Yep — having a baby can throw your life off balance. It suddenly hits you that you have little time for anything at all; as most of your day (and sometimes night) goes in caring for your little one, let alone time to spend under the covers. But sooner or later, life does become a bit more normal, including your drive for sex.
Postpartum sex can feel different, but, surprisingly, many have claimed that it is even better than before. Here are some quirky facts about sex after birth!
- Initially, sex won’t feel good at all
The most asked question is, “When can I have sex after birth?”
If you are wondering how long after birth you can have sex, it is recommended that you wait at least six weeks before engaging in strenuous activity like exercise or sex, to let your body heal especially if you had a C-section. Many new moms feel postpartum sex pain or discomfort when having sex after birth. But this is mainly due to low estrogen levels that affect your vaginal tissue’s elasticity. If you had a C-section, your wound will take time to heal properly. If you are breastfeeding, your estrogen levels will drop and prolactin and oxytocin levels increase, mimicking menopause.
- Why didn’t anyone tell you about the hormones?
You just carried a baby in your body for many months. Weird body changes are going on. Your body feels like it does not belong to you. Having sex after birth may not be interesting for many moms because they are affected by post-partum depression. It feels like you may never want to have sex again! But these feelings are just the hormones talking. During pregnancy and post-pregnancy, our body goes through many hormonal changes. So it can be a while before you feel normal again.
- Your vagina will change
Pregnancy widens our pelvic rim and for those who had vaginal deliveries, depending on how many times you have given birth, there may be more room down there. Focus on exercises like Kegels and Pilates or yoga that tightens your core.
- You might actually be ready pretty quickly
Each woman is different. While some don’t want sex up to a year or more after giving birth, others are ready for it as soon as they deliver. So even though you may not be physically ready, if you want sex, this indicates that your mind is ready. But listen to your body and give it time to heal from childbirth. Your body will tell you when it’s the right time.
- Learn to love quickies
With a new baby in the house, it can be difficult to spend long hours making love to your partner and this can be a turnoff. But you don’t need to spend a lot of time on sex for it to be enjoyable. Make sure to seize every opportunity you get and make it a quick session. You can try things that you never did before and who knows, you might just end up liking this new style better!
- Sex may be better than you expect
While some may experience painful sex after birth, over time, sex can be much better than you think it will. This is because after delivery can shift your internal genitals to right angles and it definitely gets more sensitive to touch.
- When you’re exhausted, sex after birth may be a complete turnoff
After an exhausting day, it’s so tempting to lie down on your bed and fall asleep, and thinking of sex can be a complete turnoff. You’d rather not do it and this is absolutely normal. After all, returning to sex after giving birth is really tough. Bottom line: Do it when you feel like doing it - whenever you are ready.
- Your body might react in certain ways
Your breasts may start leaking during sex. This is because oxytocin is released when you orgasm, the same hormone that is released when breastfeeding. Or you might have noticed the urgency to pee before you have sex. This, too, is completely normal and nothing to worry about. However, if you experience bleeding after sex, postpartum, consult your doctor and express your concerns.
- Sex after birth is important
Once the baby arrives, you and your partner take on very strong parental roles. This leaves you with little time for yourselves. But you need to continue to remain physically and emotionally close, otherwise, resentment builds up. Sex is a good way to remain connected and to remind yourselves that you are more than just “mom” or “dad”.
- You will want it again, at some point
Giving birth and caring for your new baby is not an easy task. Take time to recover and regain your energy and vigor. At some point, sooner or later, you will want to have sex again. It’s important to maintain openness with your partner and communicate your feelings with each other.
Postpartum sex is a new experience altogether. Remember to give your body time to adjust to your new life and learn to enjoy every moment with your partner!