Everything You Need To Know About Sex Post-Partum
Sex may not be on the top of your to-do list in the weeks after giving birth. Many new mums lose that loving feeling during the postpartum period (and beyond) for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, postpartum sex can be more pain than pleasure, especially if you've delivered vaginally, but surprisingly, even if you laboured and then had a C-section. Either way, you should wait to get the green light from your doctor.
Secondly, your natural lubrication hasn't returned yet, making you feel uncomfortably dry (especially if you're breastfeeding) where you'd rather be moist. Whatever the case may be for you here is everything you need to know about sex post-partum:
Will you ever live to make love again? Absolutely. Like everything else in your new and often overwhelming life, it will just take time and patience (especially from your partner).
When is it safe to have sex after giving birth?
You can have sex as soon as you feel ready after having a baby. Some experts advise waiting until after any bleeding has stopped, to reduce the risk of infection while your womb (uterus) is healing, but ultimately it's up to you.
When will I feel like having sex after the birth?
Everyone is different. There’s no right or wrong time when you should aim to have sex again. The most important thing is to wait until you feel physically and emotionally ready.
It might help to know that about half of couples start having sex within eight weeks of the birth. Some couples start earlier, while others wait longer. It’s all normal. By 12 weeks, about three-quarters of couples have had sex. Nearly all couples have tried sex again within a year of the birth.
If you've had a caesarean or suffered a tear, episiotomy or other problems with your recovery, it's likely to be a bit longer before you feel ready to start having sex again. Don't pressure yourself, and give your body a chance to heal.
When you are ready to start having sex again, you should think about contraception. Even if you're breastfeeding and your periods haven’t returned, you could still get pregnant again as soon as three weeks after the birth. (I am talking from experience!! Twice!!)
If you’re not ready to have sex yet, that’s OK. Kissing, cuddling, touching and massage can help you feel close to your partner. Then when you do decide to try sex again, it will feel less like a challenge and more like a natural next step.
Why don’t I feel like having sex after the birth?
It’s very common not to feel like having sex in the first few weeks and even months after giving birth. For a start, you’re probably feeling exhausted due to lack of sleep and the demands of looking after a new baby. If you’re breastfeeding, changes in your hormones can reduce your desire to have sex, too. Further down you can find some self-help tips for ways to manage many of these issues.
What if my partner does not want to have sex?
Your partner may also feel uncertain about having sex after seeing the birth. He may worry that sex will be painful for you, or be unsure about his own feelings. Talk about concerns that either of you has. By sharing the problem, and being honest with each other, you can work through it together.
Written by Laura Doyle staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.