Here's The Secret to a Breathtaking Sex Life After Having a Baby!
11 mins read
Relationships for Moms
Resuming sex after having a baby can be a tricky business, not to mention very nerve-wracking. There are so many things you want to know that nobody tells you about! Find out how to listen to your body and how to ease back into the game.
dAfter those endless sleepless nights, nappy changing and breastfeeding sessions, your sex life after a baby could be anything but exciting. You may not be in the mood to get intimate quite so soon after delivery, and when you do decide to get down to it, you may have apprehensions. How long should I wait? What if it hurts? What if hubby and I now have mismatched libidos? No matter how daunting the doubts may seem, just remember this – having sex is very important and healthy, not to mention sexy!
We have compiled for you all the dos and don'ts to keep in mind so that lovemaking after baby continues to be sexy and fun. Let's unravel the secret to breathtaking sex!
Sex After Pregnancy - How Long to Wait
Timing is everything! It is a good idea to hold off sex until you stop bleeding. Having intercourse when you're still bleeding can lead to an infection that will only delay you getting back into action. Four to six weeks is the minimum gap you should give yourself before having sex after pregnancy. You can use this time to heal your body and stay busy caring for your little child. DOC SPEAK: Dr. Bateson, Clinical Associate Professor and Medical Director at Family Planning NSW, says that 60 percent of women report a return of sexual desire around three weeks after birth. Some women do start having sex earlier if they had an uncomplicated delivery and feel ready.
After 4-6 weeks, get back in the game slowly and gently. Rather than aiming for intercourse at the outright, take your time with plenty of kissing, cuddling and foreplay.
Why I Don't Feel Like Having Sex
Don’t feel like having sex at all? Don’t worry; this is quite common with new moms and has a scientific reason: lack of sleep! You are probably getting very little sleep as a new mother, and this has been directly linked to low libido. As per a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, for each additional hour of sleep a woman has, it increases the likelihood of her having sex by 14%! This lack of sleep combined with body pain and tiredness means sex may be the last thing on your mind.
Mom Anshu from Mumbai says, “You thought sex in the last trimester was difficult - wait till you have the baby. Firstly, your privates are so sore that you won't even let a feather touch it, let alone your man. And, when your stitches come undone, you somehow lose your libido. Between sleepless nights, breastfeeding and diapering, you don't feel like having sex for a long time - and I really mean a very long time!”
Phew! Wait, there’s more. The following reasons could also make you less interested in sex after delivery:
Your hormones are ging crazy – your oestrogen levels drop after delivery. This leads to vaginal dryness – the top enemy of enjoyable sex!
You need some physical space – this is completely normal and happens to many women. Your baby is attached to you all day. Even though you undoubtedly love your little one a lot, there comes a time when you need that physical space or feel overloaded with ‘touch’.
You’re too tense about the pain – yes, sex after delivery can hurt quite a bit, until you’re properly healed and settled in. If you’re too tense about how much it is going to hurt, your sex drive is bound to plummet.
You may be suffering from postpartum depression – if you have been feeling depressed, or getting negative thoughts about yourself or your baby, visit your doctor at once.
You may be co-sleeping with your baby – as one of our mom bloggers Yaamini says, “Co-sleeping (can make) sex and cuddling impossible. We had a baby sleeping between us and her constant waking up and safety always kept us on guard.”
You think your partner doesn’t find you attractive anymore – many women tend to perceive their body negatively after childbirth, and this also affects their sex drive.
There is no doubt that getting your sex life back into the groove can be a bit of a challenge after childbirth. However, your sex life will certainly get back to awesome very soon! You just need to change things up a bit in the bedroom – and outside! Try these tips:
Focus on the romance
Now is the time to focus on the love you share with your partner! You two have just become parents, and this is an exciting new time in your life. While your baby will occupy centrestage, try to take time out to focus on each other. Trust us, this is possible:
Share some chores together – ensures you two spend time together as well as takes some load off your shoulders. This means, you will be better rested at bed-time and more willing to get intimate!
