Postpartum Sex

Postpartum sex (which is a fancy name for sex after you give birth) is a complicated issue. Most doctors recommend that women wait 6 weeks before they engage in sex but here they mean penetrative sex and there’s nothing to stop you being intimate. Pregnancy is a difficult time and sometimes it doesn’t feel as ‘natural’ as people say it should. You are going through many hormonal and bodily changes that are likely to affect you and alter your perceptions of your own sexuality.

Many women suffer postpartum depression after birth and this can affect their sex drive. The changes in your body will also take their toll, some women may feel unattractive and some men may be confused by these changes too. Your body may also feel sore particularly your breasts and genital areas, your breasts may ‘leak’ and this can make you feel awkward. You may be in pain or you may be worried that you will feel pain. All these things are very natural. The best thing to do is to give yourself time to adjust but try to do this without shutting out your husband.

It’s important to be very open together and speak frankly. Be careful because any conflicts in your relationship that existed before are likely to be intensified and you must try to resolve them. Both of you are facing significant changes especially if it’s your first baby and it would be naïve to think that your sex life won’t change. However it doesn’t have to change for the worst. The key is to experiment. You can try at first things that are not intrusive but will maintain the intimacy and bring you physically closer. It’s important to make time for your intimacy even if it’s a few minutes without the baby to nurture your relationship. Don’t fall into a routine just because you’ve become parents, try to maintain some spontaneity in your relationship.

You should talk openly and don’t feel obliged to have sex. You should try to develop the degree of comfort where you can say no if you don’t feel up to it and allow your partner the same privilege. One thing you should be sure to do is sort out some form of contraception early on. The last thing you want is to find yourself pregnant again before you give your body and your relationship a chance to adjust. If you try but can’t seem to adjust you should find a doctor you feel comfortable with that you can speak to. The best option would be to find this kind of doctor early on in your pregnancy so that he/she will follow you up and by the time you face these problems you will have established some trust.

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

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