Mighty Mommy has delivered seven babies and will soon be a grandmother. Here are ten pressing questions on the minds of today's pregnant women that they scramble to have answered. This episode covers five questions women grapple with in their last trimester. (For questions women have in their first trimester, check out Part One here!)
Luckily, that all changed, and today I have absolutely no qualms at all about discussing this important and necessary topic—just because you’re pregnant (unless you’re experiencing a high-risk pregnancy and your doctor has recommended no sexual intercourse) does not mean you can’t enjoy your sex life when you’re in the mood.
Many men fear they will hurt the baby when they make love to their pregnant wife, but that’s just not the case. Your partner’s penis is not going to penetrate the baby. (And your baby is not going to know that mom and dad are doing the wild thing!) The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus protect the baby, and the thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps as well. Medical advice given on MarchofDimes.org states, “If your pregnancy is healthy, you can have sex. You and your partner can use positions that are safe and comfortable throughout pregnancy.”
As stated in Sex During Pregnancy, “If after sexual intercourse something doesn’t seem right, such as if you have pain during sex, or you have heavy bleeding, leaking of amniotic fluid or painful cramps that don’t go away after sex, call your provider or go to the emergency room. Keep in mind that it’s normal to have some cramps or spotting after sex when you’re pregnant and that having an orgasm can cause cramps.”
First-time pregnant couples are new to all the amazing changes taking place in mom’s growing body, so it’s perfectly natural to worry about how sex will affect her and the baby. If you’re experiencing a healthy pregnancy, however, and your doctor has not indicated you cannot have sexual relations, be prepared to share this incredibly intimate time with your mate. This will ebb and flow as your pregnancy progresses, and your body continues to grow, but when the mood strikes—go for it!
3. Am I a Failure if I Contemplate an Epidural?
My 8-month pregnant daughter said that this question is something her new group of pregnant friends discuss often. “I didn’t think this topic would be as shameful as it is but in talking to my pregnant friends, we’re feeling 'less' for contemplating or needing an epidural to help manage our pain during labor and delivery and not having a 'natural birth' instead,” she shared anxiously.
I personally delivered one child with a failed epidural, so I know what natural childbirth feels like. I was fortunate enough to experience my next six labors with successful epidurals, and I never regretted for a moment that I needed pain management, especially when I vaginally delivered nine and ten pound babies!
I loved the response one of my daughter’s co-workers shared with her about choosing an epidural. “There’s no such thing as a 'natural root canal' so why should laboring moms be shamed into feeling less adequate because they want to have anesthesia?”
As explained in American Pregnancy Associations article on epidural anesthesia, “Epidurals block the nerve impulses from the lower spinal segments. This results in decreased sensation in the lower half of the body.”
There are certainly medical pros and cons about whether or not an epidural is right for you, but today we’re covering the emotional aspect of choosing to have one.
Every woman’s pregnancy is different and so is every woman’s labor and delivery experience.
Each of my labors were over 20 hours long. In my podcast 4 Reality Checks for New Moms, I candidly discuss the pain women endure after delivery. Because we get so focused on the pregnancy and delivery, it’s super easy to forget what comes next—healing our bodies and getting to know our precious newborn.
An epidural is a personal choice, but after delivering seven babies I can tell you that there is no shame in how that baby makes his/her appearance. Whether it’s an un-medicated birth, a planned or unexpected C-Section, or a delivery made so much more comfortable with an epidural—enjoy this surreal time in your life. When your baby finally arrives, you’re going to be on cloud nine!
4. How Do I Know When It’s Showtime?
Speaking of when your baby arrives, another question on countless women’s minds in their last trimester is how they will be able to determine if they’re actually in labor or not.
If you schedule a visit to your hospital’s maternity center or enroll in childbirth classes, many of your questions about pre-labor and actual labor will be discussed and answered. You may have already been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, a tightening in your abdomen that comes and goes. They are contractions of your uterus in preparation for giving birth and very common in the last trimester. Typically, they are not painful but feel like a tight squeeze in your uterus.