I have psoriasis, and for 20 years my scalp has been so crusty and flaky that a shake of my head can create a snow-globe effect. But when I was pregnant, an amazing thing happened: My flakes vanished. I stopped getting treatments at the dermatologist’s office and started wearing black sweaters, just because I could.
It’s reader-question week! Let’s talk about sex, sciatica and smoking.
I know, sex first, right? Wrong, if I wrote about that first, you might not read to the end.
At a backyard barbeque a month before I delivered my twin boys, the dads tossed around a Frisbee while the moms sat around a table predicting that my marriage was about to implode. “You guys will fight over the stupidest stuff,” one woman insisted. “You just wait!” I wasn’t buying it. After all, my husband, Paul, rubbed my swollen feet every night during my third trimester. He told me I “glowed,” and he folded the laundry. In three years of marriage, we’d never had a noteworthy argument.
When you’re expecting, the “Big O” can be so intense you might find it unnerving. Orgasm, and sometimes also intercourse, should be avoided if you have any risk factors for preterm labor or certain other pregnancy complications. And you shouldn’t have sex if your water has broken. Otherwise, going at it poses no dangers to you or your baby, says Stacey Rees, a certified nurse-midwife at Clementine Midwifery in Brooklyn, N.Y.
When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I had a conversation about whether he should stand above or below the Mason-Dixon line during the delivery. The truth is, while we may want our partner to be enamored by the thought of seeing a baby emerge from our birth canal, not every man is capable of handling this sight.
In one of my favorite recent pieces on running, Tara Parker-Pope explore the idea that running is the best time for R-rated conversations.
I have told running partners things I would not feel comfortable sharing with my own sister. We have talked about marital issues, sexual fantasies and everything in between. But a few days ago we had our first conversation about how our activity level affects our favorite topic of conversation—our sex lives.
Travel is expensive, especially around the holidays. And family festivities can be particularly draining when you’re pregnant. Avoid the hassles and enjoy some pre-baby alone time with your partner by booking a stay—even one night can do the trick—at a local hotel or resort that offers a “babymoon” (aka “last hurrah”) package. “This is your last time for spontaneous romance, without a baby in your arms or a child at your side,” says family therapist Gayle Peterson, LCSW, Ph.D., author of Making Healthy Families (Shadow and Light).
First, ask him how he feels about watching the birth and what he’s comfortable seeing. Explain your concern. Assure him it’s OK to stand at your head and focus on your face.
Our inability to see ourselves as sexy during pregnancy may be due to the combination of mood swings, nausea and the omnipresent photos of too-thin celebrities. However, being sexy isn’t about your body; it is a state of mind. What did you do before to feel sexy? Go dancing? Get a massage? You can still do those things. In terms of dressing your changing body, maternity clothes are far more sophisticated and flattering these days. As for your husband, we often make assumptions about what our partners are feeling. But unless you have a conversation, you may never know.
Readers are thinking about sex and stuff this week. No surprise there. It's cold outside and no one can afford any outside entertainment so...whatcha gonna do? I got two emails from ladies who are still early in their pregnancies and had a little bleeding and brownish, gunky discharge after sex. Neither one had cramps and both felt fine otherwise but, obviously, bleeding's a worrisome thing.
It's interesting how many people are wondering about the same stuff. This week's emails were all about sex, drugs and epidurals. OK, not exactly rock and roll but what can you do?
Is your pregnant body the only reminder that you and your partner once had an active sex life? Sure, sex during and after pregnancy is definitely a new frontier, but it doesn’t have to be alien territory. Here’s a brief guide to keeping alive the sexual flame in your relationship—and the spark of romance that lit up your libido in the first place.
>> Get ready for some changes.