“Sex and Pregnancy”
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Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Sex and pregnancy, sometimes the two don’t seem to go hand in hand. Many couples have questions about what they’re feeling both physically and emotionally during pregnancy. Yet, you will feel comfortable to seek help. That’s what this episode is all about. I am Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, a Psychologist specializing in couple and sex therapy and this is Preggie Pals, Episode 28.
Sunny Gault : Welcome to Preggie Pals, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I am your host, Sunny Gault. Have you joined the Preggie Pals Club? If you haven’t heard of it, it’s something we recently launched. This is your exclusive membership and it gives you access to all of our archived episodes, written transcripts of the shows for some bonus interviews. For example, have you ever wondered what happens when we quit recording? Does our conversation keep going on? What do we say to our experts? Well, we are keeping the mikes open for another 5 minutes after the show. This is for our members only. So, you need a membership you can access all of this great content through our web or Preggie Pals app. If you want some more information on that, visit our website which is https://www.preggiepals.com and let’s meet our panelists. Rachel, let’s start with you.
Rachel Gonzales : Hi, my name is Rachel Adams Gonzales. I am 29 years old. I am a product director for doTERRA’s Essential Oils. I am pregnant with my second, due April 10th; my son is two and a half years. I had an un-medicated water birth at a birth center with him and we are trying for home birth this time around.
Veronica Miranda : My name is Veronica Miranda. I am graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. This is my first baby. I am due April 18th, so just a week after Rachel. I don’t know the gender yet so, still early and type of birth; it’s gonna be a hospital birth abroad.
Sunny Gault : So, you guys didn’t plan this, right?
Veronica Miranda : No.
Sunny Gault : Timing this out, exactly the same time, good friends. [Laughs]
Rachel Gonzales : And my pregnancy was also a surprise.
Sunny Gault : Oh! Alright, you guys are on the same wave length you know, you guys are just feeling each other out you know. Okay, Christine.
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: Hi, so I am Christine Stewart Fitzgerald and let’s see this is my third pregnancy. I have got twin girls at home. They are now 3 years old and this time around it looks like it is another girl. So, my husband is… he is, he is actually very excited so, he is like we have to get a dog you know, with big cojones. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : You think that this is gonna be your last baby?
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: Well, you know, I am.
Sunny Gault : Is it too early to make that call?
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: I am 40 years and just in the next few weeks I am gonna turn 41 years so, we will see this happened pretty quick you know, within a few months in deciding so, we were open to it. So…
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: So, who knows?
Sunny Gault : Yeah, right. Exactly, I hear you on that, Stephanie?
Stephanie Saalfeld : Hi, I am Stephanie Saalfeld, I am 29 years. I am a Gemologists, I am due January 9th with my first baby, a girl. And we are having a hospital birth and I just have to say my husband is very excited about this episode. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : Cos he gets to hear how you really feel?
Stephanie Saalfeld : Well, I don’t know, I guess we will see what happens.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval: Stephanie, I’m gonna convince you to have lots and lots of sex. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : Yeah. Alright, thanks ladies!
[Featured Segments: Pregnancy Oops!]
Sunny Gault : It’s now time for a Pregnancy Oops! This is a fun segment that we have now again on Preggie Pals where our panelists or our listeners if you are listening at home, you can submit your stories as well. But this is where we share funny stories that have during our pregnancy where we look back on and go Oops! [Laughs] As in today actually our story is right here in the studio. Rachel and Veronica have a funny story to share.
Rachel Gonzales : So, Veronica was, her husband is doing his work right now in Baja and so she calls me on Skype one night “Oh! My periods 5 days late and I bought this pregnancy test but it says for what I can tell, to take it in the morning like, if you are 5 days late, you should just go take it now.” [Laughs] So, she calls me back and she goes “Well, I am kind of confused because there is a dark pink line and a light pink line.” I was like “that means you are pregnant, you are pregnant.” She was like “are you serious?” [Laughs]
Veronica Miranda : Because it was confusing, one was too bright, it was so bright and the other was like a faint little line. And then it’s you are in this moment like “am I pregnant or not?” you want it sure like bright other line. [Laughs]
Stephanie Saalfeld : You know what, my pregnancy test was confusing too because I did mine in South Africa so, also a foreign test I don’t know. Yeah.
Veronica Miranda : And then I am reading it in Spanish where I am fluent in Spanish but you are still doubting yourself. I mean they are little confusing in English and so, what does this is mean? You know, so yes sometimes I don’t know it would have been nice to have.
Rachel Gonzales : Well, the Skype is cutting in and out, terrible internet connection there and I am like “are you there?” [Laughs]
Veronica Miranda : Yeah, that was.
