If you grew up in the eighties like me, then you may be somewhat familiar with the notion that sex is not a subject OPEN FOR DISCUSSION. What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom.
Well today, we’re changing the rules so you don’t get surprised. I’m letting you in on all juicy details on postpartum sex- the good, the bad, the ugly.
As every woman’s body is different, so is every woman’s birth experience. This post is purely based on my personal experience after a cesarean section as well as my doctor husband’s advice and research.
That said let’s talk about sex after baby. Postpartum sex in reality is different compared to “regular sex”. Unlike the pregnancy hormones which leaves you wet, there’s comparatively, a decline in estrogen. This makes you dry coupled with adjusting to your new role as a mom.
Now let’s delve into the common questions asked about sex after a baby.
1. How soon after giving birth can I have sex?
Whilst most men are quick to ask- when can we have sex? Most women are on the opposite radar- how long can I put off sex? This is usually triggered by exhaustion or in instances where there has been a traumatic birth experience.
What were your reasons for not wanting to have sex after a baby? Would you be kind to share it in the comments section?
Doctors usually recommend having sex after six weeks postpartum. Why? Because your body needs time to heal or you could open yourself up for infection. The genitals harbor bacteria and the uterus most likely is still trying to heal and “get back into shape”; it’s best not to tamper with the process.
Granted that you feel ready by six weeks, go for it! But make sure you have been reviewed by your doctor.
2. Can I have sex sooner than six weeks?
Be patient, even if you feel okay. He should be patient too. Regardless of being patient, there are several ways of getting INTIMATE without penetrative sex. What does intimacy mean to you and your partner?
For some people, it could be curling up on the couch to watch a movie, spooning or a massage.
Do what works for you as a couple!
Even though it’s possible to orgasm through foreplay, things can easily get out of hands…
3. Will I bleed?
Beyond six weeks you are not supposed to bleed during sex. If you do, it probably means your uterus is not properly healed or uterine infections. Other reasons accounting for bleeding are episiotomy stitches, vaginal dryness and if you have sex before the lochia stops- source.
4. Does sex hurt after having a baby?
What will the first penetration feel like?
Things can get really tight down there after a baby, like it’s your first time all over again. This is also due to a decline in estrogen. So yes it can hurt but to remedy this, make lube your best friend.
You can use KY gel or breast milk (as a lube). It’s important to listen to your body and take things slow.
5. I’m not comfortable with my postpartum body!
You may not be exactly comfortable with your postpartum body but this is perfectly normal. Although your body may regain its shape whiles you are breastfeeding, it doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s hard to feel sexy with a mommy tummy in addition to other changes your body might have gone through. But that wouldn’t be of primary focus to your spouse. If you are that uncomfortable, consider doing it under dim lights.
You can also have a date night to spice things up a bit before then. You can for example, watch a movie, take a walk or flip through old photos. You’d be surprised at the amount of emotions something as simple as that can trigger.
Remember, it’s key to communicate whatever you feel to your spouse. He is the best person to allay your fears and give you reassurance.
6. I don’t feel like having sex
Help, my libido is gone down!
It is not unusual to have a low sex drive after having a baby. This is because prolactin- a hormone which enhances breast milk production also causes a low sex drive.
Also, when you are a new mother, the experience can be overwhelming- feeding or breastfeeding, changing diapers of the new born, the frequent cries of the baby, your lack of sleep and juggling it all.
But it doesn’t have to stay down. Try to schedule sex and make time for it; wear something that makes you feel good and sexy; don’t over work yourself before then, have a cool or warm shower possibly together.
7. The baby that won’t sleep
Your baby may cry when you’re trying to get giddy with your spouse. This can simply destroy the mood you have probably worked so hard to build. I saw a meme that said that, babies do it to prevent their parents from having another baby. They really do! Hahahahaha.
Take advantage of every moment your baby sleeps. Be sure to put your baby on a sleep schedule. It helps you manage your life and home better as you know their sleep-wake cycle. Even on a sleep schedule, babies can randomly wake up. If that happens don’t get frustrated. Find humor in the situation. You can always try again…
8. Can I get pregnant, do I need contraception?
Breastfeeding is not a sure form of contraception. You can get pregnant even if you haven’t had your first period since you had a baby. You could be ovulating without knowing. Even though it’s unlikely, it’s still possible.
Do not overlook discussing a birth control method after having a baby. There are pros and cons to each contraception method. Do your research and ask questions to help you settle on what’s best for you.
What more could possibly happen?
9. Milk milk milk everywhere
If you are breastfeeding, you are likely to be leaking milk or have milk squirting everywhere. Please wear a bra and line it with a breast pad. If the breasts are engorged, pumping before sex is necessary.
10. If you are co-sleeping…
Co-sleeping is when babies sleep close to either or both parents as opposed to separate bedrooms. If you are practicing co-sleeping, now is a good time to try sex in different places other than the bedroom.
Using a co-sleeper with a barrier or a pack ‘n’ play is particularly helpful. Always ensure you’re practicing SAFE CO-SLEEPING.
In the end, every woman’s experience with postpartum sex is different. The key is to know your body, be patient, try new things (including sex positions) and communicate with your partner before during and after. It will have tremendous benefits for you both!
Are there questions this post didn’t cover? Do you have an advice or an experience to share?