8 things you should know about having sex after giving birth
Are you ready for great postpartum sex? Score in the bedroom with these tips and tricks to have enjoyable intimate lovemaking sessions again!
Welcome to the exciting world of parenthood new mummies and daddies!
Are you enjoying the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and the responsibility of taking care of another tiny human being? Perhaps getting frisky with your partner is the last thing on your mind. Or perhaps you are ready to be intimate again.
But before you have sex after baby for the first time, there are some things that you should know.
Know when your body is ready
Most mothers who had natural deliveries are advised to wait until 6 weeks after giving birth to allow enough time to properly heal.
Those who had a C-section, episiotomy, tears, stiches, or other procedures might have to give it a few extra weeks more since there may still be some discomfort. The perineal area may also still be feeling slightly sore and sensitive, so just listen to your own body and give it a few more days or weeks before you plan your big romantic date night.
Emotional readiness may take time
After having a baby, your hormones will still be out of sync until you start menstruating again, so this may affect your libido. Generally, your period should return around 4–12 weeks postpartum; but if you are breastfeeding, the delay may be much longer.
Also if you are feeling exhausted due to lack of sleep, uncomfortable with your post-baby body, and just generally overwhelmed while trying to adjust to motherhood, you just might not feel like being intimate anytime soon. It is not uncommon to feel this way, so don’t be too hard on yourself and just remember that you are allowed to take some time to heal physically and emotionally.
Your body will be different
This is inevitable. Think about it,-: you carried a baby inside of you for 9 long months and your body has gone through one of the biggest changes of your life. Of course your body will never be what it once was; and even if you do get your pre-baby body back, it will take some time to get there.
Your breasts will feel sore and tender and after nursing your baby for the whole day, they might not feel very sexy to you. But it will help if you breastfeed or pump before having intercourse, so they won’t be so full and heavy, and it will prevent any surprising milk let-downs. If you had a natural birth, your vagina will be stretched out at first, but after a few days it will shrink back and start to gain some muscle tone—doing some Kegel exercises may help get it back to its original size and tautness.
You may not experience sex the same way as before
In the first 4-6 weeks postpartum, you will probably have less natural vaginal lubrication due to your decreased level of estrogen, so the dryness might make sex a little painful. Remember to take things slow, don’t skip out on the foreplay, and do consider using a lubricating cream or gel to help things along.
You should try different positions and experiment to find out what works for you because your body is different now and what felt good for you may not hit the spot anymore. Just have fun and enjoy exploring new things with you partner – you might surprise him and yourself!
What other things should you know about sex after baby? What are the precautions you should take note of? Find out more on the next page.
Getting in the mood
Having a healthy sexual relationship with your partner post-delivery is not impossible, but it might prove to be a little more tricky than before and will probably require a bit more planning.
First and foremost, you should take care of yourself, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of fluids, and get lots of rest. Taking care of a newborn is not easy, so don’t be shy to ask for help if you need it; it’s good to join a support group for new mums as well.
It may not sound too romantic, but sometimes it might help to actually schedule your love-making sessions and work it around your little one’s naptimes. If you’re still uncertain about going all the way and feel worried about the pain, then go slow and talk to your partner about this. You can explore other forms of intimacy before having full penetration once again, such as cuddling, kissing, massaging, and manual stimulation.
Remember to take precautions
Although some women feel that they are ready to engage in sexual activities again shortly after giving birth and before the usual 6-week healing period, know that you should still wait for 2 weeks post-delivery before having full penetration sex, as there may still be risk of infection, or aggravating any wounds that may not have completely healed.
Also, oral sex done on you (or cunnilingus) should be put off during the first few months as it could introduce infection into the vagina and uterus.
If you experience any burning sensation after sex, you can apply some ice wrapped in a small towel to the area to ease the pain. But if the pain persists and sexual intercourse continues to be painful, bring this up with your health care provider.
Contrary to what some may think, it is still possible to get pregnant again shortly after giving birth even if you are breastfeeding.
So if you are not planning on expanding your new little family any time soon, it is best to consult your health care provider about different methods of birth control available. It is also important to note that some research recommends you to wait at least 18–24 months before trying to conceive again to reduce risks of pregnancy complications.
Daddies please take note!
Remember that your partner needs time to recover and she is going through a lot right now, so she needs your support more than ever. If she’s not in the mood or is lacking confidence about her new body, please be patient and try to make her feel loved in other ways.
Compliment her, reassure her that she is still desirable, help her out as much as you can with the baby, give her some time off to get herself together, surprise her with a gift or a relaxing massage. Most of all, learn to communicate with her so that you’re both on the same page and understand what the other is feeling. If you can connect with her emotionally, only then will she be able to connect with you physically.
How has the arrival of your little one affected your romantic life? Do you and your partner have to pencil in your special date night? We hope our tips have helped you understand more about what to expect with postpartum sex. Please share your views with us in the comments section below!