SEX AFTER PREGNANCY: ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT SEX AFTER HAVING A BABY
Does the thought of sex after pregnancy make you shudder? Or can you simply not wait to get back to being busy in the bedroom?
We’re breaking the silence and discussing everything you need to know about having sex after a having a baby! Come and take a read. For many new mums, sex after pregnancy is the last thing on their mind! Some mums are ready within a few weeks though.
However, having sex after a baby is not something that people talk about, even with health professionals. It could be an embarrassment, shame, or even fear that stops us asking the question, when can I have sex again?
Well, we’re not afraid to tackle this subject, so today we are dedicating this entire article to sex. Yes, sex, sex, sex! From the length of time you should wait after giving birth, through to sex problems and ways to have better sex, it’s all about sex baby!
IS THERE A RIGHT TIME TO HAVE SEX AFTER PREGNANCY?
Let’s clear this up right now. There is no right or wrong time to have sex after pregnancy. Giving birth can be traumatic, and even if things went well, your body has some huge adjustments to make.
From birth injuries to hormones, your body has changed as well as your family. Some women take over a year before they feel like having sex again. Others are interested in resuming sex within weeks.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT HAVING SEX AFTER BIRTH?It’s not unreasonable to consider having sex after pregnancy like losing your virginity: you’re worried about pain, performance and what to do. Getting back in the sack is not as clear cut as you’d think it should be. Here’s what you should know before you do:
- It can hurt – if you’ve had a vaginal tear or stitches, your vagina won’t be the same as before. Scars and inflammation can make penetrative sex painful. Using lube and taking painkillers beforehand can lessen these symptoms, as can trying different positions.
- You may be dry – your body is to busy elsewhere to focus on producing vaginal lube. Give it a helping hand by using a lubrication.
- Milk – chances are you’ll still be producing milk. If your breasts are sucked, it’s going to come out. It can also come out by fondling or hey, just because!
- You can get pregnant – the myth that if you are breastfeeding and/or not had your period means you can’t get pregnant is just that, a myth. If you’re having sex, you need to use contraception. Your GP or midwife is the best person to discuss this with.
- It can feel different – your anatomy may have changed, and your level of sensation may be higher or lower.
I DON’T WANT SEX EVER AGAIN: IS THAT NORMAL?
Totally! Many women are traumatised by giving birth and fear that if they have sex again, they’ll become instantly pregnant. For others, they are frighted of having sex in case it hurts.
Or it could be that they have zero libido. Having a baby changes you physically and psychologically. Your body needs to look after someone else 24/7.
You’re tired, hungry, grumpy and did I mention tired? Your body produces hormones designed to help you care for your baby, not your partner or yourself. There are plenty of reasons why you have a low libido after giving birth, including:
- Postnatal depression
You’ll have sore boobs, a flabby stomach and a dry vagina: why would you want to have sex or even have him/her touch you?
I can completely understand how you are feeling, especially in the early months. I can promise you though, as time goes by and your child ages, sex will slowly come back upon your radar.
After all, plenty of kids have brothers and sisters… If you are concerned though, remember that sex can mean many different things. Yes, it can be penetrative, but can also involve petting, touching, licking, sucking, cuddling, kissing and hugging.
Why not try doing one or some of those instead for a few weeks or months instead?
COMMON SEX PROBLEMS AFTER GIVING BIRTH
Giving birth vaginally changes your pelvic muscle tone. Most likely you’ve experienced some weakness due to the stretching or injury of your pelvic floor muscles.
You may be unable to ‘grip’ his penis as you could before, and your vagina may feel ‘not as tight.’ This is normal, as are the occasional wee accidents. If you haven’t started already, it’s important that you perform regular pelvic floor exercises once you’ve got the go-ahead from your health professional.
Other common sex problems women face after pregnancy include:
- Body perception – your body has changed. Excess skin and weight, low muscle tone, stretch marks, new scars and varicose veins are just some of the joys us postpartum women have. This can lead you to feel uncomfortable about your body and impact upon your desire to have sex.
- Shrinking penises – okay, so they haven’t shrunk, I just had to say that! What’s happened is your vagina has stretched due to the birth process and hormones.
- Quickies – it may seem like the only way to have sex before the baby wakes up is to practice having quickies. While this can and does work, it’s not ideal in the long term. But for now, hey, whatever works.
- Tiredness – do you ever get sick of people saying, sleep while the baby sleeps? Yup, I did too. So, I’m not going to tell you to have sex while the baby sleeps … at night that is. Instead, plan your rendezvous for the afternoon or morning nap times instead.
- Desire – we know that a woman’s desire to have sex can completely disappear after having a baby. For men though, well, some also do, especially if they’ve witnessed the birth. For most men, they continue to have a high libido and may feel resentment that the baby gets all your attention. Communication is key here. Talk with him about your feelings and how your body feels. Let him know you still love him, but that now you’re not showing this by having sex with him. Kissing and cuddling without sex are both fine options for now.
If all this talk about sex after pregnancy hasn’t completely put you off it forever, I hope that you’ve found it useful, relatable or even humorous to read.
I appreciate that sex is a private subject, but it’s important for us new mums to know the real deal about it.