Q: How do I make myself feel sexy again with a growing belly?

(This article was inspired by a question left on an article previously written by Spicy Nutmeg.)

Pregnancy is full of bumps. I remember morning sickness… except for me it was 24/7 sickness for the first four months. I remember the excitement of feeling the first tiny movement which soon escalates into feeling like my child was going to be the next professional soccer star. I remember feeling like I could never get enough sleep and then when 9:00 pm hit, I wanted to deep clean the house, fold four loads of laundry and make a gourmet dessert… all at once! No matter what your story may be, one prominent bump that all of us women have in common during pregnancy is that baby bump! We have to buy new clothes to accommodate it. Things that we took for granted like seat-belts, booths in restaurants and picking things up off the floor all of a sudden feel somewhat foreign. There are so many situations for us and our husbands to adapt to and sex and feeling sexy is not excluded from the list.

The first thing that I would suggest is to embrace that changing body of yours. I loved my pregnant belly. The bigger it got, the more I liked it! It more than likely had to do with the bundle inside, but it was also a time when my tummy was hard without having to do aerobics five times a week, run a couple miles, lift weights and diet to get it that way! Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean that you can’t be fashionable. Maternity clothes have grown strides in the recent past. In any price range that you can afford, there are cute things for you to wear. One of the best things that I purchased during my last pregnancy was a mix-n-match 5 piece outfit for $100. It had pants, two shirts and two skirts all in neutral colors for the basic wardrobe. It was a life saver!

And now that I’m done having kids, I’ve discovered that manufacturers are making maternity lingerie! And I’m not just talking panties and nursing bras, but the sexy stuff. Buy some! And if you don’t want to fork out the cash on maternity lingerie, then I’d suggest buying the fly-away baby doll type of lingerie which would leave ample room for a growing belly. Also, make sure you keep up with your beauty routines or pamper yourself from time to time. Some spas give special maternity massages, and even if you can’t find one that does so, you can still relax by getting your nails done, a pedicure or getting a long scalp massage the next time you’re getting a shampoo during a hair cut.

Along with hormone fluctuations and different degrees of fatigue, take advantage of the times when you do feel as if you have a lot of energy. As I mentioned before, my big bouts of energy always came in the late evening, so whenever yours arrive, do your best to take some alone time with your husband. You may need to experiment with different positions during pregnancy to find something that’s more comfortable. The “woman on top” position was always great for us. Sit up and allow your husband to familiarize himself with your growing belly and breasts during sex.

It also helped immensely that my husband was not shy about telling me how much he adored my pregnant form. So… guys who read this blog… pay attention! Your wife may need some extra encouragement during this time in her life and you can play a key role in helping her feel beautiful and sexy while she is pregnant. Encourage her through touch and verbal affirmations. Or, give her a special “Mommy to be” gift by setting aside a time where she can focus on herself rather than the upcoming changes that you’ll both be facing.

In the grand scheme of things, gestation really doesn’t last that long, but it can be life altering, even if some of the situations we encounter are temporary. God honored us by giving us charge over our unborn children, so remember to treat yourself like the privileged vessel that you are.

13 Comments

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It’s soooo nice to be totally understood by those around you and you completely nailed it on the head on how I am feeling! :) We will definitely take your advise and I love the maternity lingerie! Hooray!!!

  2. Men -

    It is sooo important to make sure your wife knows that while she may feel huge and unsexy, you love her, you find her beautiful and sexy, and to support her. I didn’t do that enough during my wife’s first pregnancy, but I am now in her second.
    Giver her massages, give her time to have a bath or to rest, and let her know how excited you are to have that baby together.

  3. Shower sex was a huge help during my pregnancies–I can only really enjoy WOT if I am leaning forward, and while pregnant, leaning forward makes me feel very sick to my stomach! On the other hand, traditional man on top puts too much pressure on my queasy stomach, too!

    Lots of suds and helping each other wash is lots of fun. :-) Great foreplay!

  4. Remember that normally lingerie can’t be worn or tried on because of hygienic purposes and policies of the store. If you’re buying from an online store, the more you won’t be able to see yourself wear the lingerie that you want. Take measurements first, especially in the shoulder, bust, waist, and hip areas and use the sizing table provided to be able to get the perfect fit.

  5. I’ve learned so much in the past few years about the importance of replacing negative thoughts/behaviors with positive. (Eph. 4:28 “he who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work…”) I’m studying to be a childbirth educator and if there’s one thing I’ve been blown away by, it’s how fear of pregnancy/birth can be replaced with joyful anticipation.

