Sex After Baby: Expert Advice On Making It Great Again
Tips to regain your healthy, fun sex life after baby.
Once that cute, adorable little baby has been delivered, doctors advise the mother and her partner to stay away from sex for at least six weeks. During that six weeks, Mom visits with her OB/GYN to receive the “all clear” to begin engaging in sex again.
Even then, there may still be stumbling blocks between you and your partner in regaining your healthy, fun sex life. A woman’s body goes through a whole bunch of physical changes after delivery. Those changes may lead to mood issues, feeling undesirable, losing your libido or simply being too tired to even think about sex.
Beyond the Physical
Couples often find it difficult to start intimate encounters with each other with a new baby in the house. You may feel pulled in so many different directions, and be so tired that intimacy with your partner can be the last thing on your mind. In addition, a lot of the cuddling, snuggling and kissing is directed at the baby instead of each other, which could make one of you feel left out.
If this happens, it’s imperative that you work on your communication. Talk to each other, share your feelings and try to discover what each of you needs. I’ve found that you’re more likely to get what you want if you tell your partner what it is you really want.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush back into sex. Only have sex when you are well rested and begin to feel the flutters of desire for your partner. Even during the time doctors advise against having sex, there are a whole bunch of intimate activities that can be enjoyed.
Use this time to rediscover the joy of a make-out session. An evening of passionate kissing, cuddling and stroking can be fulfilling in itself. I also advise my patients to try giving and receiving an erotic massage.
New Body Expectations
The most important thing for partners to remember when they begin to explore their sexual impulses after delivery is to take it easy. Don’t set specific expectations for your intimate moments, and don’t expect it to immediately feel like it did before having a baby. Simply enjoy the moment and each other. Have fun, explore new positions, and see where that leads you.
If you are breast-feeding, your levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can be quite low. Because of this, it can take longer to feel aroused. In addition, the suppressed hormone levels can mean you may not lubricate as well as before delivery. Try a silicone lubricant, which are the most slippery and long-lasting, while water-based lubricants are more like natural lubrication.
And while it’s true that breast-feeding does make it somewhat less likely they you can get pregnant, breast-feeding alone is not near as effective at preventing pregnancy as a condom or hormone-based birth control. In other words: You can get pregnant while breast-feeding, so take precautions.
There may be some pain at first, as things shift around during pregnancy, labor and delivery. But if after three months of penetrative sex, it still hurts each time, consider seeing a pelvic floor rehabilitation specialist. These medical professionals can help with muscle weakness, scarring and urine leaks.
Even with your new joy and responsibility, it’s important to stay closely bonded together. A healthy intimate relationship can help you remember why you first got together, and help you forge new reasons to stay together.
Dr. Alyse Kelly-Jones, recently featured on the national websites livinghealthy.com and yourtango.com, works at Novant Health Mintview OB/GYN and has spent the majority of her professional career working with women who are dealing with sexual dysfunction.