Rachel Gonzales : It was a funny moment for us.
Sunny Gault : If you have a funny “Pregnancy Oops!” that you would like to share on our show. All you have to do is call our Preggie Pals hotline. That number is 619-866-4775 and leave us a message.
Sunny Gault : Today we are having a no holds barred conversation about Sex and Pregnancy so, if the little ones are listening well, you may wanna grab some headphones. Dr. Jennifer Sandoval is joining us here in the studio. Thanks so much for Dr. Sandoval for being here today.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : It’s my pleasure and really excited and I just wanna say that I also, I am a mother of two preschoolers. I have a three and a half year old and a soon to be 2 year old and they keep me and plus work.
Sunny Gault : Anything else?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : So, I am just crazy, crazy busy. So, it’s actually nice to get away on a Saturday morning.
Sunny Gault : Alright, alright. So, let’s talk about sex baby, I am sorry. Why is sex important for couples?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Oh! Gosh, why is it not important? Sex is important I think mainly to promote intimacy and closeness and bonding and that’s my specialty. And my practice is just not only helping couples with sex but promote closeness and intimacy and of course sex is important for procreation.
Sunny Gault : Alright.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : And for pleasure, right? You know, sex feels great so, I think sex is you know, being a sex therapist is very, very important to the health of a relationship.
Sunny Gault : Why is it important for a pregnant women or a pregnant couple so to speak to have sex?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : I think aside from the procreation reason all, all of the reasons are the same. It’s a very, very important time to have that intimacy and closeness because there can be a lot of anxiety and certainty and sort of fears about what’s gonna happen in the future and this gonna and it can really be a nice way for couples to come together and to feel close and to feel, you know, that connection.
Sunny Gault : Is this something you guys are concerned about when you found out, may be for the first time when you found out you were pregnant? Did you automatically think about sex? Did your husband think “Okay, how this is gonna affect sex?” Like, what was your experience?
Rachel Gonzales : Yeah, I think the logistics of it. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : Gravity. [Laughs]
Rachel Gonzales : Yeah, it’s kind of I guess more limited and then, you know, I thought “Oh! Gosh with all these you know, physiological changes going on. Is it going to be pleasurable?”
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Rachel Gonzales : Yeah, I didn’t worry about it at all until I started feeling sick and I was just feeling horrible. I was, the beginning of the pregnancy it was just, I was just so exhausted and barely able to like get up, get up and walk around and then just feeling sick. And the last thing is sex is an important part in relationships at least, you know, in ours but it’s also, I just felt so horrible. So, that was something that was, I just had never thought about it before that made me think about “Oh! You know, it’s a little bit different or it can be at moments.”
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Rachel Gonzales : Bit different than everyday life.
Stephanie Saalfeld : I am just worrying about, you know, as I have mentioned to you guys earlier that my husband been gone for 3 months for work and he is coming back in a couple of weeks. So, he was here, he left when I was like 16 weeks pregnant I think and so, I wasn’t showing, you know, I was feeling better, in the beginning I had a lot morning sickness but, you know, now when he is coming back the belly has been growing and…. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : Creative.
Stephanie Saalfeld : I have no idea what to expect and I am really, I am nervous about it you know.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Stephanie Saalfeld : You know, he is all like “Yeah, I have been gone for 3 months” you know, I don't know.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : So, you are more nervous than he is? That sounds like he is excited.
Stephanie Saalfeld : Yeah, I would say so.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Looking forward to the reunion.
Stephanie Saalfeld : Yeah, well I am too but, yeah.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Just some apprehension, understandable.
Stephanie Saalfeld : Yeah.
Sunny Gault : Should we expect our sex lives to change when we are pregnant?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : I would say for the most part, yes. You know, for those men and women who wanna continue having sex and they find sex you know, pleasurable I mean, for the obvious reasons when your belly starts to grow, you know, it becomes more challenging and you have to get more creative. But there are so many ,you know, hormonal changes and, you know, physical changes, emotional changes of course, it is going to impact your sex life. You know, like you were mentioning in the first trimester with the HCG hormones just sort of surging through our bodies and we just you know, the morning sickness and the fatigue and the frequent urination you just still all of a sudden you don’t feel like yourself anymore. You are not showing but this baby is sort of taking over so, absolutely it will impact your sex life.
Sunny Gault : Well, I think it’s hard for partners sometimes to understand because they are not physically going through it so, for them it’s cool, you know, in case of Stephanie’s husband he hasn’t seen her in a long time. He is thinking “Yay.”
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Well, especially in the first trimester you I mean, and even in the second trimester in the beginning you might look the same.
