Sex After Childbirth

<img hspace=”5″ border=”0″ src=”” alt=”sex_after_childbirth” align=”right” height=”206″ width=”270″ />The return to sex after having a baby is a very personal matter and depends, as with all sexual matters, on both the sexual bodies and personalities of those involved.

Some women who have had no stitches after childbirth are back to normal sexual intercourse within a week or two, but they are the exceptions. Most women find that it is about six weeks before they feel ready to have sex again.

While waiting for intercourse to become comfortable again, you can, of course, indulge in all kinds of other sexual pursuits if both of you are interested. Many women want to return to having orgasms almost immediately after birth. There is no harm in this, and it could even be positively helpful, because orgasms encourage the uterus to return to normal size more quickly.

Breastfeeding also makes a woman’s sexual organs return to normal faster than they would otherwise. Indeed, many women who only breastfeed are able to get back to an active sex life within six weeks.

Going off sex

For a couple who are able and inclined to go straight back to sex after a baby, all will be well. But the story is often not so simple. Having a baby is the most disorganising event in a woman’s sexual life, and it affects both her and her partner profoundly – especiallly if it is a first child.

Very large numbers of women complain about going off sex after a baby. So many women find this happens that it has led some experts to ask whether it could even be nature’s way of helping space babies out. There is no biological evidence that this is so, and in countries with a traditional outlook, where women breastfeed on demand, babies are spaced out naturally, so going off sex would hardly seem necessary.

<img hspace=”5″ border=”0″ src=”” alt=”sex_after_childbirth” align=”right” height=”253″ width=”270″ />Woman-on-top sex positions allow her to control depth and penetration at this most delicate time

Reasons for difficulties

There are a number of reasons why so many couples have trouble with sex after the birth of a baby:

Some women find that caring for their baby is so satisfying emotionally – and such a full-time job – that they simply do not have any emotional resources left to invest in their partner. As a result, he becomes ignored and sex falls by the wayside.

Many women only feel attractive if they have a ‘perfect’ body image. After a baby, when they may have a bulging tummy and some stretch marks, they feel sufficiently unlovable that they cannot imagine any man wanting to make love to them.

‘Sex is for babies and I’ve got a baby’ is a common excuse, although unadmitted, that women tell themselves. The woman who sees sex purely as a way to have a baby – even though, consciously, she may deny that this is its only purpose – often goes off sex for some time.

Having a baby of one sex, when one of the other sex was much prefered for whatever reason, can be a turn-off to some women – partly because they are highly disappointed.

A few women are so preoccupied with the baby – its every noise, movement and smell – that theyjust do not have any energy left to give to their partner. Such women often overreact to the baby’s behaviour and worry about any problem – no matter how small.

Fear of another pregnancy is a very common cause of going off sex at this time. About a third of all pregnancies are unplanned. It is hardly surprising, therefore, if after an unplanned – and possibly unwanted – pregnancy, a woman will be somewhat worried about having another.

Post-natal depression affects a surprisingly large proportion of women, although the majority suffer only mile ‘baby blues’ in the first few days. True depression is a powerful force against sex at any time, in both men and women. And for the large numbers of women who do become depressed, it can badly affect their sex life.

Tiredness is the most commonly quoted reason for going off sex after a baby, and this is certainly a real factor. Physical exhaustion from the birth, compounded by night after night of broken sleep, take their toll on new mothers. One way to try to alleviate this is to have the baby in the bed with you right from the start, and to breastfeed whenever you and your baby want. This can work very well, because the baby can be fed without the mother getting up or even waking fully – it simply lies next to its mother, snuggles in and feeds whenever it wants to. However, you must be certain that you and your partner are not such deep sleepers that you might inadvertanly roll over and smother your baby. This method is also unsuitable if either partner goes to bed having had too much alcohol to drink.

Some women are not happy with motherhood, and resent their new lifestyle, the loss of their job and possibly their partner’s attitude to them. Sex then becomes something that has landed them in the situation they now regret.

Also, pain on premature resumption of sex can cause bad associations for the woman and put her off sex. If she has had a caesarean birth or a bad tear or painful episiotomy, anything which puts pressure on the wound will hurt. Her partner should try to be understanding about this and woo her back to the idea of sex gradually.

<img hspace=”5″ border=”0″ src=”” alt=”sex_after_childbirth” align=”right” height=”351″ width=”270″ />Although a woman may go off sex after the birth of a child, she should remember that her partner still has sexual needs

Dangers of conception

Whenever you return to intercourse after the birth of a child, be sure to take care with your contraception. While you would be very unlucky to conceive within the first month or two, it can, and does, happen.

A woman who is breastfeeding on  demand will very possibly not ovulate for about 14 months if she continues breastfeeding throughout this time. However, she should be aware that even the odd bottle or, on the odd occasion, the baby sleeping through the night, can so reduce nipple stimulation that the hormones bounce back to normal, allowing ovulation to occur.

Posted in Health, Your Sexual Self