Who could forget that scene in Knocked Up when Seth Rogan’s character freaks out about hitting the fetus with his penis? But all jokes aside, it’s totally normal to be freaked about having sex while pregnant. Crazy things are happening to your bod! But rest assured, the research shows it’s totally safe.
What’s better: The sex can feel amazing—like, even more amazing than before you got preggers. That’s because, during pregnancy, your body’s levels of estrogen and progesterone rise. This increases blood flow down there, which in turn ups vaginal lubrication and breast sensitivity, says ob-gyn Kecia Gaither, M.D., maternal fetal medicine specialist.
“Engaging in loving, sexual activity has been shown to have positive benefits for both expecting mother and unborn child,” says Gaither. “Sex is known to release endorphins and oxytocin—otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’—allowing for relaxation and a sense of wellbeing.”
Just be sure you opt for the right positions—some can be uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous. You should avoid positions that have you on your back (like missionary) late in the second trimester and during the third, as this can reduce blood flow from your lower body to your heart (yeah, no thank you).
But other than that, go forth and get busy with these bun-in-the-oven-friendly positions.
First Trimester: Scissors
The exact opposite of strenuous, this move takes it easy on both of you. It’s both gentle and involves shallower penetration than many positions, says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., a sexologist. Since it has you on your back, it’s best kept to the first trimester. As your belly gets bigger, it will also battle with his top leg.
How to: Sit on the bed facing each other with legs forward. Lift his right leg over your left, and lift your right leg over his left. Move together so he can enter you. Now lean back, and have him prop himself up with his arms behind him. Then have him gently gyrate into you, rather than aggressively thrust.
First Trimester: Edge-of-Couch Missionary
If you love missionary but feel uncomfortable with your growing baby bump in the way, this one is perfect for you, says Cadell. Plus, it lets him do all of the work. Remember, though, this one should be retired come week 20.
How to: Lie down at the edge of a bed or chair, with your feet firmly planted on the floor. You partner will get down on his knees or stand, depending on the height of the surface. Have your partner grab your thighs and enter you.
Second Trimester: Doggy Style
Spice things up without going acrobatic. If you feel any ache in your back during this one, consider propping up your chest on some pillows or trying the next rear-entry variation, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., co-author of V is for Vagina.
How to: Get on your hands and knees, either on the bed or floor. Have your partner enter you from behind. From this position, he can also easily stroke your clit straight to O-town.
Second Trimester: Leap Frog
This one could also go by “I’m too tired to hold myself up,” but it does more than give you a rest. By tilting your pelvis, it changes the angle of penetration to mix things up. Cadell recommends using a pillow to give your arms and head some extra support.
How to: Lie face down on a bed, with your knees bent and hips raised. Lean forward and prop your body up using your forearms and pillows. Have him enter you from behind, while also bending his knees.
Second Trimester: Cowgirl
Take control for your comfort: This one lets you set the pace and depth while giving your guy direct access to your breasts, which are more sensitive right now than you ever thought possible.
How to: Have him lie down on his back, with his legs outstretched. Kneel next to him, then spread your legs and straddle his hips while facing forward. While kneeling, lower yourself onto his penis and begin riding him up and down, as slow or fast as feels comfortable.
Third Trimester: Spooning
By lying on your side, you take any pressure off of your back and uterus and manage to get your belly out of the way, says Dweck. While you can assume this position any time, it’s best for the later stages of pregnancy since it’s super gentle and doesn’t allow for deep penetration, which can become uncomfortable.
How to: You both lie on your sides facing the same direction, him behind you. Bend your knees slightly and push your butt toward him, so he can enter you. Adjusting the lean of your bodies will vary the angle of entry and help with rocking and thrusting.
Third Trimester: Reverse Cowgirl
This variation of your typical woman-on-top pose keeps you in control while increasing stimulation of your clitoris, says Cadell. Depending on how much you lean forward or back, you can really change the angle of his penis inside of you, and find just the right spot to get you off.
How to: Have him lie on his back with his legs outstretched. Kneel next to him, then turn and spread your legs, straddling his hips and facing his feet. Kneeling, lower yourself onto his penis and begin riding him up and down.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.
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