Flickr photo by solarixxMasturbation is one of those topics that far too few people discuss (except in jest) in public.
And masturbation while pregnant? Might as well not exist.
Except it does. Get most pregnant women talking and they might giggle a bit, but most will admit that self-pleasure was probably one of the most important gifts they gave themselves during pregnancy.
Or, as Oscar Wilde once said: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
Orgasms relax the body and help with all the various discomforts -- the nausea, the tight muscles, the irritability. For many women, the barrier to masturbation is self-imposed. They're worried about the safety of the baby.
They needn't be. As long as your doctor clears it, even a sex toy that requires insertion is every bit as safe as intercourse -- something doctors highly recommend -- during a routine pregnancy. And there are quite a few products on the market that can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.
- Vibrators: When you pass these in Brookstone, you may laugh a bit. We've all seen Sex and the City, we know that is not a neck massager ... except it can be. After you have given your nether regions some attention, you can swab it with a handi-wipe and then that "massager" can actually do its job, giving some attention to sore neck and back muscles that often develop with pregnancy. This is also great for pregnancy because many women are wary of something that requires insertion. With a vibrator, there's plenty of good feeling to be had with almost no penetration.
- Ben Wa Balls (aka Smart Balls or Duotones): This product has changed over the years, but originally, it was a set of two metal balls, one solid and the other not-quite-filled with mercury (!!). Both balls are inserted in the vagina and as the woman moves, one ball hits the other, causing vibrations. These, of course, feel incredible, but they're also great for strengthening the pelvic floor, something that is invaluable during pregnancy.
- Feather Ticklers: What is more relaxing or reminiscent of childhood than being tickled? One of the nicest things I did for myself during pregnancy was to lightly massage honey dust -- a sweet-smelling, moisturizing powder -- onto my belly.
- Almond Oil: This is a great, natural sexual lubricant that can also be used solo for perineum massage in preparation for childbirth. My midwife suggested this to me, I took her advice, and I had two babies with no intervention and no tearing. I highly recommend it.
Masturbation may make us giggle and scoff, but at its heart, it's really about taking the time to give oneself a little bit of pleasure -- something any pregnant woman who spends the day navigating hot subways, high heels, and general discomfort could use plenty more of. So, lay back and give yourself a treat. Or let your partner join in the fun.
Got any pregnancy self-pleasure tips to share?