Sunny Gault : Right.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Or your breasts are getting larger, you are filling out a little more.
Sunny Gault : Right.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : And your husband’s even more desirous and wants you even more and like you said, he might, he is not seeing it but he is also not feeling it.
Sunny Gault : Right.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : So, there can be that, you know, lack of I guess understanding in that way.
Rachel Gonzales : Well, in our case, you know, I, there hasn't been a lack of sex in our relationship ever and [Laughs]…
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Even while pregnant?
Rachel Gonzales : Well, no until I got pregnant.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Oh! Okay.
Rachel Gonzales : And….
Sunny Gault : With your first or this one?
Rachel Gonzales : Both, yeah.
Sunny Gault : Okay.
Rachel Gonzales : So, I don’t know if physiology has something to do with that. I have retroverted uterus and I don’t know if you have experience in this field but sex is so uncomfortable I mean, from the beginning. But my husband doesn’t get that, he is like you know, “whatever, who cares if there’s the baby in there.” [Laughs] So, I mean we would normally, probably have sex almost every day. So, it’s a very huge change for us. And I don’t, I mean I have this guilt of like I don’t want him to be without sex but it’s so uncomfortable for me that, you know, I don’t wanna end up going like a year without sex after you have the 6 weeks after giving birth and all that but it’s, you know, it’s an awkward situation I guess that, yeah I don’t know.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : You know, I am not familiar with that disorder but I am wondering okay, there is intercourse and there is other things so, let’s start with intercourse. You know, have you been able to switch it up trying different positions or is it pretty much same position?
Rachel Gonzales : It’s actually been better this time than it was last time, last pregnancy. I carry my babies very low and I don’t know that’s because of the position of my uterus but with my son I could literally from 28 weeks insert my finger and feel like, you know, head.
Sunny Gault : Wow!
Rachel Gonzales : Like feel he was that like, that low I mean my pregnant belly was like my belly button down. So, yeah I think there is just not a lot of room for penis and the baby. [Laughs] So, yeah! I mean I can literally feel when we have sex, my uterus like moving.
Sunny Gault : Wow!
Rachel Gonzales : And it is, it is uncomfortable. It is not sexy at all. I am like I really don’t wanna feel organs moving when I’m having sex, yeah.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Rachel Gonzales : So,
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : What about trying other things?
Rachel Gonzales : Yeah, I mean that’s just were we gonna have to resort to but you know, I am just out of the first trimester. And in the first trimester the last thing you want is, you know, a lot of oral things going on when you are trying out anyway. So… [Laughs]
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : So, but it is good that you have you know, the idea that “okay, we can get creative if we can’t have intercourse.” These are the things we can do, we are gonna talk about that more as the show progresses.
Sunny Gault : Yeah, we will. I wanna talk about, you know, we hear about the second trimester sex and how that’s supposed to be fantastic. And I wanted to kind of break down or at least get your opinion trimester by trimester, what’s changing? Is there any truth to you know, the second trimester just being fantastic other than the fact that it’s kind of our honeymoon period because you are not too big and the morning sickness is gone?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Right, well, I think the first thing to understand is the idea of individual differences. So, regardless of trimester, you have got to look at the couple. You know, how is the woman feeling? You have woman that have, you know, great sex and they feel great all throughout their pregnancy, that wasn’t me. But there was a movie recently I think “What to expect when you are expecting” and there is the scene where, you know, it’s this beautiful model looking woman and “Wow! She is a magical pregnancy unicorn.” You know, I think honestly most woman are like that but you just have to understand that some women are gonna hate it regardless of the trimester and some women are really going to enjoy it. I think for men too, you know, some men are having anxiety. They are apprehensive about all that’s coming up in the future and so they may be turned off too. But let’s go back to the first trimester; we already talked about like, the hormone HCG surging through our bodies and how that can impact you. You know, the morning sickness, you know, just the feeling of fatigue and the back pain, the frequent urination, it’s again like you said does it feel so sexy. So, I think for a lot woman it’s hard to retain the sex drive they may have normally had and again for someone not so much. And then there is the emotional issues right? For some women the pregnancy may be was a surprise. So, there may be a lot of anxiety or fears, guilt, you know, other emotions sort of playing, you know, with your mind. So, I always say it’s important to get those emotions managed and under control. So, that’s the first trimester. I think the second trimester again for a lot of women it’s like “Wow! I feel more normal, I feel back to my good old self” and you know, low and behold HCG sort of levels is self out. You are getting used to changes like, you know, breasts enlarging or feeling tender. May be the tenderness in their breasts is feeling great, you know, you like the nipple and the breasts stimulation. So, things can change in the second trimester and women can definitely feel back to themselves and more energetic. I mean gosh! That’s the most important thing having energy even to have sex and then the third trimester, again there is always those exceptions of women who you know, feel big and sexy and they wanna experiment with all physicians. But I think the third trimester progresses a lot woman just don’t feel comfortable. I mean, there is the gas and the indigestion. I mean the indigestion for me was crazy. I didn’t want anyone except my husband to get near me. But so, I think what’s important was having that understanding that you are an individual and your differences are okay. You know, dealing with the guilt issue, you know, the hormonal changes, the physical changes even the emotional changes are things that you don’t have any control over. So, you go to keep that guilt in check, be able to say no and be okay with that. And if your partner is, you know, one step out and if they are upset okay, understandably so, but they are an adult and they can take care of their own feelings. But then also for the women that do find “Oh! I have this higher sex drive” and may be their husbands feeling a little overwhelmed to be respectful of your partner’s limits and boundaries. But talk, communicate, be open, I think the last thing that you should be is having sex out of obligation and that’s a desire killer. It’s like on top of all the desire killers you can add that one to the list.
