Sexual Positions During Pregnancy

You’re pregnant, so you clearly know all about the birds and the bees, but those birds and bees never had to try to do the deed with a beach ball between them. Sex during pregnancy is perfectly healthy for you, your partner, and your coming baby, but it is a little different. It  also may not be something you feel comfortable discussing with your health care provider or even a close friend or family member. Google to the sexual rescue, right?

sexual positions during pregnancy

First things first, your health concerns.

I laughed hysterically the first time my husband said that he was worried he was “hitting his boy in the head” during intercourse, but later conversations and some Reddit reading led me to realize this was a common concern. So, what does the health book say about this pregnancy sex worry?

“The fetus is safe in the uterus and will not be harmed by sexual intercourse. The amniotic sac protects the fetus, and the cervix shields the baby from germs” – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Basically, sex during pregnancy is perfectly healthy unless otherwise instructed  by a doctor in cases such as; Placenta Previa, infections, vaginal bleeding, discharge of amniotic fluid, or signs of pre-term birth or labor. These cases are rare. Nonetheless, you are most certainly not hitting your unborn child. This is physically impossible.

Another common concern is caused by some women experiencing Braxton Hicks’ contractions after orgasm, primarily in the third trimester, leading them to believe that sex during pregnancy is dangerous. Braxton Hicks’ contractions are actually common in general in the second and third trimester and are nothing to worry about either way. Experts believe they may occur to tone the uterine muscles, promote blood flow, and/or soften the cervix for birth.

Not only is sex during pregnancy safe, but it’s healthier for you and your partner mentally and emotionally. Ceasing sex because of pregnancy can cause feelings of inadequacy, depression, decreased confidence and body image, and a general feeling of being unattractive and unwanted. Sex is important to a relationship, and when it stops, problems will arise. Continuing sexual intercourse during pregnancy is said to bring a couple closer together and strengthen the bonds of trust.

And ladies you’ll be happy to know, most men say that the glow of pregnancy, a woman full of life (and her bra full of it too) is actually very attractive to them.

Now that we’ve established sex while pregnant is safe, let’s move on to our actual topic, sexual positions during pregnancy.

Sexual positions during pregnancy in the first trimester:

During the first trimester things generally go as usual. You haven’t put on much weight, or at least not enough to interfere with your favorite positions. Many women actually report an increased drive and enjoyment during this time due to increased sensitivity caused by the influx of blood in the body during pregnancy. Though some say this increased sensitivity actually makes sex painful, chances are for the first few months your sex life will go on as usual.

Sexual positions during pregnancy in the second trimester:

Now things begin to become interesting. Your belly is bulging with baby. You may have to say good bye to classic missionary style (man on top) because the weight of another body against a pregnant abdomen can cause pain and pressure. There are, however, alternatives.

Missionary on the Edge: You lay on edge of the bed with your knees perched on mattress, your partner stands or kneels on floor.
T-Square: You lay flat on your back and your partner lies perpendicular to you forming a “T,” hence the name T-square.

Woman on top is wonderful alternative at this point as well, in bed or sitting, because it allows you to control depth and keeps pressure entirely off your abdomen. This may become more difficult later thanks to fatigue.

Sexual positions during pregnancy in the third trimester:

At this point, it’s best to avoid lying flat on your back as it can reduce blood flow to your baby. This can be remedied by propping your upper body up with pillows or just avoiding positions where you need to be on your back, for example:

Spooning: You lay back to front on your sides and entry is from the back.
Doggy style: You get on yours hands and knees, your partner enters from behind while kneeling or standing.
Leap frog: An adaptation of “doggy style” where you lean against a mattress to avoid having to support your weight.

Lastly, I’m sure your wondering, should any sexual positions during pregnancy be avoided?


-Anal sex is not recommended during pregnancy. It’s not off limits, per se, but is best avoided due to the increased chance of infection and tissue damage.

-Oral sex is OK, however you should warn your partner to not blow into your vagina. This can cause an air embolism which can be harmful to both mother and child.

When it comes to sexual positions during pregnancy, creativity pays, and many couples claim that being forced to experiment with new positions actually helped their relationship, and maybe even added a few new positions to their list of favorites. The important thing is finding what works for you and is comfortable.

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