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Pregnancy sex worries addressed

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Don't worry, be (sex) happy

Got worries? Pregnant moms are pros about worrying about the safety of their baby-to-be and their pregnancy. And sex is no exception to the worrying rule. Pregnancy expert Shari Criso, a midwife/lactation consultant, addresses the top pregnancy sex concerns.

Pregnant Couple in Embrace

Sex might have been all fun and games (no pun intended!) before getting pregnant, but once you are pregnant, it can be a rotating course of worries, fears and concerns. It doesn't have to be! If you are having a normal pregnancy and have your doctor's okay, then having sex is perfectly fine ... and could even be better than usual. "I hear (that some) women actually enjoy sex more when they are pregnant. There is a lot more blood flow to the vagina," says midwife/lactation consultant Shari Criso, who owns the Birth Boutique Store and Learning Center in Denville, New Jersey. Criso said that the increased sensation can lead to incredible orgasms -- even for women who've never had them before.

What about the worries?

Hurting the baby

When asked about concerns about sex while pregnant, many women say that either they or their partner was concerned about hurting the baby. "My husband Charlie was very leery of having sex while I was pregnant. He's a big guy (6'5", 300 lbs) and didn't want to hurt the baby, so I was usually on top at that time," says Jeanne M. Purdue of Zeus Magazine.

The good news is that sex won't harm the baby, Criso says. "That not just with sex. That seems to be with everything you do. It seems a lot of people don't know how well the baby is protected. They are so surrounded with the sac (that sex will not hurt them)," Criso said, although she cautions that certain conditions such as placenta previa or a history of preterm labor could put sex off limits. Be sure to consult with your doctor.  Find out more on when not to have sex during pregnancy here.

Not feeling sexy

With all of the weight gain and changes in body shape that happens during pregnancy, some women are left feeling rather unsexy and may even wonder if their partner feels the same way. "My biggest fear/worry was not being confident in my new and rapidly expanding body. Would my husband still find me sexy?" admits Beth Beauchemin, of Bellies 2 Babies.

Criso said that often times though, men say they are more attacked to their spouse when she's pregnant. "Men can really surprise you at how sexy they can find a pregnant woman's body," says Criso, who points out that growing breasts and new curves can be very attractive to men.

If you are worried about your sex appeal, don't keep your partner in the dark. "They should discuss it and be open about it," says Criso.

Feeling the baby kick

Just when you and your partner are getting intimate, you feel it. The little kick can freak some women - and men - out, and not to mention kill the mood. But don't worry, the baby isn't feeling a thing, says Criso.

Babies are more active when you lay down. Babies like movement," says Criso.

So what can you do? Because pregnant women should not lay on their back, be creative with positions such as woman on top or even laying on your side. "The more movement that you are involved in, the more the baby is going to relax," says Criso.

Preterm labor

Some women worry that having sex will send them into early labor. In fact, late in pregnancy, doctors will often recommend that women have sex late in the third trimester because the semen preps the cervix for birth. However, it's usually not something to worry about unless you have risk factors, Criso says. "If you have a risk of preterm labor, you obviously want to speak to your physician about that," said Criso.

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