Sexuality of Christian Womanhood: God Made You Maternal

Obviously this article is addressed to Christian mothers or mothers-to-be, although we are going to specifically focus on the challenges of sexuality for mothers who are either pregnant or in the early post-natal phase. Pregnancy is, of course, something that is supremely feminine in character. One way we can look at it is to summarise the impacts into two categories: the physical aspect of your changing body, and the growing expression of your sexuality. Pregnancy is certainly a time when your sexuality is a more prominent feature of your life, and it is a great time to focus on how your sexuality impacts the most important relationships in your day to day life. This can contribute in a material and spiritual way to personal growth and strengthening family relationships in future years.

One of the key impacts of pregnancy is naturally going to be on your love life. That will change a lot during and immediately after pregnancy. Depending on your exact situation, there may be times when you don’t desire your husband at all and when you want him more than was the case before you got pregnant. In any case, you can masturbate when you need to, and since you’ll want to cuddle your belly as the baby inside it grows larger, combining a belly rub with masturbation during the day is a great way to affirm your sexuality during pregnancy. You’re still a sexual woman and the functions of your genitals that relate to arousal, touching and orgasm still work pretty much the same as they did before you got pregnant. It’s important to normalise your sexuality as much as possible during pregnancy because there are so many challenges to it resulting from the numerous physical changes that occur during those nine months. This means that as long as there are no restrictions placed on sexual activity by a medical professional, you should go definitely go for it.

Whether or not you want your husband at any time, your husband can certainly want  you more than would have been the case before pregnancy. Men can find their pregnant wife’s round belly very desirable because of its shape, and there is also the added factor that it contains the baby that you have both been making, potentially causing your husband to want to affirm you and your sexuality as well as the baby. Hence in the times when you are kissing and cuddling together, “belly sex” can become more of a physical focus for both of you. However you may want to balance the extra cuddles with consideration of the physical demands of penetrative vaginal intercourse which are increased during pregnancy. We suggest this is a great time to make use of non penetrative sex such as masturbating together or hand stimulation of each other’s genitals, which if practised gently and sensitively with mutual respect, can really add an extra dimension to sexual intercourse, especially as the pregnancy approaches its conclusion. If there are times when you are both horny but you can’t stand the thought of being touched by your husband or you need some physical space from him, allow him to masturbate and let him affirm you and encourage you to masturbate. Perhaps you can both masturbate at the same time but in two different rooms, so that you can at least think of each other, even if you can’t quite manage sharing each other’s bodies during the session.

The post-natal recovery period just after giving birth, which can last for six weeks or more, is a time when regular sexual intercourse is not recommended as your internals need time to heal and return to normal. It’s also going to be a busy time for both of you dealing with the demands of caring for your new child. However, at least for you, it is very important to spend that time helping to get your sexuality back to where it was before the pregnancy. Mothers can find that the physical trauma of the childbirth experience really puts them off sexual intercourse, and spending the time when they have it to rediscover the physical and spiritual pleasures of their genitals through masturbation and orgasm can really work wonders for their love life. Likewise allowing your husband to masturbate during this time can help to keep his desire for you alive during those weeks, and depending on how you feel, it may be possible during some of that period to enjoy some sexually intimate times by substituting penetrative sex with mutual masturbation. Working together to facilitate sexual development of your body during this period is a great way to get your love life back to normal and bring the benefits of a healthy intimacy together back into the marriage and family life after pregnancy.

Sexuality of Labour and Birth

This topic is rather interesting due to work done by Debra Pascali-Bonaro as detailed in her Orgasmic Birth website and publications. The basis of Pascali-Bonaro’s premise is that all stages of pregnancy, including birth, should be considered sexual acts by the pregnant mother. Her work is based on the natural birth movement but also compels us to consider the inevitability of labour and birth becoming sexual acts with the knowledge that some women do experience sexual pleasure during these activities, whether it is sought out or occurring spontaneously. Particularly in respect to the former, is there a role for sexual pleasure to be introduced into these stages of pregnancy, and this is something that our blog is certainly interested in exploring, as we believe that the entire journey of procreation in a mother’s life is something that is to be  explored and celebrated in the light of the fullness of female sexuality as God created it.

