Resuming a Normal Sex Life After a Baby
Although sex might not be your most immediate priority after having a baby, it is an important subject and there are a few guidelines that should be adhered to.
When can I have Sex Again?It is recommended that women do not resume full sexual intercourse or receiving oral sex until at least six weeks after having a baby which should coincide with your post-natal check to make sure everything has healed and recovered as it should have. Please do not have sexual intercourse until this appointment has been attended and your doctor or midwife has told you it is safe to continue a normal sex life.
Will it Feel Different?Your body has just been thorough a miraculous journey and has seen some very major changes occur, some of which may be permanent so feeling different both mentally and physically is to be expected.
Many women find that they are extremely sexually aroused shortly after giving birth and this is thought to be a response to the changing hormone levels in the body.
Equally as important is the number of women who feel a lot less interested in sex and this may also be due to hormones but is more likely to be because of their worries about their body, tiredness, a fear of not hearing the baby wake-up or because they are worried it may be damaging to their body of fearful of another pregnancy.
What are the Risks of having Sexual Intercourse Too Soon After the Birth?There are several reasons why you shouldn’t have sex too soon after having a baby. To begin with you may feel pain as the tissues of the vagina and groin area are likely to feel tender or bruised as they have had a lot of work to do recently. Secondly, if you have torn or had stitches, there is a chance of getting an infection through a wound that has not healed properly.
There is also a risk if oral sex is performed on the woman as the pelvic organs may not have had time to return to normal. If air is accidentally pushed or blown through the vagina, it can enter the body or bloodstream which has the potential to cause fatalities so please do not be tempted.
What if I Just Don’t Feel Like it?This is very common and often your partner will be less inclined to pursue the idea of sex if they see you are not at the same stage or they are very tired also.
Do not feel pressured to start having sex again just because you think you should or feel you owe it to yourself or your partner. Give your mind and your body time to adjust to your new circumstances and lifestyle and if this takes months then so be it.
You can still find ways of being intimate with each other without feeling like you must have sexual intercourse. A full body massage, spending a few hours talking gently or even relaxing listening to music can provide ample opportunities for quality time without feeling pressured into sex.
If your sex drive continues to be lower than before for a long time after the birth and you are worried about it, go and see your GP.
ContraceptionIf you do resume any sort of sexual activity after having a baby it is essential to make sure you have taken some very definite measures regarding contraception.
A woman’s body is more fertile in the year or so after having a baby than at any other time and the chances of falling pregnant are very high if no contraception is used.
As you have been pregnant for nine months and may not have had to think about contraception it is easy to understand why some couples forget about the issue.
Please speak to your midwife, health visitor, GP or practice nurse for advice on the types of contraception that are the most suitable for you after having a baby.
Sex after having a baby is often the last thing on a woman’s mind but it can be an issue for the male partner. Though you may not feel desirable or have much time for each other, it is important to communicate and understand each others point of view and find other ways of being intimate when you are able and enjoy being a family but a happy couple also.