Sunny Gault : When is it good to have this conversation with our partners. I mean, even before getting pregnant or after that like, when?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Well, you know, I think it would be unusual to have that conversation before although I would say, “Wow! That’s really awesome you headed the game.” But, I think definitely when you, when you find out you are pregnant, it’s a good idea to sit down and talk about all the inevitable changes, you know, the changes in your body and emotions, what’s gonna happen to your household, your financial stresses. How do you just feel about having a baby you and your partner and sex should be a part of that conversation. I think the one that tends to typically happen is you have got one partner and other not wanting to or one has more desire than the other, there’s that discrepancies. And it becomes this secondary thing okay, now we have got an issue let’s deal with it but that’s okay. I mean if that happens, you deal with it then. And I am all about dealing with stuff head on, not avoiding issues because again avoidance leads to anxiety, another desire killer.
Rachel Gonzales : I think that’s interesting to talk about the beginning. It would be a great idea to just sort at the near beginning at the pregnancy and talking about what are your expectations? What are your visions? Because I think, you know, my husband and I for my first pregnancy there were so many unknowns and, you know, I am focusing on my body changes and fears and anxiety and he is trying to be supportive. And I think we could have probably had more in terms of what do you see? What do you expect? What does this look like?
Sunny Gault : Alright.
Rachel Gonzales : Including the sex part.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Right, Right. Does it gonna be, do you expect it to be normal. I mean, the same frequency is it now or you are giving me sort of the past so,
Rachel Gonzales : Alright, alright.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : I mean but the bottom line is have those conversations and you know, I am trying to remember in my own pregnancies. I did a lot of reading and I don’t, you know, there were sort of those, those Q and A formats in different books that read. But I don’t remember reading about, you know, this encouragement to have that conversation about expectations in the beginning and that’s unfortunate so, I do think that’s a good idea.
Sunny Gault : You know, the things that I do reflect on my pregnancies I, when I am pregnant I wish I just had cute little belly and that was it. But I was like a walking marsh melon man or something.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : You were in a magical pregnancy? [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : No, I wish, I thought for sure that was gonna be me but no, with both pregnancies I just swell up. I just feel like blown. For me my body becomes you know, something that I don’t want to share with really anybody, you know, including my husband and a lot of it has to do with. I just don’t feel sexy you know.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Yeah.
Sunny Gault : I had quite frankly pretty nice breasts before I got pregnant and now they are just too big, you know what I mean? And likewise I like my shape before and now it’s much bigger in so many different ways. So, what advice that you would have for women that are really you know, may be over critical about their bodies? How do you work through that on a personal level when the problem is really with “you”?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Right, Right. Again you have to confront those issues and my guesses if there is you know, aspect of criticism or an issue with self-esteem, it might have been there before also may be not to that extent. But certainly something like this would bring those feelings, you know, into the forefront. You know, I think it’s important for a women to, No.1 take responsibility for those feelings, try not to take it all on your partner. But do some self-searching, you know, in the work I do with couples, with individuals especially in terms of sexuality issues, I talk about validation. Where do you get your sense of self from? Where do you get your sense of value, your sense of self-worth, even this idea of your sex appeal where does that come from? And if the validation, you know, at core of who you are, your default is “Wow!” you know, after thinking about this, my validation tends to come from other people, from society and Gosh! You know, we live in Southern California. We are really I think it’s susceptible to that more than to more than other areas. But we really need to question that value or that, you know, that idea you get validation from other people that can be dangerous even from, you know, if the expectation is “I feel sexy when my partner looks at me a certain way.” You know, that’s dangerous because they may just be in a bad mood or sex is just no were in their mind and you are projecting going “Whoa! Whoa! They don’t think I am sexy” like, you said it’s their issue and may not necessarily be the case. I think the other thing too just in terms of dealing with, you know, the feelings of low self-esteem you know, emerging body issues because of the pregnancy, you have to remember that this is a finite period of time. You know, we get so emotional and our emotions start to run the show and we are not, we don’t have a balance of like intellect and rational thinking and our emotions are sort working together and then we make decisions and then we act from that place. Unfortunately what ends up happening is what we get really reactive and that’s when a lot of conflicts comes in to play. But again I really feel like you gotta, you know, challenge that idea okay, where, where does my value come from? And I think for a lot of people who are spiritual people, you know, they have got their god or the higher power and they feel like “okay, I have a different place where I can sort seek validation and I don’t have to put my sense of self in someone else’s hands.”
