21 June 2011, by Phillip Hodson
Enjoying yourselves is what produced your children in the first place, but you won’t immediately return to a normal sex life. Be patient, says psychotherapist and marriage counsellor Phillip Hodson
The first and most important injunction during your partner’s pregnancy is not to be what the tabloids call a ‘love rat’. She already feels fat, the baby is pressing on her bladder and her heart is full of love and worry. The last thing she needs to consider is whether you want to implant your seed next door. You can be certain she’s already heard that there’s a spike in the adultery figures showing this as a prime time for males to stray.
The other salient facts about sex during pregnancy are these, given only as a general guide:
In the first trimester, expect to live with a vomiting nun.
In the middle trimester, she may well turn into that harlot your internal adolescent always longed to meet.
In the final trimester, she may even become insatiable and break the long-standing record for ‘status orgasmus’, which, according to sex gurus Masters and Johnson, stands at 43 uninterrupted seconds.
Or, if you have an affair, she will simply chop it off and watch you die.
After the birth, the psychological shape of your relationship will have completely changed from couple to triple. Your place in the pecking order is temporarily Number Three.
I repeat the advice not to have affairs but learn to play patience and the pink piccolo. Your partner will probably not want sex for a couple of months and it will be longer if she breastfeeds, because this encourages production of the hormone prolactin, which has been shown to reduce libido.
Be especially prepared for one malicious twist: the absence of libido in both parties as the new Number One inflicts sleep torture at will. My youngest didn’t pass an unbroken night until he was two. (See Another night of rubbish sex.)
Throughout the business of babymaking, remember that the man occupies the relative comfort zone. When she looks in the mirror a bizarre stranger stares back. You just feel narked because her knickers are nailed on. Military strategy is your answer. Read Clausewitz’s famous sex manual On War. Particularly the chapter where the great German general says that to seize a fortress it is often wisest to offer a long sensuous massage with baby oil to the relevant parts first.