    Making out during labor is SOoooo good for you! All that oxytocin makes labor shorter, less painful, and washes your baby in “happy hormones” and actually makes him or her feel good too. Because birth is MUCH more intense than sex, most of us assume it’s going to be intensely painful. But for some women it’s intensely pleasurable. Why not spend nine months getting excited about it??? It can make for some pretty hot fantasies- maybe you’re in a warm pool in the rainforest, him rubbing his hands all over your ripe body while a waterfall pours over your face and hair; you’re moaning with the pleasure of each rhythmic contraction and with your hands you feel how HARD your belly is…

    If you spent nine months imagining it this way, how could you not enjoy it?

    Imagine what Eve’s experience would have been giving birth in Eden. Adam was a gardener, so when God said “be fruitful” think how he must have thought about it. He’s tending these gorgeous plants and trees, surrounded by lush fertility- it’s paradise- and his wife, the crown of creation, is his greatest pride and fascination. He tends her lovingly as she grows, looks forward to when she will bear fruit. And her fruit is more thrilling to him than any other in the garden because it’s from his seed. He is amazed by her beauty; she feels treasured and adored. She loves her body. She looks at the apples and peaches and raspberries ripening among the leaves, enjoys their beauty and succulence, and smiles knowing she surpasses them all.

    The more I learn the more I am absolutely convinced that pregnancy is supposed to be totally sexy. Every hormone in your body is building to a crescendo. The same “sex flush” you get after a wild romp in bed, takes place even stronger after birth- I call it the “Love Potion #9″ effect, where you fall totally in love with everything in arm’s reach. So many women fall in love with their OBs or fantasize about them. Why waste your Love Potion #9 on a stranger, when it’s meant to bond you closer to your husband and help you both fall in love with your new baby?

    I could say so much more- it is my new favorite topic! When I think that God designed all this and called it “very good”, and when I think that fertility is a blessing from him, I am amazed. He is too good. Why should babymaking be so much fun?!

    For the record, I had two long miserable labors, and during my third pregnancy I made a commitment to replace my negative thoughts with positive. It was my most comfortable pregnancy. We had lots of sex! I had my very first painless labor up until 9 cm. We were making out in the pool and it felt great. I did have some pain from 9-10 cm which I think was partly because there were too many people in the room and I lost my “groove”, but still- it was awesome! So I’m not just making this up…

  6. Sounds like it has worked wonderfully for you and I think that’s great. I do think it is unfair to compare our real experience giving birth with how it might have been in the garden of Eden. I think our mindsets and expectations going into labour and childbirth do play a huge role in how we perceive and can handle the process, but since we are all different I would be careful about making sure that in your exuberance you are able to also extend grace if a woman isn’t able to experience it like you did. Other than that, I think that many women are going to benefit from your perspective.

  7. You’re right, cinnamonsticks, there has to be grace for all kinds of experiences. Like I said, my first two labors were 20+ hours of pain. I have a ton of sympathy for women who don’t love labor.

    I think that’s what makes me so enthusiastic about this idea though, because it’s so underplayed. Every woman has seen a dozen torture-births on TV- very few women have even heard of the concept of pleasurable birth.

    There’s lots of sympathy for women who have tough pregnancies or labors. I’ve found it more difficult to find someone to relate to if you actually enjoyed the experience. Most people look at you as if you had three heads; I have even heard women laughed at and accused of lying for telling about a pleasurable or painless birth. So, not to diminish or downplay anyone’s difficult experience- believe me, I feel ya!- it’s equally important to encourage and validate women who feel smokin’ hot with their curvy bodies! They need to know there’s nothing wrong or perverse about feeling sexy when you have a baby inside, which is an unnecessary guilt many women wrestle with.

    My intent in imagining Eve is not so much to set an impossible standard, as to remind women that pregnancy really is supposed to be beautiful. I apologize if I came across as condescending. All of us, pregnant or not, have days when we just don’t feel sexy- be it morning sickness, bad hair or getting laid off- and that’s why sites like this are so important. This is a place where we can be reminded that we’re created to be sexual, and that by God’s grace we can overcome all obstacles to find our mojo.

    For pregnant women, it’s easy to say, “If you’re going to feel like a cow you can a least be a cow in a feather boa.” It’s important to remind pregnant women that they ARE beautiful, not just that they should play sexy for nine months for hubby’s sake until things get back to “normal”.

