10 things you should know about sex after giving birth
Is getting back in the sack with your partner more difficult than you thought it would be? Don't worry, we have 10 things to share that may help you and your partner.
Do you find yourself in the position of intensely wanting or being completely averse to sex after delivery? You aren’t alone! Thanks to your hormones, you may be experiencing a roller-coaster ride of emotions, desires and cravings that rival your early pregnancy months.
Don’t fret, ladies! Here we list ten things you should know about having sex after giving birth. Keep in mind that these are mostly generic advice and common medical knowledge. If you think that you might have problems or are still nervous, please ask your doctor right away!
1. Six to eight weeks is usually the correct waiting time
Giving birth is traumatic to a woman’s body. Whether you’ve undergone a C-section or normal delivery, you need your wounds to heal. Six weeks is usually enough time to let your torn perineum or your C-section sutures heal. If you want to try having sex sooner and you think your boy is up for it, ask your doctor!
2. Expect pain during intercourse
Even if your sutures down there have healed, there are a lot of reasons for intercourse to hurt. Breastfeeding usually sucks all the moisture from your body, so expect your natural lubrication to lessen.
This makes you prone to abrasions and cuts down there during intercourse. Counteract this by making sure you have a water-based lubricant for you and your husband.
3. Breastfeeding does not stop you from getting pregnant
You’re going to start ovulating before your first post-partum period whether you’re breastfeeding or not. This means that if you don’t plan to get pregnant again anytime soon, it’s important that you continue to use protection or birth control methods that your gynecologist recommends.
4. Your vagina may never be the same again
This is something mothers don’t want to hear, but it’s unfortunately the truth. Your vagina can be loose after giving birth and can take months to get back to its normal tightness.
Even then, it may not be as tight as before. Kegels can get you back into shape but some doctors say that you could be suffering from pelvic organ prolapse, especially if you experience pain during intercourse. If something doesn’t feel right, always go to the doctor.
5. Leaky boobies!
Breastfeeding moms, has your milk ever leaked just when things were getting good? The same hormones are released when you climax and when you breastfeed. It’s best to talk with your partner first if this is actually a turn-on or something you want to avoid. If it’s the latter, a maternity bra or a breast pump session may be in order before sex.
6. Having a baby again so soon can be bad for your body
Sure, there are women who just pop one out every other year and still look amazing (we’re looking at you, Ina Raymundo and Heidi Klum). But you may be putting yourself and your future children at risk for complications if you don’t let your body recover first.
This means that you have to discuss birth control methods with your husband and your gynecologist. There’s also nothing wrong about waiting longer than six weeks before you start having sex again.
7. You can feel incredibly horny or incredibly un-sexy or both!
The hormone rollercoaster doesn’t stop at weird body functions and vaginal lubrication. Other women don’t even want to think about sex for the next few months, but some do feel sexier after giving birth. Talk to your husband about changes and look for support.
8. Having sex too early after deliver can give you an infection
If your perineum tear or sutures haven’t healed yet and you attempt intercourse, you may get an infection. Some women may have post-partum complications or conditions that cause them to heal slowly.
Ask your gynecologists if your stitches have healed so you know that it’s safe. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for a less pleasant trip to the hospital.
9. You aren’t to blame for your lowered libido
You should instead look to your sleep deprivation, the pile of dirty baby clothes, the diapers that need to be thrown out, your weird food cravings and a million other small things that make you even more exhausted. For all you know, your husband may be feeling just like you.
The male hormone vasopressin helps your husband bond with your child and you as a mother, so you may both be feeling that sex isn’t high on your priority list at this time.
10. You may be experiencing postpartum depression
If your feelings of restlessness, anxiety, sadness and loneliness are sometimes too much to handle, aversion to intercourse can simply be one of the symptoms of postpartum depression.
If left alone, this could make you depressed for many years. Talk to your husband and doctor about how you feel so they can help.
No matter how many mothers you talk to, they’ll always have different stories about sex after pregnancy. You’ll probably have a unique (and fun!) story to tell as well. Don’t stress over it too much.
Sometimes, you don’t even need sex; just a little intimacy and connection through a hug, kissing or a touch can be enough until it’s time to jump back in the sack.
Are you having trouble getting back in the groove with your partner after giving birth? Share your story below and let’s discuss!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dana Santos
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