Pregnant Passions: Keep Intimacy Alive
If pregnancy has caused you and your partner to lose that lovin' feeling, don't despair; reviving intimacy may be easier than you think.
When Momma Is Hot and Daddy Is Not continued...
And, in fact, many experts agree that part of what can keep
intimacy alive is for both partners to continue the sexual bond they previously
established, and to try to continue to satisfy each other's physical needs as
"For the man, this might mean giving her that sensuous foot
rub -- and not going above the ankles if that's what she wants at the moment;
for the woman it may mean recognizing her partner's need for orgasm and helping
him achieve that in whatever way she can manage to do so -- even if it does not
involve intercourse," says Sugrue.
It's not about forcing yourself to do what you don't want to
do, he says, it's about honoring the needs of someone you love to the best of
Perhaps most important, is the recognition that coupling is
also about partnership -- and realizing a good partnership has many components
that need to be honored to keep intimacy alive.
"Somehow our culture is not teaching us that marriage is more than just a
romantic liaison, and not emphasizing the life-partnership aspect. Because in
truth, when you build a life with someone, there are many equally important
components that go into the mix," says Lauren Howard, CSW, a
psychotherapist in private practice in New York.
At the end of the day, Howard says keeping the intimacy alive
is all about compromising, without losing yourself. "You don't want to give
more than you can afford, but you better be giving something to each other,
7 Ways To Keep Intimacy in Your Pregnancy
To help keep the romance and the intimacy in your relationship,
our experts offer these additional suggestions for pregnancy -- and beyond!
Don't take each other -- or sex -- for granted.
" When you first start dating there isn't the expectation that sex is
going to be there every time -- only hopes -- so you treat the person in a way
to make those hopes come true," says Shapiro. As in dating, so should it go
in pregnancy, he says, and treat your partner accordingly.
Revive the art of flirting.
"Marriage is multitasking -- as the marriage builds and practical
issues of life come up you tend to let go of the things that started the whole
thing -- the flattery, the courtship, the flirting," says Howard. To keep
intimacy alive, she says, revive all the things you did to win each other over
before marriage -- and flirt with each other like mad!
Have a "date night" at least once a week -- with no talk of
painting the nursery or what to name the baby.
"Couples must carve out a time for being together that focuses
exclusively on each other, something which is important to continue to do after
baby is born," says Lusskin.
Add some mystery to your relationship and surprise your partner now and
"Introduce your partner to something they didn't know anything about --
or didn't know you knew anything about. Or just do something that he or she
might not expect -- like renting an erotic movie, or arranging a candlelit bath
together. Choose something that is pleasurable to you both, and make it a
surprise," says Howard.
For Men: Court your pregnant wife!
"Treat her with the same kind of sensitivity you had when you first
started to date. It's not going to make a big difference for you, but it's
going to make a huge difference for her, and help you both to stay close,"
For Women: Keep him a part of your pregnancy.
"Despite the fact that your best girlfriend or your mom may be more fun
to talk to right now, it's important to share what's going on with the
pregnancy with your partner," says Lusskin. Bring him to your doctor's
appointments, have him view the ultrasound, and if there is a medical reason
why you can't have intercourse, consider bringing your doctor into the
situation to help explain to your partner what is going on and why.
For both of you: Remain proactive about keeping intimacy alive.
"Don't let your relationship slide, even a little bit; if you feel the
closeness slipping away do something about it -- if you have something of
value, you want to take good care of it -and each other," says Sugrue.