22 Weeks Pregnant
All About You
You’re probably feeling fetal movement throughout the day now that your baby’s getting bigger. And as she grows, your body has to make room. Your stomach will have less space to expand, meaning you may suffer heartburn and indigestion, especially at night. Add to that the fact that pregnancy hormones can slow digestion making your tummy troubles even worse. Slight swelling may make your shoes uncomfortable. Your back may also ache with the added weight of your baby bump. Your bladder is also suffering from the space crunch, so expect plenty of potty breaks.
Intimacy and Pregnancy
Some women experience big bonuses along with their pregnancy—larger breasts, glowing skin, and a slight baby bump—if you’re part of this group, chances are you feel more attractive than ever. On the flip side, if your pregnancy has been mostly about enduring nausea and fatigue, your libido may have taken a nosedive. No matter what your circumstance, the changes taking place in your body will undoubtedly affect how you and your partner feel about intimacy.
Why you may feel more attractive
Changes in your appearance: One of the first signs of pregnancy is an increased cup size. If you normally have smaller breasts, your new fuller breasts may make you feel more desirable. Couple that with an increased blood flow, which leaves you with rosier cheeks, and you might be downright irresistible.
Fluctuations in hormone levels: Pregnancy hormones may have you craving everything from pickles and ice cream to more intimacy. Keep in mind that the effects of these hormones vary for every woman, and your moods may change daily (sometimes hourly!).
Free of pressure to conceive: Perhaps you’ve been trying for months to get pregnant. Now that the pressure is off, intimacy may become more enjoyable and less of a task.
Why you may not feel interested
Tenderness: Your breasts and abdomen are going through quite a growth spurt, which may leave you sore. Intimacy may be uncomfortable, especially during your first and last trimesters.
Fatigue and nausea: If you’ve suffered strong bouts of nausea, intimacy may be the last thing on your mind. Fatigue may further zap any other desires.
Weight gain: As you’ve watched the scale tip upwards, you may feel frumpy.
Why intimacy is important
Intimacy allows you and your partner to express your love and concern for each other. It’s a physical closeness that can reinforce your emotional connection to your partner. A gentle massage, cuddling, and kissing, can help erase some of the day-to-day pains of pregnancy and let you know your partner is there for you.
Worrying about the Baby
“Unless you have a specific medical issues like multiple births, placenta previa, or another high-risk condition, sexual intercourse won’t hurt your baby,” explains Dr. William Camann, MD, director of obstetric anesthesia at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and coauthor of Easy Labor.
He notes, however, that you may notice some contractions after lovemaking—that’s normal. Unless your cervix is already starting to dilate, there’s little reason to worry that these contractions will lead to labor.
If you have any unexplained bleeding after intimacy, or sex is extremely uncomfortable, talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns.
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