The Truth About Sex After Baby
Give me an S, give me an E, give me an X, what have you got? SEX – but If you’ve recently had a baby you might not be getting much of that right now! Chances are the only bedroom action you’re getting involves mopping up baby sick from the duvet.
Whether you are a proud mummy to one little darling or looking after a whole houseful, you will find your time taken up by a myriad of chores. Caring for baby and the rest of the family tops the list, you’re a diaper changing, clothes washing, lunch prepping dynamo, and you may well be trying to squeeze in a career and even some sort of social life too.
The Importance of Sex After Having a Baby
Sex seems to have made its home at the bottom of the priority list, life is busy enough without trying to squeeze in a bit of rumpy-pumpy between blending your own baby food and grabbing a shower. Plus, you really don’t feel like it, your body is not ready for anything involving pumping or grinding, thank you very much. But you won’t feel like that forever, at some point you will rediscover your sexual prowess.
The Impact of Childbirth on Your Mind
Your body has gone through a monumental amount during childbirth and it’s not just your womb and lady bits that have been working overtime. Your hormones are up against it too, the birth of a child can trigger hormonal changes and extreme emotions. It’s not every day you bring another life into the world and the sheer enormity of what you have done will hit at some point.
Hormones aside, there will be times when you are overcome by tiredness, the never-ending cycle of feeding, changing and lack of sleep – along with all the other day-to-day stuff you manage to cram in, will take its toll. You may be just too zonked to do anything other than function. That’s perfectly fine – cuddling up on the sofa with your partner (when you get ten minutes of peace), will at least give you a sense of togetherness, even if it’s just for a short time!
The Impact of Childbirth on Your Body
Childbirth puts a strain on your body. Vaginal tissue is extremely fragile, and can easily bruise or tear, childbirth can cause soreness and result in you requiring stitches. You will heal, but you need to allow plenty of time for things to return to normal down below. We’re talking a fair few weeks, so don’t put pressure on yourself to be ready for full-on intercourse too soon.
Your breasts may also be feeling sensitive if you normally enjoy having your boobs caressed you might not be so keen too soon after giving birth. If you’re breastfeeding sore nipples can get in the way and it’s worth bearing in mind that over-stimulation could cause your boobs to turn into wayward milk pistols!
How Long After Having a Baby Can You Have Sex?
There are no hard and fast rules on when you should be ready to have sex following the arrival of your baby. In the past experts suggested six weeks as a sensible amount of time to wait before attempting intercourse and many women prefer to wait for a post-baby medical check-up (just to make sure). If you are in any doubt or have any concerns you can ask your GP or midwife, but as a general rule have sex when you feel ready. After all you know your own body well enough to work out if you feel up to getting intimate with your partner.
Can We Have Fun in The Meantime?
You should refrain from penetration until your vagina is fighting fit but there’s still plenty you can do to get up close and personal with your other half – orgasms shouldn’t just be reserved for penetrative sex! Don’t underestimate the carnal pleasures of kissing, stroking and caressing. Take turns stimulating one another’s genitals, and if you’re not too exhausted you could treat your partner to oral sex. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to return the favor for a while, receiving oral sex too soon after childbirth could lead to infection or even a vaginal embolism (not what the doctor ordered at all).
Instead, get your partner to turn their attention to your clitoris instead – gentle rubbing and stroking this area can prove to be explosive! When you do feel ready for full-on sexual intercourse it might be a good idea to use lubrication.
What If I Don’t Enjoy Sex Anymore?
Still got no sex drive after baby? Finding intimacy with your partner can be difficult if you just don’t feel like having sex anymore. Even if you wait a while following the birth of your baby you might still not be excited by the idea of getting it on with your partner. Exhaustion and hormones play a part but having a baby can also change the way you feel, suddenly you are giving your all to the new little person in your life. You may feel that being a mother trumps all other things, including your relationship with your partner, but it’s essential to hold on to the fact that once upon a time you were a couple rather than a family – you are still entitled to time together.
Perhaps you are experiencing a lack of body confidence? Having a baby can leave you feeling less attractive now you have the added joy of stretchmarks and a bit of extra baby weight.
Take Your Time
Get used to family life with your new arrival, if this baby is your first then you are likely to be a little shell-shocked by it all. If you have other children then life has just got a whole lot busier!
It might not be easy but try and take time for yourself (yes, we know the to-do list is already jam-packed), but you are important too. Get your nails done or treat yourself to that new bestseller (you might not be able to read much of it but dip in and out when you get five minutes).
Take time to be a couple whenever you can, this could be a snatched moment by the kettle first thing in the morning, or a quick embrace early evening. Do your best to keep that spark alive and as time goes on you will hopefully re-ignite that flame of passion!
We would love to hear your experiences of sex after childbirth, how was it for you? Have you rediscovered your mojo? Or are you hesitant about getting it on with your partner? Share your comments below