Sex After Child Birth: Five Things You Should Know to Get Back Under the Sheets
Days and weeks after a baby’s arrival are extremely challenging. You and your partner have gone through a major life change and you are still trying to understand how to deal with it. It is a special time for your family, however, it is also daunting.
You are tired and yet you keep thinking about sex. Maybe because you are longing for some alone time with your partner or you desire intimacy to feel loved or because you are desperate for your life to become normal again.
You desire sex but you are not sure about it. You do not want to do it early; you definitely do not want to wait till it is too late. You also fear if you will ever enjoy it the way you did once.
Believe us, you will. You will enjoy sex and share intimacy with your partner like you did before having the baby. It might seem next to impossible right now, but it is going to happen, eventually. All it needs is a little of patience and a lot of listening to your own body.
Understand the Brunt that Your Body is Bearing
Your body goes through a lot at the time of childbirth. The pelvic floor is stretched and the delicate vaginal tissues are strained and bruised. You experience soreness like never before. For women giving birth vaginally, perineal tears affect at least 85% of the females. The situation might not be worst but might not be better as well for the women delivering though C-section. The incision can hurt badly and may require taking anti-inflammatory medication for weeks.
Add to it other changes your body is going through – hormonal turmoil, emotional flip-flop, breastmilk production, uterus contraction, cramping, constipation and a dozen more – you will realize that the true extent of what your body is dealing with.
Therefore, in the first couple of weeks after childbirth, it is imperative to give your body the break and relaxation it necessitates. At this time, sex can wait, healing can’t.
It is Worth Waiting Till the Postnatal Check-up
There is no such thing as a prescribed time to start sex after childbirth. However, it is always better to wait till the postnatal check-up to discuss the issue with your doctor before going ahead with it.
Your doctor will inquire about your emotional well-being and examine how your body is healing back. Your doctor may inquire about lochia. Lochia is bleeding which can continue for about three weeks after baby’s birth. This bleeding is primarily caused by the wound left in the uterus due to placenta leaving the uterus. If you are still bleeding, that means that the uterus is still healing and sex during such a phase would not only be painful, it may even give you an infection. Episiotomy or C-section stitches will also be examined.
Discuss the issue of sex and intimacy with your doctor and listen to the advice you get. Also, ask about the contraceptive options you have post childbirth.
Plan Ahead and See Where it Leads
Unlike before when it was a spontaneous thing, after childbirth you will benefit more if you plan sex ahead. The baby should be fed, diaper changed and put to sleep. If breasts feel heavy and achy, you may want to express some milk to release some pressure. Filled up breasts can cause extreme discomfort during sex.
Treat sex first time after baby just like sex first time in life. Keep it casual, enjoy each other’s company, and get flirty without rushing into things. Be ready for plenty of foreplay and see where it leads. A lubricating jelly may make things easier.
You Can Make it Better
If the initial sexual encounter gets awkward or painful for you, do not give up on it all together. Lack of sex for a long time may lead to couple feeling disconnected or unwanted in a relationship. If you are taking things slow, keep the physical attraction between you and your partner going by holding hands, cuddling, touching each other in a loving way and kissing ever so often.
Sleep deprivation and exhaustion are ever-present after a baby. Your state affects your moods and hence your sexual desire as well. It will be hard but still try to eat better and rest better. It will be worth it to find time for a few minutes of Kegels or yoga or Pilates every day.
Don’t Let Awkward Moments Stop You
Babies have the tendency to wake up at the time most inconvenient to parents and that will hold true for the time when you are having sex as well! As it is best to indulge in lovemaking when the baby is taking a nap, don’t let the thought of baby waking up daunt you. In case baby wakes up, calm him/her down, laugh the whole thing off and try again another day.
Be ready for plenty of other awkward moments like fanny farts, blood on bedsheet, leaky breasts and even squirting.
Even with the dozens of limitations forced upon couples’ sexual life by the baby, most women insist that their sex get better post-baby. Women report more confidence and more understanding of their body leading to healthy active sexual lives. Many couples find their sexcapades thrilling, many starts loving each other much more tenderly and much more swear to discover their partners as they have never discovered before. There are a lot of good things that come out of the ‘sex after birth’ box; all you have to do is wait for the right moment.