Sex After Pregnancy
Most women know all about the ins and outs of sex during pregnancy, including comfortable positions and the overall safety of having intercourse while pregnant. But what about sex after pregnancy? When your baby arrives, you’ll probably be wondering when you’ll ever have the energy to have sex again! We have the advice you need to get your sexual energy back and improve the overall intimacy of your relationship.
When is it Normal to Resume Having Sex?
In the first six weeks after giving birth you will likely be exhausted, not to mention sore and overwhelmed by all the adjustments and responsibilities of having a newborn. If you had an episiotomy (where an incision in made in the perineum to allow for a larger opening through which to have the baby), it is recommended that you not have sex until at least four to six weeks have passed (although you may feel the need to wait longer).
As for when it is "normal" to have sex after giving birth, that depends. Women who have had cesarean sections, for example, are more likely to begin having sex sooner than women who give birth vaginally. On average, however, couples usually resume having sex anywhere between seven weeks and one year after childbirth. All in all, "normal" is whatever feels right for you.
Postpartum Sexual Desire
Don’t be concerned if you suddenly start noticing a lack of vaginal lubrication after giving birth. Reduced estrogen levels after pregnancy commonly result in vaginal dryness, which can last for up to six months. This may cause discomfort during intercourse, in which case you may choose to try a water-based vaginal lubricant, or alternate sexual practices like oral sex or massage; or, you may simply wish to refrain from sex altogether until you feel more desirous.
It’s also important to keep up those kegel exercises, even after labor, as stretched perineal muscles will likely cause intercourse and orgasm to be less pleasurable. If you’re simply feeling too tired, try experimenting by having sex at different times of the day to find out when you’re feeling most energized.
Here’s another tip: if you’re breastfeeding, try feeding your baby before sex to give you and your partner a little extra time to be intimate.
And remember, it’s not just about sex! Intimacy is a major issue in relationships after pregnancy. As most women already know, maintaining an intimate relationship is not just about keeping up their sex life. It involves communication, honesty and compassion, especially at such a momentous time as the birth of a child. Being extra sensitive, patient and open with each other is essential to maintaining the closeness that will eventually lead to a return in your sexual desire and sexual activity.
Sexuality After Pregnancy: Tips for Getting in the Mood
- Take care of yourself! If weight gain from pregnancy is causing you to feel self-conscious and insecure, be sure to make extra time in your day to eat right and exercise. Confidence is the key to sexiness!
- Keep flirting Whether through sexy emails or phone conversations, or simply joking around while putting your little one to bed, being flirtatious with each other will make it easier to get in the mood once you actually have the time!
- Shower power! Once you’ve put your baby to bed, try showering together. It’s something you have to do anyway, so why not make it a fun way to get in the mood!
- At-Home Dating! You may be missing the movie nights and dinners-out once your baby arrives, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop having romantic evenings together. Make dinners special by trying out new recipes and adding candles, music and even a bottle of wine to the mix.
- Be there for each other Be sure to help out in all aspects of parenting and don’t let one person become overwhelmed by the responsibilities. You’ll be surprised by how much being part of a team can improve your intimacy and help you get in the mood!
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