Sunny Gault : Yeah, I think that’s a great idea to have. I just know in our society that we are constantly bombarded with images and people, not just our ladies but now celebrities they like to have babies and the next day you know, they got their personal trainers and you know, in 3 weeks they are back in their pre-pregnancy clothes.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Alright, okay.
Sunny Gault : I find myself really struggling with this because I view myself as a pretty confident person. It’s not that you know, I am always seeking validation from other people but if I don’t get it occasionally then that is worrisome to me.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Well, remember this idea of validation, of course, it’s good to feel to get validation from other people and we should wanna have that but my point was if the default is I need that or else I don’t feel good about myself, or else I don’t feel sexy, I think that’s more a problem. And it’s, you know, what you are saying I think it’s really normal, it’s really common. So, what I would say is let the feelings come and say you know, “Well, it’s okay the feelings are just feelings, they are transient, they will change, let me, let me get to a quiet place if t hat’s what I need to do, let me, let me, let the feelings subside a bit, let me calm myself down then I can ask myself the same question. Now that I am in a more solid, stable place, do I still feel like I am not sexy?” And you know, sometimes therapy is a good idea to go and even if it’s for, even if it’s for short period of time during the pregnancy or may be after the pregnancy because our bodies are still you know, changing after pregnancy or they are recouping. I think therapy of course I think therapies are always a good idea.
Rachel Gonzales : Well, you know, I have question for you.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Sure.
Rachel Gonzales : In my case I, I think, it’s not so much about my own body issue because I know this is finite. I mean, I have got maybe another week. [Laughs] And then yes, the postpartum but you know, I have to say I think my husband is actually having quite a bit of a challenge with the evolving body and, you know, he has got these images in his head of what I look like pre-pregnancy and he thinks it very sexy. He is kind of holding onto these images but I can tell it’s really hard for him to sort of deal and just, you know, put together well, it’s like, this is, this is what I am today. I know he thinks that I am sexy but it’s just not working for him right now.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Yeah. Okay, okay all just self-disclosed, I just gave a talk to a mother of preschoolers group and I did the same thing you know, I had the same issue with my husband, I was the one with the high sex drive and my husband was just sort of freaking out about the body changes like you said sort of remembering what I still look like. But here is something I hope you find encouraging, going through that process, anxiety that you know, uncertainty about how you are feeling, about how your husband’s feeling, the conflicts that arise, You as a couple, you as a an individual going through that process and coming out the other end and being able to resolve some of it or find a new way of thinking about yourself or about your relationship, that’s awesome. Like that will grow you as an individual or as a couple and for me in the first pregnancy like I kicked in, I was kicking and screaming the whole time like, I can’t 6 months without sex, what’s going on? And my husband you know, he is just more calm and stable and I remember him telling me “It’s only you know, 5 months or it’s only 6 months and we will be back to the way we were” and sure enough we were. So, the second time around there wasn’t just that anxiety and we definitely navigated our way through those issues much better. So, yes it’s challenging but I do think the silver lining is, you know, you will grow from that experience, you know, you have had self-esteem issues or body images issues, you might find that through motherhood especially ,if you have daughters you, you can have a whole different way of evaluating who you are as a person and how you look. I think the motivating factor I know for me, I have two daughters, I really want to be careful about how, where I place my value and, and how, how I sort of honor my own sense of self-worth. Does it have to do with body image and all that? So, I think it’s a good process to go through although painful and difficult, typical therapist talking, right? [Laughs] Go through the process and grow.
Sunny Gault : Well, we wanna dive into these specific, actual mechanics of sex during pregnancy so, we are gonna take a quick break. When we come back, we will talk more about that.