Angela Gallo’s advocacy of masturbation during labour is different, yet related to Pascali-Bonaro’s work. Gallo made use of the practice as part of her own natural birth in her desire to use more natural forms of pain relief.

Whilst Gallo, at least, comes across as a radical new age feminist, some of whose views are likely incompatible with evangelical Christian belief, we feel it’s instinctual for us on this site to open our minds to a more open viewpoint of God’s design of female sexuality through pregnancy and childbirth which doesn’t limit the sexual aspect to the beginning of the procreative journey. This is something we’ll explore a part of more fully in our next post.

Masturbation During Pregnancy

This is a topic we’ve touched on before. We are drawing information from some third party websites as well as offering some insights of our own. It has become a particular focus for us recently in supporting some pregnant women in our community.

Sex in the context of pregnancy isn’t solely limited to the act that began the pregnancy, and there is plenty of support for views that a healthy amount of sex during the pregnancy is quite beneficial. However a key challenge for pregnant mothers is maintaining enough sexual desire for the husband to have regular intercourse throughout pregnancy. It’s not particularly unusual for a pregnant wife to lose the desire for her husband whilst at the same time becoming increasingly horny due to changes in hormones, blood flow and other factors. During third trimester in particular, sexual intercourse can also become physically awkward due to the growing size of the pregnant belly. Some men can also lose physical desire for their wife during pregnancy. Because of these reasons, masturbation may become the preferable option for satisfying sexual desire consistently throughout the pregnancy. Because masturbation has other benefits that are of the type outlined in the MFC101 series, this article focuses primarily on masturbation rather than sexual intercourse.

The key benefits of masturbation during pregnancy are outlined below. It’s useful to remember that what is good for the mother is usually good for her baby as well, therefore masturbation can actually be positive for the baby’s development as well as helping her to overcome the various strains and struggles of those nine months.

  • Helps to reduce stress and increase relaxation after orgasm by releasing oxytocin
  • Increased orgasmic pleasure
  • Natural pain relief from morning sickness etc
  • Helps to make sleep easier due to release of endorphins and lowering blood pressure
  • Helps to strengthen pelvic floor for easier labour
  • Helps restores female sexuality and self image that can be damaged due to physical changes in appearance, size etc. A woman can feel sexy again when she can experience sexual pleasure and orgasm.

Masturbation has the advantage that it can be scheduled at any convenient time and is especially helpful for mothers who need to masturbate throughout the day rather than being limited by husband’s availability and stamina. Masturbation is also beneficial for the reasons outlined in our Masturbation For Christians 101 Series in the particular circumstances where a woman needs to reconnect herself with her own body or to have her own space to focus on her own issues, rather than sharing her body with her husband for the sexual encounter. During the six week post natal recovery period when sexual intercourse is medically proscribed, this is particularly important, as it is also a great opportunity for a woman to restore her personal sexual development after the challenges that have occurred during the pregnancy and birth.

In addition to all of the previously documented benefits, one that does specifically accrue to masturbation for a pregnant woman is the act of rubbing her belly, something that has been proven to specifically increase her sense of physical connection with and love of her unborn child. During masturbation, rubbing her pregnant belly can be very beneficial for increasing her arousal and pleasure, therefore being another situation in which the act of masturbation is actually physically beneficial for the baby.

In totality, everything that a mother does during pregnancy has to be considered for its ability to benefit and support her unborn child, and in terms of a godly mandate to lay down our lives in service of others, it is appropriate in a faith context to consider how the development of the baby can be enhanced by making this a greater priority than the mother’s own needs. Given that there are provable benefits to fetal development from masturbating during pregnancy, it is highly beneficial for a pregnant mother to focus her thoughts and prayers on “servicing her womb” or providing for her baby’s needs during masturbation, and this change of focus can make the act of masturbation that much more fulfilling to her, especially from a faith perspective.

We are considering at the moment whether to add another article or two in exploring this subject further to the MFC101 series, or perhaps a different series on procreation sexuality.