"Romance during pregnancy is not only possible but necessary," says Tamra Orr, a mother of four from Portland, Oregon. "For a woman, the time can be awkward, as her body goes through mysterious changes. And knowing that her husband still feels she is desirable will do wonders for an occasionally flagging self-esteem. My husband would always make a point of telling me how beautiful I looked, even when I felt like a beached whale. As it got more difficult to make love, he would also do things for me like massage my feet, give me back rubs, and brush my hair after a shower."
Jen Singer, a stay-at-home mom and author of 14 Hours Til Bedtime: A Stay-at-Home Mom's Life in 27 Funny Little Stories, will never forget how special her husband made her feel during her pregnancy.
"It was just before Christmas during my first pregnancy when I bowed my head in church and said, 'Oh my God!'" she says. "Overnight, my belly had popped, and I was rather visibly pregnant and feeling very un-sexy. A few months later I was bedridden for five weeks with preterm labor. No sex allowed—not that we really wanted to. But my husband made me feel special by bringing me flowers and cooking my dinners. Romance doesn't have to die with a positive pregnancy test."
Singer feels it's important for a pregnant couple to keep their romance alive because it will be the last time they can wholly focus on each other for many years. "This is the time to show each other appreciation because it will be even harder to romance each other when you're sleep-deprived and covered in spit-up," she says.
Dads-to-be and Romance
Joe Gumm, a father of two and author of Romancing Mommy: From Birth and Beyond, believes romance is a necessary ingredient to a joyous pregnancy. But, he says, men need to make sure they are being romantic in a way that their wives understand.
"When it comes to romance, men and women have different ideas," says Gumm. "Many men believe that flowers and chocolates are the epitome of romance for a woman while most women would rather receive everyday small acts of kindness, such as helping with the other kids, if any, foot massage, doing the dishes, helping out with chores around the house, putting the children to bed, actually listening, etc."