Best pregnancy sex positions: Tried and tested for safety and comfort

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki is a parenting writer and a mom to three wild boys who keep her on her toes (and occasionally make her question her sanity). With over 15 years of experience in the parenting industry, she has more tips and tricks than Mary Poppins on speed dial. When she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her sipping on coffee, hiding in the bathroom for five minutes of...
Updated on Jul 09, 2024 · 10 mins read
Best pregnancy sex positions: Tried and tested for safety and comfort

During pregnancy, a lot can change in the sheets. Your body goes through a great deal of changes physically, hormonally, and emotionally - but when it comes to intimacy, pregnant sex doesn’t have to put a damper on things.

In fact, it can be an opportunity to explore new depths of pleasure and connection with your partner. Trying different sex positions can help accommodate the changes in your body during pregnancy, ensuring comfort and enjoyment.

Sure, there may be a few adjustments to make along the way, but that’s all part of the adventure. Maintaining a healthy sex life during pregnancy involves open communication and understanding each other’s needs. And trust us, there are expert-approved sex positions out there that are not only safe but also incredibly satisfying for both you and your bump. So, get ready to dive into the world of pregnancy sex positions with confidence and curiosity. After all, who says the fun has to stop just because there’s a bun in the oven?

Finding the best pregnancy sex positions

Certain sex positions can accommodate the changes in the body during pregnancy, ensuring comfort and a great time for expecting couples.

Here are some of the must-try pregnancy sex positions for the next 9 months of your life.

Woman on top: Empowerment and comfort

Best for: First and second trimester

Pregnant woman or not, if you like being in control under the sheets, this position is for you. You can go at whatever pace you want, find the angles that feel best, and choose how deep (or shallow) the penetration goes.

And with a 2010 study reporting higher sexual satisfaction for pregnant women who adopt the ‘on top’ position, pleasure won’t be an issue either with this kind of pregnancy sex.

How to: Let your partner sit or lie down on their back, jump on top of them and… let the fun, and sexual intercourse, begin!


Best for: First and second trimester

Doggy style is one of the best sex positions for keeping pressure off your belly weight and bladder. It allows you to experiment with deep penetration during vaginal sex if you’re up for it (a water-based lubricant like Kin’s can come in handy here) and for extra pleasure, your partner can use their hand at the same time to stimulate your clitoris while they utilise a read entry.

By the third trimester, you may find it a bit difficult to balance on all fours, given the extra weight around your growing belly. Placing a few pillows under your bump can help; otherwise, there are plenty of other positions you can try in the later stages of pregnancy.

How to: Go on all fours as your partner enters you from behind.

Side by side: Intimacy and ease

Best for: Second and third trimester

Having your belly stretch as a tiny human grows inside of you can be uncomfortable enough as is. The last thing you need is extra pressure on your bump with the missionary position. That’s why side-by-side sex is a go-to pregnancy sex position – because your belly is out of the way.

There are two ways you can go about it: facing each other (at an angle) or spooning.

The first one allows for a little extra intimacy – and what’s better than looking into your special someone’s eyes as you’re making love? The second option, spooning, makes it harder to achieve deep penetrative sex, which could otherwise irritate your cervix and cause light spotting, especially during the third trimester.

How to: If facing each other, lie down at an angle and have your partner twist their leg over yours so that your bodies form a Y-shape while you lean forward slightly, keeping your belly out of the way. For spooning, have your partner lie beside you and curl up next to your back. They can then penetrate you from behind and you can use your free hand for clitoral stimulation if that’s up your alley. For extra comfort, and if you feel too much pressure on your lower back, try popping a pillow between your knees or below your hips during sex.

Reverse cowgirl: Taking the reins

Best for: Second and Third trimesters

Another position that puts you in the driver’s seat, reverse cowgirl keeps the pressure off your belly and applies it on your G-spot instead, which can result in mind-blowing orgasms and help achieve deep penetration. This position allows the woman to control the penetration depth, speed, rhythm, and angles, potentially leading to a more intense orgasmic response. Out of all the sexual positions that can stir sexual satisfaction while pregnant, this one is definitely up there.

Reverse cowgirl is one of the best sex positions for any stage of pregnancy, but especially during the third trimester, when your bump is at its biggest. You may just need to adjust your weight by leaning back and placing your arms behind you for support.

How to: Have your partner lie flat on their back and sit on top of them, straddling them and facing their feet.

Non-penetrative positions: Mutual masturbation and oral sex

Best for: First and second trimesters. Second and third trimesters.

Who says sex positions need to be penetrative? When you’re in the mood for some action but the corkscrew or reverse cowgirl sounds like way too much effort for the sex positions of a pregnant partner, you can simply – and literally – let your partner give you a hand.