Sunny Gault : Welcome back, we are talking about “Sex and Pregnancy” today and Dr. Jennifer Sandoval is our special guest. She is a Psychologist and this is, this is a great topic. I actually kind of starting to blush now because the second part is we are really talking about the mechanics of sex and pregnancy. We are talking about positions. We are talking about how to make this functional you know, the first part was a little bit more about you know, our emotions and now we are talking about the physical side of things. First of all, general question! Is sex during pregnancy ,is it safe for the most part unless you have some sort of condition, is it safe?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Right,. Yes, so unless there is, you know, some sort of complication, generally speaking, sex for mom and for baby is safe. You know, the baby is inside the amniotic sac and it’s cushioned by the amniotic fluid. And you have the muscles of the uterus protecting the baby. There is the mucus protecting that from, you know, different kinds of infections. So, yes generally speaking it’s safe.
Sunny Gault : I have this images right now because Rachel is talking about her low baby and, and….. [Laughs]
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : No room for a penis?
Sunny Gault : Yeah, no room for penis but, you know, that is one of the things you hear from, from a lot of guys is that they are scared, that they are now going to hit the baby during intercourse. Does that happen or can that happen? Can you hurt your baby even if you have a low baby you know, like Rachel’s situation?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : You know, I am not sure about Rachel’s situation. I will say definitely ask your doctor.
Sunny Gault : Right.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : But again generally speaking, no, you know, everything is fine. The baby is again protected, you have got that mucus plug. But I think it’s a really good idea if your husband is apprehensive taken to doctor’s visit. I mean, they are probably going to some anyway and have him or you know, you can start the conversation or he can start this conversation, have the doctor reassure him that it’s all good.
Sunny Gault : So, the baby is not gonna get a black eye?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : No. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : Try that one position you really like.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : No. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : Alright, okay good. Let’s talk about orgasms because let’s face it. Having sex is different than having orgasm. What will do orgasms play in pregnancy I mean, are they good not just something you know, are they feeling good? But what impact does it have?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Well you know, there are different stages in the pregnancy it can have a different impact. But having an orgasm particularly at the end of the pregnancy or you know, towards the end of the trimester. An orgasm can actually lead to contractions and if you have the permission of your doctor, it could be a natural way to get the labor to sort of move along.
Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald : Right, I guess better get started now. [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : I know, you have got your work cut out for you today.
Rachel Gonzales : Yeah. [Laughs] [Cross Talks]
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Yeah, you know, I mean having orgasm, you know, the earlier stages of pregnancy can also cause the contraction, sorry the contractions you know, that’s normal as long as they are short not painful you know, they subside they go away, that can really be a normal part of it. You know, I didn’t experience that but I think a lot of women do. So, you don’t, you can have an orgasm and again if the pregnancy is moving along well and there aren’t any complications, you can have orgasm and enjoy that and then there could be some cramping and some contractions. But again as long as they are brief, not too painful and they subside, if they don’t you need to call your practitioner right away.
Sunny Gault : I know someone telling me that the more orgasms you have especially earlier in pregnancy, the easier will be and I don’t know why but during labor and delivery. It will just kind of, I don’t know if it opens things up more or what. I don’t know if there is any truth to that or that was just…..
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : I don’t, I don’t in the literature that I have read you know, I didn’t see anything about that but one thing I did forget to mention in terms of orgasms is, you know, when your partner orgasms they are ejaculating semen and the semen contains a hormone. It can start to face and dilate cervix which again at the end of the pregnancy it can be a really good thing especially if you, you know, you have gone over term but you need to ask your doctor if you want to use those natural methods to get the ball rolling so to speak.
Sunny Gault : But, if you have sex earlier in your pregnancy and just because there is ejaculation does it mean that you know, it’s gonna, it’s gonna hurt you like open things up and you know, do the same stuff will do late on pregnancy? I just wanna make that disclaimer so women are going “Oh! No I wanna have sex now and I can't!"
Rachel Gonzales : Yeah, exactly, exactly that’s right. I would almost think that, that orgasms would be helpful too I mean, we are doing practicing exercises throughout the pregnancy which is you know, you are learning to control it and the orgasm is the release, the relaxation. So, that’s kind of may be a good practice for vaginal internality.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : And there is also the bringing the couple to be together just feeling that release and just feeling that pleasure, feeling that closeness and I think that’s always a good thing.
