Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 20 (part 3) - How Your Actions Affect Your Baby's Development

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- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

5. How Your Actions Affect Your Baby’s Development

Sexual Relations

Pregnancy can be an important time of growing closer to your partner. As you get larger, sexual intercourse may become difficult because of discomfort for you. With some imagination and different positions (ones in which you aren’t on your back and your partner isn’t directly on top of you), you can continue to enjoy sexual relations.

If you feel emotional pressure from your partner—either his concern about the safety of intercourse or requests for frequent sexual relations—discuss it openly with him. Ask your partner to come to a prenatal visit to discuss these things with your healthcare provider.

If you’re having problems with contractions, bleeding or complications, you and your partner should talk with your healthcare provider. Together you can decide whether you should continue to have sexual relations. If your healthcare provider advises against sex, ask whether this means no intercourse or no orgasm.

You May Be Sexier than You Think

Pregnancy is sexy! We know many men think their pregnant partner is more beautiful and sexier than ever before, especially during this middle part of pregnancy. Below are reasons men have given us as to why they think their pregnant partner is sexy.

•  Your skin may be smoother and softer because you use more lotions and oils.

•  You ask for massages and back rubs, which may lead to further massage and sexual intimacy.

•  Discovering different ways to make love can be fun.

•  Sex during pregnancy often requires some creative thinking on both your parts.

•  Your pregnancy makes him walk like a man. For many men, their partner’s pregnancy is a source of pride.

•  You may have more cleavage (or cleavage when you’ve never had it before).

•  Your hair may be luxurious, nails may be long and skin glowing.

•  You may be feeling very sexy due to increased blood flow to your pelvic area.

•  Your curves can be sexy.

•  Pregnancy hormones may increase your sexual desire.

•  Your changing figure, such as enlarging breasts, may turn him on.

•  The level of commitment you feel toward your partner may intensify your intimacy, both sexually and nonsexually. Having a child together may be the ultimate act of trust.

•  You’re carefree because you don’t have to worry about birth control.

Body Art

We have seen an increase in piercings and tattoos of women. These types of body art may lead to situations during pregnancy that must be dealt with, so an understanding of some of the problems that may occur may help you understand where your healthcare provider is coming from if he or she has a concern.

Body piercing has been around since ancient civilization and is popular again. The most popular form of piercing is pierced earlobes—many women have pierced ears. This is a low-risk type of piercing your healthcare provider won’t be concerned about.

However, other places on the body may be pierced, including the eyebrow, nostril, nasal septum, lips, tongue, nipples, navel, labia and clitoral hood; these piercings may cause your healthcare provider concern. With oral piercing, there’s a chance for various infections and for swallowing jewelry. Nipple piercing can damage milk ducts, which could interfere with breastfeeding. Navel jewelry must be removed after about 3 or 4 months of pregnancy due to the stretching tummy. Leaving jewelry in the navel could lead to ripping or tearing. With any type of piercing, there’s the possibility of scar-tissue formation. This is especially common with people of African descent.

If you have any oral piercings, your healthcare provider may discuss removing them before delivery. In some cases, anesthesiologists are concerned about keeping your airway open if jewelry is not removed. This situation isn’t common, but no one can predict what labor and delivery will involve, so it may be safer to remove the jewelry as you get closer to your due date.

If you have any piercings (other than earlobes), bring them to the attention of your healthcare provider. Discuss any suggestions for removing jewelry, if you’re concerned.

Like body piercing, tattoos have been part of many cultures for thousands of years. Today, many people have tattoos; the most common sites are the arms, chest, back, abdomen and legs. Some problems pregnant women with tattoos have include infection, allergic reaction, formation of scar tissue at the tattoo site, stretch marks in the area of the tattoo and removal of an unwanted tattoo.

Do not be surprised to see a change in your tattoo if it’s located on a body part or in an area that can be affected by pregnancy. For example, the cute little butterfly on your abdomen may grow very large during pregnancy. In addition, stretch marks may run through it. After pregnancy, skin may remain stretched, and the cute little butterfly droops and sags until skin returns to “normal” after pregnancy, which may not be like “normal” before pregnancy.

Feeling unattractive during pregnancy? Help yourself feel beautiful by keeping pretty things around you, like flowers or a beautiful picture. You may also help yourself by telling yourself you’re beautiful. Buy some sexy lingerie that makes you feel sexy. Boy shorts will flatter your legs, and floaty tops can camouflage your tummy.

Tattoo removal during pregnancy is not recommended. Neither is getting a new tattoo. You don’t want to increase your chances of getting an infection, which is a risk when you get a tattoo. Wait until after baby’s birth to receive or to remove a tattoo.

There have been rumors that women who have tattoos on their lower backs can’t have regional anesthesia, such as epidurals and spinal anesthesia. However, no studies have shown this to be true. Discuss any concerns you have about anesthesia and your tattoos with your healthcare provider.

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