Pregnancy doesn’t have to be a nine-month dry spell. In fact, getting it on when you’re carrying a baby is encouraged by ob-gyns. “Generally, in a normal, healthy pregnancy, sexual activity is not dangerous, and specific sexual positioning does not pose specific risks,” confirms Joshua Klein, MD, chief medical officer at Extend Fertility in New York City. That's great news, especially since hormonal shifts can power a woman's sex drive and make her want to hit the sheets more than ever.
Not only is pregnancy sex usually safe, it’s also an ideal way for parents-to-be to strengthen their bond. “Pregnancy is often a really emotional time for couples, especially if it’s their first child,” says Rose Hartzell, PhD, San Diego–based sex therapist. “Sex during pregnancy can be an oasis for them to immerse themselves in the pleasure of each other, which is how they got pregnant in the first place.”
Oh, and those three trimesters might be a couple’s last chance to get it on whenever they want without any restrictions, such as a wailing, hungry infant to tend to every few hours. Just saying.
To help you get the most bang—see what we did there?—for your buck, we asked experts to share four of the best sex positions for pregnant women. Before you try them out, however, play it extra safe by double-checking with your ob-gyn that you don't have any conditions that could make sex a threat to you or your baby.
Woman on top
While no sex position is completely off-limits, pregnant women in their second and third trimesters should be aware that lying flat on their back for an extended period of time “can shift pressure from the enlarged uterus onto the major blood vessels and compromise blood supply to the fetus, so it should be avoided,” says Dr. Klein.
With this in mind, woman on top ranks as a top sex style during pregnancy. “This position is great because you can control the penetration and also how your belly is situated,” says Hartzell. Your legs are in a comfortable position too, either bent at the knees against the mattress or extended on either side of your partner.
And don't forget, many women find it easier to orgasm when they're on top, since they're in charge of the depth and speed and can stimulate their clitoris easily, she adds.
Pregnancy is a time when many couples feel emotionally close. For that reason, spooning, or side-by-side sex, is a natural position—especially because it lets you rest your belly comfortably against the mattress while you snuggle up and enjoy the action. “This one is especially useful if you're huge during your third trimester, because it gets the belly out of the way,” says Hartzell.
For extra oomph, have your partner hold a vibrator against your clitoris during sex. “This basically just heightens every pleasurable sensation,” explains Hartzell. And depending on how big your bump is, it might be easier than reaching around and trying to stimulate your clitoris yourself.
Try this pregnancy-friendly variation on traditional doggie style: Instead of smushing your belly flat against the bed, stand at the edge of the bed, bend your torso, then plant your palms against the bed for support, explains Hartzell. Your partner enters you from behind, doing all the bumping and grinding and reaching around to stimulate your clitoris as you enjoy the action. Teamwork makes the dream work, no?
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Just like intercourse, oral sex is safe during pregnancy. In fact, this move might feel even better for women when they’re pregnant, thanks to the increased blood supply to the labia and vagina caused by hormonal changes, which can increase sexual sensitivity, says Hartzell. It's also an awesome move if you're dealing with pregnancy-related issues such as swollen legs or an achy back, which can make other styles a little tiring. “It’s something nice your partner can do for you since you have the magnificent task of carrying their child.” Truth.