Sunny Gault : Let’s talk about sexual positions. This is always the favorite, right? Everyone get your visual thinking start here, I can position out the pictures all these as we are talking about them. So, what seems to be the most comfortable ones? Obviously this will change, ladies feel free to share you know, if you feel comfortable. But you know, let’s start may be earlier in the pregnancy you may not have as many issues because your belly isn’t big but, let’s talk about the positions a little bit?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Yeah, Ooh! Positions are fun. Yeah, definitely in the first trimester I mean, you are pretty much able to do the most of everything and I think it’s after 20 weeks where you can’t lie flat on your back anymore. So, I know that what I was reading is you should and I tried this too. You need to kind of prop yourself a bit that if you wanna keep doing machinery position. But women you know, we can get on top and that, that can be a really pleasurable way of having sex but gives you more of a sense of control. At that time I think particularly, particularly later on when the belly gets big and you know, you are feeling really uncomfortable, you don’t wanna engage in a position that’s gonna cause pressure on your belly or if you are lying flat on your back. But there is also, you know, getting on your hands and knees and having sex we all know its doggy’s style, right? And I think one of my personal favorites is the spooning so that if you have a pillow, you know, under, under your belly that supporting you know, the weight of your belly. I think that can really be a nice way of having sex and a comfortable way but I mean, for me also nice because you are sort of cuddling too.
Sunny Gault : Yeah, it’s more intimate.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Yeah, now I can say in the past I made use of chairs.
Sunny Gault : Oh! Great.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Being on top because it helped me to sort of hold on to something.
Sunny Gault : Alright, not slide and fall over.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : And then I used to kind of control the weight and pelvic tilt as well.
Sunny Gault : Right, great idea. Oh! Yeah so, Christine I have a question for you because I know, you have had twins and singleton now. I don’t know how comfortable you are answering this, but what changes have you noticed from obviously you are not as big because you are carrying one child now but was sex really difficult with twins? We are talking about twice is difficult or not so much?
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: Not really, surprisingly my weight gain, I gained 40 pounds with the twins and now I am about 30 pounds so, it’s I mean 10 pounds is max.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: Huge amount of, of difference so, I guess it’s been relatively the same so I think as far as one child I still have probably the same, everybody’s looks small.
Sunny Gault : Hopefully, yeah.
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: I think for me I was really more concerned with, you know, like when you reenter there is more, deeper penetration and I felt sensitively like kind of hitting the cervix.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: That was, really more, you know, I didn’t enjoy that really as much.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : I am glad you said that because I can, I can say okay, generally speaking here some positions are safe and usually most comfortable because if you try reentry sex and it, it hurts you know, try something else. And be okay with saying you know, communicating that and saying “No, honey this is really hurting me” and I am sure your partner the last thing they want to do is hurt you or feel like you are doing something to hurt the baby. So, yeah definitely find what’s comfortable for you; have an attitude of, you know, creativity and try new things. I mean trying new things is always good, right?
Sunny Gault : Yeah. [Laughs]
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Yeah, you are not pregnant or not so.
Christine Stewart Fitzgerald: I mean, I am coming up on 14 weeks now so, it’s so very early but with this pregnancy especially I have noticed one position may work one day and not the next day. I mean it depends on a couple of mornings, you know, I woke up and it was very obvious that my uterus was on the left, the baby was like way from my left side, I had a big lump there. So, I mean obviously especially at this stage they are moving around so much more that at some point, some position is awesome and then the next day I am like “This isn’t comfortable.”
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : You might not know something like that, I can see that being confusing to your partner so something like that would be really great to share so that your husband isn’t going “Oh! Gosh you know, I don’t know what to do? I feel like tried this, I tried that.” So, the communication is always important.
Sunny Gault : And I do wanna talk briefly about the other options and we mentioned this in the beginning of the show. But if intercourse is not an option for whatever reason, what are some of the other things that we can do and obviously this is gonna vary on a couple by couple basis? What are some things that you recommend for couples that come and see you?
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Well, there is always oral sex, right, but you know, I read something interesting. What I read was talking about “Stick to licking” because blowing air into the vagina could potentially cause an embolism. Embolism, which I guess is pretty rare but you know, that made me pause and I thought “who is blowing?” [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : I know.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Every time I read that I am like “what does that mean?” [Laughs]
Sunny Gault : You should not take the literally people, you’re not blowing.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : But I am thinking “Okay, whatever it’s about.” So, oral sex is always good and then there is you know, mutual masturbation and self-masturbation. Let’s not forget just kissing and may be you are not in the mood but you want physical connection, you want feel your partners touch, get naked and cuddle or have your clothes on and cuddle. Kiss you know, with that group of moms yesterday again we were talking about kissing passionately outside of the bedroom as a way to increase intimacy and everyone looked at you, it goes totally crazy.
