Sex After Childbirth: 8 Things Every Couple Needs To KnowSexual Health
As a new mom, the act of having sex after birth is not even on your mind right now with all your hormonal changes and new responsibilities of motherhood. You are trying to manage to feed the kid every three hours, changing diapers, taking showers (and keeping yourself presentable for the non-stop stream of relatives that keep coming over to see the baby), and – hopefully – getting some much-needed nap time in between. While your sex life may be important to you, it might not be top of mind. However, if you are wondering when it’s okay to have vaginal intercourse after giving birth, keep reading.
When Is It Okay to Have Sex After Childbirth?
Add in leaky boobs, belly fat, and a fussy baby, and… well, it’s obvious that having sex after birth is challenging to say the least. Once the sexual desire is there and you are wanting to engage in sexual activity, as a board-certified OB/GYN, I give my patients the okay to have sexual intercourse (vaginally) six weeks after delivery. I may ask them to wait longer depending on if their vaginal tears have healed, or if they are still having postpartum vaginal discharge.
Ladies, you have to follow up with your doctor or midwife so we can do a pelvic exam to clear you before you start having vaginal sex again. If you have vaginal sex before you’re fully healed, you may rip your stitches out or put yourself at risk of infection.
If you’ve had a C-section, that advice still applies to you! A C-section is major surgery – your body needs time to heal from that, too. With that said, here are eight more things every couple needs to know about having sex after having a baby.
1. Your breasts might leak.
It doesn’t matter if your partner is caressing them or you are having an orgasm – sometimes milk will “let down.” Additionally, if you are breastfeeding, sometimes you may not want your breasts to be touched – your baby has been sucking on them and they can be tender. Pumping can make the breasts less tender. You can also consider wearing a tight bra during sex.
2. Sex can be painful.
Estrogen levels drop after having a baby, meaning your vagina will be dry, making sexual intercourse painful. Breastfeeding can cause this to happen as well. The solution? Use lube to help with the vaginal dryness that comes with postpartum sex. ASTROGLIDE can make sexual activity more comfortable.
3. It might not feel right.
f you’re worried about vaginal muscles feeling a little loose, there are things you can do to help out, like Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Or even better, use Ben-Wa balls. These balls are weighted, and you have to use the muscles in your vagina to hold them in. Buy the ones with the string attached to them. This way you can increase resistance by tugging on them.
4. You will feel self-conscious.
Stop it! You had a baby. Of course, your body changed! Start exercising with your partner in order to get that body back in shape, and don’t forget about healthy eating – but whatever you do, don’t feel guilty. After all, you created life in that body!
5. You should use birth control.
Don’t risk getting pregnant during your postpartum period. I have seen this one too many times. Stay away from hormonal forms of birth control, also, as artificial hormones can decrease your sex drive.
6. You need to find the time for sex.
At least once a week go on a date night (without the baby!) with your partner. Enlist all of those family members that have been coming over to visit for help. You don’t have to sacrifice intimacy when you have a child.
7. You need to get some rest.
Altered sleep patterns (which are very common for new moms) can dampen your sex drive. Hire the new grandmother to care for the kid once in a while. Fatigue is real, and it will sap your energy and your sex drive!
8. Your hormones will take time to even out.
Due to fluctuating hormones (and everything else going on with your body), it’s completely natural for your libido to sink after pregnancy – but don’t worry! If you’re determined, a little foreplay and some extended romantic sessions with your partner can still get things going. Everything will come back after you start having regular monthly periods.
While some people have lower libidos after pregnancy, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will have the same experience. How was your libido after pregnancy? Let us know by tweeting us @ASTROGLIDE!
Images are for illustrative purposes only.