Mid­wife de­bunks five of the most com­mon myths

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Parenting Pregnancy -

Con­cern about hav­ing sex dur­ing preg­nancy is com­mon among cou­ples who are ex­pect­ing their first baby.

It is an is­sue some of them raise with mid­wife An­nette Mul­h­ern, who sees all pa­tients on ev­ery visit they make to the Evie clinic in Sandy­ford. Here she de­bunks five of the most com­mon myths:

Women go off sex dur­ing preg­nancy

Well they might in the first trimester, if they are feel­ing very nau­seous and wiped out. But in the sec­ond trimester, when they have more en­ergy, “they are well up for it”, says Mul­h­ern. Their li­bido may start to wane to­wards the end of the preg­nancy if they are “more un­com­fort­able and don’t feel sexy”.

Sex is too dif­fi­cult

This should not be the case, al­though as the preg­nancy pro­gresses cou­ples may have to ad­just their po­si­tions to find ones that are more com­fort­able for both part­ners.

Sex can harm the baby

Not un­less there is a con­tra-in­di­ca­tion, which is why it is al­ways a good idea to have this con­ver­sa­tion with a health pro­fes­sional. Gen­er­ally, the foe­tus is very well pro­tected in the am­ni­otic sac.

How­ever, it is not okay for a woman who has had a stitch put into her cervix to have in­ter­course – that cou­ple would have to find some other way of be­ing in­ti­mate, she says.

Like­wise, in cases of pla­centa prae­via, where the pla­centa is ly­ing too low over the neck of the womb. “You could cause a lot of trou­ble there – haem­or­rhag­ing, even los­ing the baby.”

Oral sex dur­ing preg­nancy is harm­ful

Blow­ing air di­rectly in the vagina can cause com­pli­ca­tions but, oth­er­wise, oral sex is safe. It can be a good op­tion If in­ter­course be­comes un­com­fort­able.

Con­trac­tions from an or­gasm can cause a mis­car­riage

There is a hor­mone in se­men that can cause con­trac­tions “but they are so mi­nor they wouldn’t start off a labour”, she says.

Mean­while, af­ter the birth, most women are def­i­nitely not in­ter­ested in sex for some weeks.

Gen­er­ally, life is all about the baby and re­cov­er­ing from the de­liv­ery.

New moth­ers are ex­hausted and when they lie down on the bed, they want to go asleep, Mul­h­ern points out.

How­ever, she re­calls that when train­ing in the Coombe about 20 years ago, she dis­cov­ered in one of the pub­lic wards a guy in a cur­tained-off bed with a girl.

“God love her, I couldn’t be­lieve it – 24 or 36 hours af­ter de­liv­ery and there he was.”

Not to be rec­om­mended.

Gen­er­ally, the foe­tus is very well pro­tected in the am­ni­otic sac

PHO­TO­GRAPH: ALAN BETSON

Mid­wife An­nette Mul­h­ern at­tends a pa­tient at the new “well-be­ing” preg­nancy care ser­vice called Evie at Bea­con Hall, Sandy­ford, Co Dublin.

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