Sunny Gault : Like in the kitchen or something like that.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Right, alright so, even if you know, the oral sex or stimulating one another or yourself if, if that’s not working for you or if you are just not in the mood for that, there is lots of other things to do you know, caressing, massage.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : Kissing, cuddling and all those things.
Sunny Gault : Alright, I think that’s it. Thank you so much Dr. Sandoval for being here today and...
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval : That’s my pleasure.
Sunny Gault : And for all of our panelists I really appreciate your honesty and I am sure all of our listeners as well too. Thank you so much for being so open and sharing your experiences now normally this is the time were I would encourage everyone to continue the conversation on our Facebook page but I have a feeling that nobody is going to do that. So, if you do have specific questions about sex during pregnancy please consult with your doctor, midwife to ensure a happy and a healthy pregnancy.
[Featured Segment: Maternity Fashion Trends]
Sunny Gault : Before we wrap today’s show, here are some “Maternity Fashion Trends” from Chrystal Stewenbeck of “Borrow for your Bump.”
Chrystal Stewenbeck : Hello, Preggie Pals I am Chrystal Stewenbeck, maternity fashion expert and founder of “Borrow for your Bump” where you can buy and rent designer maternity styles for a monthly rate. Today, we will help you find a perfect pair of jeans for your expecting months. As your bump grows finding a style that works for your body type can be challenging. Finding a pair that is flattering and comfortable as your body changes, jeans are a must for your maternity wardrobe and hopefully we can pair you with one that fits just right. A straight legged jean is one style that everyone can wear; this one is similar to the skinny jean but it’s much more forgiving especially those with curvy hips, full size or set caps. A straight legged jean should fit front through the hips and thighs but through back otherwise it can make you look bigger than what you are. And what to wear with them a fitted top and fun flat, try the dark sharp skinny jeans which is also available on Monks sizes and what about the ever popular skinny jeans? Who can wear them? Mostly those with proportional figures, those with the tummy or fuller hips can opt for curves with skinny styles that have slightly gloomier leg openings. Skinny styles should fit comfortable like second skin; soft, stretchy denims shouldn’t begin bunch into skin especially as your body is changing. Be aware of a fit that is too constructing; balance the tight fitting jean with a loose tunic top that is so cute with the growing bump. The best part is any shoe style goes with skinny jeans; our recommendation is the lux skinny jeans by Seraphim in grey which is the favorite of January Johns. The flare jean which is making a comeback again is a style that almost everyone can wear. If you have full thighs just choose a pair that is a little more fitted in the thighs. A full jean should fit not around the hips and waist but loose and flowing from the knee down. The pants should skin the floor and completely cover your footwear at least at the top of the show. Pair the style with the fun fitted T and a blazer to show off the bump or loose peasant top to take the attention away from the center of the body, balance the wide leg with a heel wider than the flair like a wedge which is more comfortable and will provide extra balance. Lastly, the boot cut fit can be worn by anyone. This fit is especially good at balancing and creating curves. The fit should start taper up in knees and slightly get wider as it reaches the floor as the name says and not for boots to fit. Pair the boot cut fit with a loose top and some fun footwear. These are the jeans you can really play with. Dress it up with a loose blouse 6 inches under the belly. We like the chiffon blouse with neck tie in seraphim in blue and black polka dots. As for our boot cut fit make sure to find a pair that will grow with you like the union morrow cannon with higher panel by Page Denim which goes over the bump. Most likely you won’t need the maternity size until your second trimester but every body in pregnancy is different. Comfort is key and although the elastic panel on most maternity jeans will grow with you you want to make sure there is a space too. Denim is difficult to buy early on and keep your whole term because it has less stretch than other fabrics. For that reason “Borrow for your Bump” is the best when shopping for maternity denim with a variety styles with skinny, boyfriend, boot cut and well known designers, you can rent them for 30 days and return them for a new size as your bump grows. Don’t forget to check out our denim styles mentioned at https://www.borrowforyourbump.com and be sure to listen to Preggie Pals for more great pregnancy tips.
Sunny Gault : That wraps up our show for today. If you have any questions for our experts who have been on our shows, please call the Preggie Pals hotline at 619-866-4775 and leave us a message. We will ask our experts and will include their response in a future episode and as I mentioned earlier be sure to check out Preggie Pals club for all of your archived episodes, transcripts and special interviews including the segment we are about to take now after the show which is a no hold, barred continuing conversation on Sex which I am sure it’s gonna be very interesting. So, sign up for the club and you can hear all of the juicy gossip that we are about to share. Okay, thanks for listening to Preggie Pals, your pregnancy your way.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. For such information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing any health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please receive assistance from a qualified health care provider.
[00:45:33] [End Of Audio]