Some men can become jealous of the atten-tion the baby is getting from the woman he loves, both when it is inside her, as well as after the birth, when the child has such frequent access to her caress and her breasts. The Freudian interpretation of this jealousy is that it is based on the man’s own longing for maternal love – something he may have been denied in his own childhood. It is important that the woman watches for and acknowledges such tendencies in her partner and that they address resolution of this as early as possible.
Through open and honest communications within their relationship, if a man is better able to understand and share in his partner’s emerging motherhood, then when the time for birth comes, he will watch in awe and wonder at the increased power of her sexuality rather than be disappointed, frightened or disgusted by it. This acceptance by the man will also assist the woman to fully express herself during the birth and emerge triumphant at a new level of womanli-ness. Learning to love and appreciate each other more and more as the woman grows beyond her more youthful body and personality, is also an important element in maturation of a couple’s sexual and devotional relationship.
Immediately following fertilisation and implan-tation, there are chemical changes in a woman’s body which affect her sexuality in subtle physical and mental ways. As well, upon confirmation of pregnancy, whether acknowledged or not, both the woman and the man will develop attitudes relating to sexuality which are somewhat different to those held previously.
This is an area of potential conflict in many relationships which is not always candidly dealt with. Endlessly brushing the topic aside, or either partner succumbing to an undesired or unsatisfactory encounter, is to be avoided. Poor handling of sexual relations during pregnancy can lead to future problems in the relationship. Relationship counsellors frequently state that pregnancy is often a time when unfaithful men go off in search of another woman who can sexually satisfy them like their partner no longer can, or is prepared to. What is needed is honest and open communication about the reality of the woman’s changing body, and each person’s changing attitudes to the woman’s body.
Attitudes to having sex during pregnancy vary a lot, both the world over and within our own society. In some cultures the woman is venerated as sacred when pregnant, and her sexual
organs must be completely left alone until after the child has stopped breastfeeding. In others, they believe it to be bad for the child if the parents have sex during pregnancy. In our society, opinion ranges from: men who think of it as their conjugal right to have sex whenever they like, irrespective of maternal state; men (and women) who consider it disgusting to have sex during pregnancy; those couples who just carry on as if nothing has changed at all; to those couples who enjoy it far more, the man considering it a great privilege and an act of worship towards his pregnant lover.
In tantric terms, during pregnancy the nature of the woman’s womb is metamorphosing from an organ which normally takes Shiva’s energy into it in the form of the penis and sperm during sex, to one which holds and nurtures Shiva’s energy and Shakti’s egg for 9 months. It then transforms again into one which puts out the sum of that energy as a whole new lifeform. During pregnancy, and for some months afterwards, fertility and menstruation are suspended. This is a significant reversal of our usual pre-pregnant state where fertility and menstruation regularly fluctuate and where intercourse and ejaculation are (biologically) welcomed by the woman’s womb. This suspension of a “welcome state” tends to support the belief systems of those who maintain it is inappropriate for the yoni (vagina and uterus) to be used for sex between conception and childbirth.
But for those who wish to continue sex during pregnancy, it is important for a woman to have the greater control, both to initiate and during relations. This need is partly physical – deep penetration can be very uncomfortable with the weight of the baby pressing down onto the vagina – and there is also the psychological need for a woman not to feel subjugated by sex in any way. She should feel honoured and appreciated for what she has become, rather than feeling like the same woman as before, but now too “overgrown, clumsy or awkward” for the usual sexual activities. When you share love making in those pregnant times, to straddle your Shiva with your full belly and breasts, is a most beautiful and powerful expression of the Mother Shakti. Losing yourself in these blissful moments can be an opportunity for shared appreciation of the spirit which transcends individuality, further enhancing the unity of the couple with their baby.
There are no known reasons against normal sexual relations during pregnancy except where there are symptoms or a history of miscarriage. In the first 3 months following conception, the placenta is still implanting.Should the