Super intimate, mutual masturbation is an amazing way to connect with your partner and get to know each other’s bodies on a new level. Plus, you can always grab your favourite sex toys to spice things up even more.

Oral sex is another great option when penetration doesn’t sound all that appealing to pregnant women and, again, why not add a toy to the mix? Use a vibrator as they give you oral and you’ll be on your way to O-town.

The only thing your partner needs to keep in mind is that blowing air directly into your vagina is a big no-no. It can lead to an air embolism, which can be dangerous not only for yourself but for the little one as well. Also, keep in mind that due to increased blood flow, you will be more sensitive as your pregnancy progresses.

Oh, and with pregnancy often comes an oversensitive gag reflex so if your partner has a penis, returning the favour may prove to be more challenging than usual. But hey, you can always use your hands!

Adjustments and alternatives for maximum comfort

As your baby bump grows, finding the perfect position for intimacy might require a bit of creativity. Here are some tips to ensure you’re cozy and content:

  • Pillow support: Get comfy with a fortress of pillows! Strategically placing them under your back, hips, or between your knees can ease any discomfort and keep you and your bump happy.
  • Lubrication: Sometimes, your body needs a little extra glide. Grab a water-based lubricant (what we refer to as sexual medicine) to ensure smooth sailing and added pleasure during playtime.
  • Communication: Don’t forget to communicate openly with your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t. Finding the right position and pace together can make all the difference in your comfort and enjoyment.

Health and safety Q&A

Curious about keeping things safe and satisfying during pregnancy? Here are some common questions answered:

Is sex safe during pregnancy?

Absolutely! In most cases, sex during pregnancy is safe and even encouraged. In a healthy pregnancy, sexual activity does not increase the chances of early labour, contrary to what some people believe. However, if you have certain complications like placenta previa or a history of preterm labour, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before getting frisky.

What about oral and anal sex?

Oral sex is generally considered safe during pregnancy, as long as there’s no blowing of air into the vagina. As for anal sex, it’s usually okay but proceed with caution to avoid any discomfort or risk of infection.

Can I use sex toys while pregnant?

Yes, you can still enjoy your favourite toys during pregnancy! Just make sure they’re clean and hygienic, and avoid anything that could put pressure on your abdomen. Communication with your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t is key.

Are there any positions I should avoid?

If you have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, and unless your doctor tells you otherwise, there aren’t any specific positions that you should avoid completely. Some may feel more comfortable than others, but none are truly off-limits.

Licensed marriage and sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, PhD, recommends spooning as the best third-trimester sex position for comfort, reduced exertion, and minimal penetration, making it suitable for women with sensitive cervixes during pregnancy.

There are only two things you should avoid: putting pressure on your bump and lying down on your back for too long (as this can restrict oxygen to the bub). Keep this in mind, adjust any positions accordingly, and have fun.

When to pause: Recognising warning signs

While pregnancy sex is generally safe and enjoyable for most women, there are times when it’s best to hit the pause button. Here are some scenarios and health conditions during pregnancy when abstaining from sex is advised:

Bleeding or spotting: If you experience any bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, especially in the second or third trimester, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before engaging in sexual activity.

Preterm labour: If you have a history of preterm labour or are at risk for preterm birth, your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding sex to reduce the risk of triggering contractions.

Placenta previa: Placenta previa occurs when the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix. Engaging in sexual activity can increase the risk of bleeding in cases of placenta previa, so it’s typically best to abstain until the condition resolves or your healthcare provider gives the all-clear.

Ruptured membranes: If your water breaks or you experience a rupture of the membranes (also known as your “bag of waters”), it’s important to avoid sex to reduce the risk of infection.

Cervical insufficiency: Cervical insufficiency occurs when the cervix begins to dilate too early during pregnancy. Engaging in sexual activity may increase the risk of further cervical dilation, so your healthcare provider may recommend abstaining from sex until later in the pregnancy.

Severe pelvic pain: If you experience severe pelvic pain during pregnancy, it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. Engaging in sexual activity may exacerbate the pain, so your provider may recommend abstaining until the cause of the pain is identified and addressed.

Your comfort and well-being: Ultimately, if anything doesn’t feel right or comfortable to you during pregnancy sex, it’s okay to take a break. Listen to your body and communicate openly with your partner about your needs and concerns. Your health and well-being are the top priority.

Conclusion: Embracing intimacy during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a journey filled with ups, downs, and everything in between—including in the bedroom. But hey, who said you can’t have a little fun along the way? From the empowering woman-on-top to the cozy side-by-side, you’ve explored a variety of positions to suit your bump and your mood.

But it’s not just about the physical. Pregnancy is a time of profound connection—with yourself, your partner, and your growing baby. So, whether you’re getting frisky with a partner or indulging in a little self-love, remember to embrace the intimacy and enjoy the ride.

And hey, if you ever have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. They’re there to support you every step of the way.

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