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Written by Jessica with guest writer Sam
Life post-childbirth is a whirlwind of emotions and changes. And while you’re busy with your newborn, it’s only natural for your intimacy with your partner to take a backseat. However, as your body recovers, you might start contemplating about resuming your sex life. Now, that’s where the questions begin.
When is the Right Time?
Safety Above All
After giving birth, it’s important to give your body the necessary time to heal and adjust. Many healthcare professionals recommend waiting for about four to six weeks after a vaginal delivery before engaging in sexual activities again. This period allows your body to recover from childbirth related conditions like vaginal tear, episiotomy or cesarean incision. However, everyone heals at their own pace, so it’s essential to pay attention to the signals your body is giving you. If you don’t feel physically or emotionally ready for sex at the six week mark, that’s completely fine!
Physical Changes: What to Expect
The Transformation Journey
Giving birth can bring about various changes in your body and it’s quite common for sexual experiences to feel different after delivery. It’s possible to encounter some physical discomfort during sex, such as vaginal tenderness or pain, dryness in the vaginal area, discharge, sore nipples, backaches and joint pain, as well as discomfort or numbness around the cesarean incision. Generally, these issues tend to resolve naturally with time. However, there are certain measures you can take to enhance comfort during sex while your body continues to heal.
Steps to Make Sex Comfortable Again
Rediscover Your Intimacy
- Seek Pain Relief: Before having sex, it might help to empty your bladder and take over-the-counter pain medicine. If you feel burning afterwards, apply ice wrapped in a towel to the area.
- Use a Lubricant: As your hormones readjust post-childbirth, vaginal dryness can be a common issue. Using a water-based lubricant can provide relief by making the area wetter.
- Increase Foreplay: Give your body time to produce its own natural lubrication. Prolonged foreplay, mutual masturbation, or other arousing activities can help.
- Practice Kegel Exercises: These exercises can help rebuild your pelvic muscles, reduce common post-delivery issues like increased urination, and regain strength and sensation in your vagina.
- Make Time for Sex: With a new baby, finding “alone time” with your partner can be challenging. Schedule it on your calendar to ensure you won’t feel rushed or anxious.
- Communicate with your Partner: Honest communication about what feels good and what doesn’t can help foster a fulfilling sex life.
The Risk of Getting Pregnant Again
Playing it Safe
Surprisingly enough, you can get pregnant again within a month or two of giving birth, even before your first period. To prevent getting pregnant too soon, it’s crucial to use a safe, reliable form of birth control.
Choosing the Right Birth Control
Making the Right Decision
Birth control is a personal decision that should be made after discussing various factors with your doctor. Factors to consider include how much effort it will take, its safety for breastfeeding, and whether it supports your birth spacing plan.
Life After Baby: Regaining Your Sex Drive
Finding your Groove Again
Changes in hormones following childbirth can have a significant effect on your desire for sex. The levels of estrogen and progesterone, which play a crucial role in ensuring the healthy development of your baby during pregnancy, decrease significantly after giving birth. This decrease can lead to a temporary decrease in libido for a few weeks. However, as your body adapts to its new state or once you finish breastfeeding, these hormones will start functioning again and your desire for sex should return. It took me about a year to get my sex drive back.
After giving birth, the dynamics of intimacy may change, but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s a negative change. By being patient, understanding and communicating openly, you can reignite your sexual connection and have a satisfying sex life after having a baby. It’s important to remember that your path to reestablishing intimacy is personal and one of a kind. Take things at your own pace and prioritize the comfort of both you and your partner throughout the process.
Embrace the journey and rediscover your intimacy with your partner post-baby.