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A quick guide to exercise and sex while pregnant

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A quick guide to exercise and sex while pregnant

Posted on 26 June 2014 by Kristrun

shutterstock_78585802Informed choice during pregnancy and childbirth is something that all parents should be able to make.  Unfortunately, it seems like many parents are being advised to change their lifestyle drastically when they get pregnant, for example in regards to exercise and sex.  Normal, healthy women who become pregnant can usually continue their lifestyle in a similar way as before as long as they feel good and their body sends no message otherwise.  We have written many articles about this and research done on this supports the same as stated above.  This is a very quick guide for pregnant moms and dads to be:

  • Sex is safe at all stages of pregnancy for a normal, healthy pregnant woman. Enjoy it.
  • If you have any complications such as low lying placenta, vaginal bleeding, sexual diseases – consult your midwife or a doctor.
  • Many women and men feel insecure and stressed about sex while pregnant. They are afraid their baby will be harmed in some way, but this is not the case as the baby is very well protected within the womb, with amniotic fluid, the membranes and cervix for protection.
  • If a woman is considered high risk for premature labour, it is better to avoid sexual intercourse.
  • After giving birth many women will enjoy sex even more than before.
  • Most forms of exercise are fine to continue, as long as you are careful and don’t overdo it.
  • Pre-natal yoga and pilates are wonderful ways to increase flexibility, strength and stamina – just the things you need when preparing for birth.  We advise you go to classes where the instructor has experience and is properly trained to deal with  pregnant women as some exercises can be non-appropriate at certain stages of pregnancy and after birth.
  • You should always talk with your doctor if you have a pre-existing condition such as asthma or diabetes, or any structural problems.
  • Exercise may also not be advisable if you have a pregnancy-related condition such as a low placenta, recurrent miscarriage, history of early labour or an incompetent cervix.

Listen to your body and make sensible choices. When you are pregnant it’s not the best time to start kickboxing or wakeboarding. Continue doing what you are used to be doing if you feel like it. Don’t overdo it and remember there is a little person growing inside of you. You may need more rest than before and be sure to keep a close eye on any unusual changes.  The relaxin hormone that assists you to stretch more and have an easier birth sometimes makes all ligaments and some body parts more relaxed during pregnancy too, so running on uneven surfaces, jumping etc. is not a good idea, plus your pelvic floor is likely not going to get any stronger with these types of exercises.  The baby itself will not be harmed, but this is to ensure that your own body recovers well after birth and to prevent any damages that otherwise may occur.

Two very useful and more detailed articles about the sex when women ask themselves, what is sizegenetics? And when women ask themselves how to exercise while pregnant:

http://www.annerley.com.hk/blog/exercise-during-pregnancy/

http://www.annerley.com.hk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Playtimes.-November-Lets-get-physical.pdf

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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Makin’ Whoopee? 10 tips for Valentine’s romance

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Makin’ Whoopee? 10 tips for Valentine’s romance

Posted on 11 February 2012 by hulda

This article was recently featured in Playtimes Magazine. Click image to see the magazine PDF.

 

1. Don’t talk endlessly about the baby; remember to be interested in yourselves as a couple. Communication and maintaining intimacy is critical as you will need to be strong together, especially in the first years of the child’s life. Practise now.

2. Don’t fear sex during pregnancy. Men especially may feel a bit uncomfortable about getting so ‘intimate’ with their unborn child. Make sure that your partner understands — before it can ever become an issue —that the child can never be harmed by intercourse as it is so well protected.

3. Practise your kegels. You’re supposed to do this anyway, but you can make exercising part of your sex life — and it helps with orgasms.

4. If you want to watch videos and documentaries about birth together before the birth, avoid ones that choose to zoom in graphically on the vagina during the actual birth. Until you experience the birth of your own child, which is quite a different thing, being shown this beforehand does nothing for a man’s sexual appetite.

5. Post-partum exhaustion almost wipes the will to live from many women. Encourage your partner to lighten your load by helping to make sure you are fed, to fetch and carry, to give the baby a feed with a bottle so you can rest, and so on. A little TLC can do wonders for your spirit, and you may then approach attempts at intimacy with a little more goodwill.

6. On the physical side: attempts at intercourse are usually only recommended six weeks post-partum and even then, with sore nipples and your ‘bits’ still tender, it can be a dreaded notion. Try a massage as one thing can often lead to another.

7. When you do go for it, have some oil or a lubricant ready as hormones can sometimes cause dryness which can mean uncomfortable sex. Get your partner to treat you to a sexy breastfeeding bra from Bralicious. Not only will this make you feel more desirable and perhaps drive him wild, but wearing a bra during sex disguises the perhaps offputting sight of leaking breastmilk.

8. Flirting can take place of physical intimacy — a sexy wink, a naughty note, a cheeky smile. Just as when you first met, flirting promises future physical intimacy, helps release a few feel-good endorphins and creates a sense of togetherness – and that is what it is all about.

9. Post-partum depression is a reality with about 10% of new mothers suffering from the condition. Men can also suffer depression as they can feel very intimidated by all the changes but at the same time they may feel conflicted as they should be the strong one. So they keep quiet. Make sure that your partner realises this before the birth as forewarned is forearmed. Arrange for postnatal follow up home visits before baby arrives, and go to a mum and baby clinic so that you can talk about the way you feel with professionals as well as other mums after baby arrives.

10. Relax. Don’t give each other a hard time as nobody is perfect; we’re not Stepford Wives and Husbands and sometimes it is best to let go of all those high expectations and just let it be.

Hulda Thorey is the founder and director of Annerley (www.annerley.com.hk), is a registered HK midwife and mother of four children. She is a guest lecturer at the Hong Kong School of Midwifery in the Prince of Wales Hospital and has a guest spot on RTHK. Her warm and practical approach has made her invaluable to many families in Hong Kong on the delivery and care of their first, second or even third babies.

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