    Anyway, call me a nympho if I’m “abnormally” driven even with a belly :) I hope I’m not the only one!

    Also, I will respectfully disagree with you about it being unfair to compare Eve’s hypothetical experience with our real-world experiences. Many, many marriage sermons reference Genesis 2:23-25. We hold that husbands ought to love their wives as their own flesh, that a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife, and that the two should become one flesh and be naked and unashamed together. No marriage totally meets this ideal, but the story of Eden holds many solid principles for how things ought to be.

    Sadly, we don’t have an example of a pre-Fall birth to read about, so it’s challenging for childbirth educators to find “the birth passage” in scripture when we want to teach the ideal. I try to base my ideals on scripture: I know that Eve’s fruitfulness was given as a blessing; she would have been unafraid, unashamed, pleased with the body God gave her; she was in perfect unity with Adam; she would have completely trusted God’s plan. What I know of biology remarkably confirms that these are the conditions that contribute most to a healthy, happy birth. I do hold this up as the ideal, with the understanding that ideals cannot be perfectly attained in a fallen world.

    “Imagining Eve” is fiction, not scripture, but I hope that it can be a helpful tool in encouraging women to think about God’s intent for childbirth. I also recommend “The Joy of Natural Childbirth: Natural Childbirth and the Christian Family” by Helen Wessel for a Biblical perspective.

  8. I hear what you are saying and I have seen the look you are referring to when I tell people that I found the process of labor empowering and positive (though mine wasn’t pain free.)

    I still adhere to my opinion that to compare our birth experiences to Eve isn’t a fair comparison because the Bible seems to indicate that her children were not born in the Garden. Although I can see how you could debate that we don’t know for sure, the Word seems to indicate that the process of Adam and Eve’s sin and banishment from the garden happened without children accompanying them. Their children are then introduce later.

    To me it makes sense to hear sermons on the aspects of the Garden that were recorded (such as the Gen 2 scripture you referenced), but there isn’t a reference to Eve giving birth in the garden so that’s why I say that it doesn’t seem like a fair comparison. There is reference to her and Adam having freedom from shame in their intimacy so I can see how we can look to her example in that regard, but birth is not mentioned.

    Still, apart from disagreeing with this one aspect of your position, I appreciate that you are sharing your experience and what you have learned about this. Thanks.

  9. I should say–WOT penetration–while leaning forward. WOT outercourse works just fine for me, pregnant or not. :-) And it feels great for him too, so we are both happy.

  10. This third pregnancy was the first time I ever really received oral- and it’s been GREAT, even though I couldn’t see what he was doing :)

    I also discovered this crazy position that I loved, sitting on the edge of the bathroom sink with my legs up on the sink too (sort of an elevated squat). It was a bit tricky to keep my balance, but the angle felt good. I wonder if it would be easier on a table or something?

  11. Ok, I think I understand better where you’re coming from. I hope you will forgive me for being a hothead… God is working on me, alleluia!

    I’m not really “there” yet myself- I’ve heard of women having orgasmic labors, but I haven’t even quite reached a painless labor. #3 was easy until 9 cm, but it was HARD after that! Harder than my first two! I’m really not any more fabulous at giving birth than anyone else. I’m actually a wimp who faints at needles and spent the last 1 cm of this labor crying, “I don’t want it!!!” But having had such a taste of what it could be like, and hearing stories of women who have had even better, makes me want to keep learning! At least with sex you can practice as often as you want, but you can only “practice” birth once every couple of years… I feel like I have so much to learn, maybe by our tenth kid I’ll have it perfected :)

    We only had privacy to make out for a short while during this labor, but I definitely noticed when we were smooching and touching, that was the time I felt least pain or even discomfort… it just felt really intense and good. So we both plan for more of that next time around!

    I just think it’s awesome God made us with the capacity to experience such absurd pleasure at every point of the reproductive process. In a fallen world we only get fragmented happiness, but wow! Fish don’t have this much fun, squirting aimlessly to fertilize a thousand eggs they’ll never know… why should we be so blessed??? Even the tough parts draw us closer to Him, which is awesome too. He’s so good.

  12. Yes, birth is a beautiful thing.

  13. My last birth was very encouraging and I am happy to meet others who handled their births well. Horror stories about labor are not helpful to a mom-to-be. Seeking out good counsel for the birth is a far better use of a mom-to-be’s mind. Thank you for helping ladies in that way, Peachesandcream.


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