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Sex And Hidden Risks During Pregnancy 101 | How Important It Is To Breastfeed

Updated on November 28, 2013

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Frequently Asked Questions About Sex During Pregnancy

Every new expectant mother is filled with questions. After all, producing and raising children is one of the most important and the most complicated things that human beings do. There is one area where sometimes the right questions don’t get asked – the area of sex. A couple’s sex drives don’t go away just because of the pregnancy. In fact, at some stages the sex drive actually increases. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about sex during pregnancy.

1. The most basic question is: Is it even safe to have sex while pregnant?

For most people the answer is yes. In a normal pregnancy, it is safe to have sex through all three trimesters of the pregnancy. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all parties will feel like having sex, just that it is safe to do so.

Newly expectant mothers often go through a stage of being very sensitive to smells, and very nauseous as a result. They are also frequently tired due to all the energy that is going in to grow the baby.

However, there will also be times when the mother’s hormones fluctuate, causing her to want sex a lot more than normal. Those hormones can also cause her excitement reaction to be more acute.

2. Does having sex hurt or otherwise traumatize the baby?

The answer once again, is that in a normal pregnancy the baby is perfectly safe during sex. The baby is surrounded by the uterus and placenta and there is a mucous plug protecting the entrance to the cervix. So the baby will not be affected by sex, unless you are having sex which would be risky for you anyway, such as non-monogamous or unprotected sex or extremely rough sex.

3. What situations would cause sex during pregnancy to be unsafe.

Of course, in your personal situation you should consult with your doctor on the issue, but there are a variety of conditions that might cause a problem.

If you have placenta previa, a condition where the placenta covers part or all of the entrance to the cervix, your physician may advise against sex because it could result in heavy bleeding which would put both the mother and child at risk.

Another potential problem which would make sex unwise is an incompetent cervix. This would mean there was a risk that your cervix would dilate prematurely, causing a miscarriage or a premature birth.

Another potential problem occurs when the amniotic sac has ruptured. Sex in this state can cause leakage of the amniotic fluid and risk infection and miscarriage.

In addition, if you have a history of miscarriages, premature labor or previous premature births, you would be wise to hold off on the sex until after the baby has been delivered.

Even in the absence of any of the above described conditions, if there is any evidence of bleeding or cramping, your doctor will most likely advise you against sex during pregnancy.

All of the above conditions are not the state of the average pregnancy. In general, sex during pregnancy is a very safe, low risk procedure. Consult with your physician, but in general don’t worry if you feel like having sex when pregnant.

Hidden Risks During Pregnancy

Lists of the things you should do while pregnant are common, but most people are surprised by several of the items on this list of hidden risks during pregnancy. Here is a list of some of the things you should avoid while pregnant.

1. Intense exercise

Most people think of exercise as always being good for you, but if you were not active before you got pregnant don’t pick this as the time to start exercising more. Regular walking is fine, and if you are already in good physical shape and trained then running is okay until the later stages of the pregnancy, but be sure you don’t overdo it. Never exercise to the point where you are extremely hot and sweaty. This can be very dangerous for your baby. In addition, be sure to avoid and high impact athletic activities and don’t start lifting weights after you get pregnant.

If you have already been exercising and you are in shape, you should still consult with your doctor before you continue

2. Do not drink alcohol

In spite of all the warnings, many people still think it is okay to have a glass of wine while pregnant. Alcohol can cause very serious damage to your child even in small amounts. Don’t end up having to spend a lifetime helping your child overcome learning disabilities just because you want a glass of wine with dinner.

3. Stay away from second hand smoke

I’m going to consider it a given that you know not to smoke yourself, but you must also be particularly careful to avoid exposing your child to any second hand smoke. Exposure to smoke can increase the chances of your child dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

4. Don’t eat seafood often

Unfortunately most of the fish available in both grocery stores and in restaurants is mislabeled so you have no idea what sort of fish you are eating! Doctors advise that you eat fish that is lower in mercury (i.e. salmon, shrimp, light tuna, crab) but it is best to keep all fish eating to a minimum to avoid mercury while pregnant.

5. Be careful of unknown sex partners

Of course, it is a given that you should never have sex without protection and without some understanding of your partner’s sexual history. However, this is more important than ever when a baby is involved. Yes, you can have sex while pregnant. In fact, it is encouraged. However, even contracting a minor case of herpes simplex can be very dangerous and even deadly for your baby.

Above all, always be careful and think before you act once you are pregnant. It is no longer only your life in your hands. You have a duty to protect your baby and make sure it has the best chance possible for a trouble free delivery and healthy childhood.

Is Breastfeeding Important For Your Baby?

An expectant mother is faced with more important and life altering decisions than at any other point in her life. One of the most significant of those decisions is how to feed her child. Will it be by breastfeeding or using packaged baby formula?

The first answer, according to most experts (including the American Academy of Pediatrics) is that you should breastfeed your child until it is at least 6 months old and preferably up through a year. This has been proven to improve the child’s immune system and general physical and psychological health.

However, for various reasons, some women just can’t do that. If you fall into that group, it does not immediately make you a horrible mother. The fact is that baby formulas are very scientifically advanced products these days. Although breast milk is still better, formula can be a very suitable substitute for mothers who cannot breastfeed.

Formulas have come a long way, and more closely mimic breast milk than they ever did in past years. Infant formulas offer complete nutrition for your baby, and if you cuddle your baby during every feeding, it can still provide a wonderful bonding experience for you and your baby.

However, breastfeeding is still the best option. Here is why:

1. Breast milk contains immunoglobulins.

These are live antibodies that serve to pass the mother’s resistance to various germs and diseases along to her child. There is simply no way that this could be duplicated with baby formula at the present time.

2. Breastfeeding costs a lot less.

Breastfeeding, of course, is free. Baby formula on the other hand can be quite expensive over time, and other alternatives such as milk do not provide all the necessary nutrients. In addition, many children have allergies to dairy products.

3. Breast milk adjusts its composition over time!

In what can only be described as amazing, breast milk adjusts its composition as your baby grows and changes. For instance, the very first milk produced by a mother’s breasts contains colostrum. This substance is very high in protein and antibodies and gives your baby’s immune system a huge boost in the first few days of life. After 3 to 5 days, a mother’s breast milk adjusts its potency downward a little bit as the baby’s system takes over. Then finally, the breast milk reaches a stage where it actually changes during feedings! It starts out with more sugar and a more watery consistency in order to hydrate the baby and provide energy. This is followed, as the nursing session continues, by higher fat content breast milk to help boost the baby’s growth.

At the bottom line, nothing beats breast milk as the perfect nutrition for new babies. It provides protection for the baby from ordinary germs up through cancer. If you can breastfeed, you should. However, if you don’t produce enough milk for some reason, or your baby doesn’t like breastfeeding, you may be forced into using baby formula. If you are, don’t think you are a terrible Mom. Babies all over the world make do very well with formula when they have to.


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