch are multiplied tenfold. “It is not merely a matter of saying that women suddenly have more desire to make love but to understand that their sensations, as well as their perception of the world and themselves, are modified. They wonder about their bodies, their way of looking at them, of apprehending them, and within this, the question of sexuality arises quite naturally. ”
Third quarter: creativity
Finally, the third quarter is the one that the sex therapist sees as the most “creative” of all. Moreover, for a purely anatomical reason: embarrassed by a belly that takes more and more space, the couple must be ingenious to circumvent this new constraint. “If intercourse becomes uncomfortable, lovers can leave their imagination free in choosing positions, but also, why not, in their sexual scenarios and fantasies,” says the sex therapist. Pregnancy is an excellent pretext for creativity, and it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it. ”
Thus, many couples to set aside penetration in the last quarter to leave more room for caresses, and erotic relationships more sensual than sexual. “Some people are afraid of hurting the baby by making love,” add Alain Héril. A fear that is not justified (the man penetrates the vagina of his partner, while the baby is in the uterus), but must nevertheless be heard. ”
How the baby feels
If it is impossible to hurt the baby, and even to get in touch with him, during the report, it is no less true that certain information can pass to him. “He is by no means aware that his parents are making love, reassures Alain Héril immediately, but what he can receive are effluvia, vibrations, hormonal flows … which go Enroll him in the field of pleasure, contentment, joy. Moreover, this, in the same way that he perceives the negative emotions of his mother if it is stressed or angry. The whole, of course, in a very worn and deferred manner, a little like sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool: he can hear the sound of the voices, the music, but all this remains for him very distant and felted.
When sex is a problem
“In any case, the basis of any fulfilled sexuality remains the desire, recalls the sex therapist, and if this is not the rendezvous, for one or the other of the partners, the pleasure will be neither. Desire disorders do not affect all couples of future parents, but they are nevertheless a reality for some of them that should not be overlooked. It is common for the libido to fluctuate during pregnancy, just as much for men as for women. “Besides, we are almost all concerned with a desire that comes and goes, during pregnancy as at all other moments of life, rationalizes Alain Héril. What changes, however, is that pregnancy sometimes causes projections that can annihilate desire. ”
Thus, some pregnant women may be affected by what psychoanalysis calls a libidinal investment of the unborn child: “For them,” explains the sex therapist, “it is as if entering the protective function deprives them of their Function of a lover. After childbirth, some naturally recover their sexuality, others over-invest their baby and leave their partner. More or less, in the same way, some men can also be troubled and suffer from what Alain Héril calls hypo-sexualization: their companion, because she is pregnant and carries their child, becomes untouchable, losing her Status of a woman by becoming a mother. “It is not necessary that these men force themselves because often, everything returns as before at the end of pregnancy. Nevertheless, I do not advise them to attend childbirth because they are more susceptible to the trauma than it may be, and even some may not succeed in resettling their wives. ”
In any case, work on oneself and their projections can help the partners to reconnect with their desire, and the help of a therapist or a sexologist can sometimes be beneficial. “Some couples sometimes consult me just to be told that their sex life can be satisfactory during pregnancy, even if it is different. For example without penetration, with simply caresses, massages and much sensuality. As if they needed my deposit. Couples should not hesitate to consider their sex life in a new way during these nine months. “Free to each, then, to prolong the discoveries made during the pregnancy or to regain, nostalgically, his sexuality before.