Sex After Childbirth: What New Parents Need to Know Before Getting Frisky
It might take longer than six weeks to resume sexual activity after childbirth, but when it does happen, don’t expect the first time to be anywhere close to normal.
Sex after childbirth is nothing like sex before childbirth. Sex before childbirth is not only fun, but it has a distinct purpose once parents-to-be start trying to conceive. Even sex during pregnancy is pretty easy for most expecting parents. Once the baby arrives, things change dramatically. Not only are parents fighting sleep debt, they also face a necessary waiting period for moms to heal up from the process of birth. And there are physical changes as well.
The harsh truth is that birth can bring profound changes to a woman’s body and her hormones. Those changes will ultimately affect new parents’ sex life, not just physically but also emotionally. However, being prepared for the inevitabilities of sex after birth helps. Educated parents are better equipped to navigate the weird emotions and physical surprises that can make the first time after childbirth a singular experience.
Harsh Truth #1: After Birth, Your Wife Might Lactate During Sex
Regardless of whether a woman is breastfeeding or not, in typical circumstances, her post-pregnancy breasts are doing what breast are designed to do: produce milk. Importantly, this milk is not produced on demand. Lactation happens at inopportune moments, including sex.
For some dads, this may mean getting hit with a thin milk stream. It could also mean getting a hint of sweetness upon kissing a nipple. In either circumstance, the best reaction for men is no reaction, particularly if they feel revulsion. After all, in the postpartum period women may already feel incredibly self-conscious about their body. Shaming them further by freaking out about random milk leaks isn’t a good look.
Some women may feel pain and discomfort associated with lactation, along with embarrassment. That may mean that her breasts stay in a bra and remain off-limits during sex. Happily, there are plenty of other erogenous zones a guy can enjoy. So move on and show her how much you still love her amazing body.
Harsh Truth #2: Everyone Will Feel Nervous About Sex After Birth
The first intercourse after childbirth can be filled with worry. Will it hurt? Will it feel different? Will we fall asleep in the middle of getting it on? And those worries aren’t limited to women. They can be shared equally.
Some men, having witnessed the birth of their child, might be a bit freaked out after witnessing the birth of their child. Watching a kid come into the world is incredible, but it is not necessarily sexy. It makes sense that there might be some trepidation.
Some women, on the other hand, may have experienced vaginal tearing or other related trauma. That may make them hesitant about pain. And beyond pain, there may be new concerns about the way their bodies look after birth.
To ease any tension, it will help if parents give themselves plenty of time to get in the mood. Start with plenty of flirting. Add plenty of foreplay, and maybe a glass of wine to loosen everyone up.
Harsh Truth #3: Having Sex After Birth May Require Lubrication
Vaginal dryness is an issue that can affect sex after childbirth regardless of whether a mother has had a vaginal birth or a cesarean. That’s because dryness is linked to postnatal hormonal shifts.
Some women can become self-conscious about the dryness. It’s a frustrating issue. But dryness doesn’t indicate any sort of lack of desire. It’s just part of the natural hormonal shifts after pregnancy.
Thankfully there’s a huge market of lubricants that can help things along. Some are even flavored, for the adventurous and culinary inclined.
Harsh Truth #4: Fatigue Makes Sex After Childbirth Difficult
The biggest killer of parental; libido is lack of sleep. It’s incredibly difficult for parents to get to a place where they even want to have sex when all they want to do with their free time is take a nap.
Some parents get around the sleep issue by saving their first post-birth sex for an overnight hotel getaway. Leaning on friends or grandparents for a 24 stretch means that parents can get a comfy room for uninterrupted sleep followed by rested and focused sex.
Harsh Truth #5: She May Need Time to Feel Sexy Again
Pregnancy has profound effects on a woman’s body. Which means she may be newly self-conscious about post-pregnancy weight, stretch marks or damage that might have occurred during birth.
Thos are significant hurdles to sexy times. So it will help if men take a ton of time to remind their partners that they are desired post-pregnancy too. That may simply mean cuddling and spending time together. It might mean offering more compliments and just making sure that her needs are met. There’s no need for grand romantic gestures. Doing something without being asked may suffice.
That said, never underestimate the power of a flirty text.
Harsh Truth #6: Six Weeks May Not Be Long Enough to Wait
The standard guideline from OB/GYN‘s is that sex can commence safely 6 weeks after birth. That’s good to know, but new parents may want to hold off from making the day on their calendar.
It’s not uncommon for some couples to get back into sack much later than six weeks. There are just far too many factors that can delay sex. These might include prolonged healing from birth, fatigue, complications with a child’s sleep schedule, lack of caregivers for additional support and in the most extreme cases postpartum depression.
Importantly a lack of desire can be felt by both women and men. Communication is incredibly important when the post-birth dry spell persists. Sometimes simple intimacy will have to suffice before sex is on the radar again.
Harsh Truth #7: Sex After Childbirth Feels Different for Everyone
When a woman grows a human inside of her and then pushes that human into the world, things in her body will inevitably be shifted. Some of those shifts may change the way sex feels for both partners.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In most circumstances, there may be very little difference between pre-baby and post-baby sex. Some women may become more orgasmic, while some partners may need to find new positions because the old ones are less effective or comfortable.
The point is that in having a kid, couples have likely committed to being together for a very long time anyway. Their bodies will have changed over that time regardless. There’s no need to worry about it. Just enjoy each other.
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