Plan a date-night – this is where you will have to seek favours from family and friends. Even an hour spent with each other, enjoying food and conversation, can do wonders for intimacy.
If you want to make sex as enjoyable as you know it to be, tone your lady parts with pelvic floor exercises or Kegels. Not only do they strengthen the vaginal muscles, but they also tighten them and will make lovemaking that much more pleasurable to you and your partner.
Pinpoint your pelvic floor muscles by trying to stop urination mid-flow.
Let it flow, stop and then flow again.
If you manage to do all this successfully, you've found your muscles.
Once you're done urinating, lay on the floor with your back flat down.
Contract the same muscles, hold for a few seconds and release.
You can do the exercise for three sets of 10 reps.
When doing Kegels, it's easy to end up working the abs, thighs and glutes. Don't, however, as you want to focus only on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
Watch: How to do Kegel Exercises - by Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
Key Takeaway: Kegels are excellent to spice up both your sex life and your overall fitness. Remember to start with gentle exercises. Make sure you rest between exercises to allow sufficient time for your pelvic floor muscles to recover.
Three Exercises for Awesome Sex After Delivery – by Kimmy Smith, fitness and postnatal expert
1. Endurance Holds Engage and lift your pelvic floor for 3-4 seconds before releasing fully. Repeat 8-10 rounds. Increase 1 to 2 seconds each day
2. Power Lifts Engage your pelvic floor quickly and powerfully and then fully release. Lift straight back up with no rest in between. Aim for 10 power contractions.
3. Functional Movements Combine pelvic floor exercises with movements such as squats, lunges and push-ups.
Just because other moms seem to be getting back into the groove sooner than you, you don't have to follow suit. For all you know, they could be exaggerating about how great their sex lives are! Get intimate only when you're physically and emotionally ready. Speak with your husband and let him know how you're feeling. He may not fully grasp the importance of staying off sex unless you tell him.
Feeling ready yet to cozy up with your partner? Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind for post-pregnancy intercourse:
Use the lube
A lubricant is your best friend when you're trying to have sex after childbirth. It's natural for breastfeeding moms to get a little dry down there, so it's important to get well and truly prepped up. You could make it part of some sexy foreplay too! Vaginal estrogen creams are another way to deal with dryness, but you need to speak with your doctor first before using any.
MOM SPEAK:"For the first two three times, we used a lubricating jelly as I was feeling sensitive, and this can make sex much more comfortable. When I did feel ready, then also we didn't try to rush things. We tried a position that didn't put too much pressure on where I was feeling sensitive." (Aarushi Sundriyal, Dehradun)
Try different positions for pain-free sex after delivery
The missionary position with the man on top is a good one to begin with if your delivery was vaginal. If you've had a C-section, you want to take as much pressure away from your abdomen until the stitches are properly healed. Here are two safe sex positions for you to try after delivery:
Be the one on top. You get to control penetration and movement, and your hubby will love it too!
Try spooning. It exerts very little pressure on your stitches.
Your gynaecologist would've advised you to wait at least a year after the birth of your baby to get pregnant again. There's a very good reason behind it, and it's because your body needs time to heal completely. Getting pregnant again too soon can leave you at a higher risk of pregnancy complications so choose from the different birth control options available and stay protected.
Bonus Tip: Have lots of outercourse! We mean oral sex, foreplay and masturbation. They are excellent ways to pleasure each other until you're ready for postpartum intercourse. Use the time to explore each other and rediscover one another's pleasure points. Outercourse is also a fantastic way to prep yourself before intercourse so if you're nervous about going back to it, take plenty of time to get well and truly ready.
Complications to Be Careful About
Watch out for these complications that can interfere with your sex life after delivery. If you experience any of these problems, your best solution is to seek your doctor’s advice. Don’t worry though; most of these complications are very short-lived and easily solvable!
Foul-smelling vaginal discharge (it could indicate an infection)
Bleeding beyond 4-6 weeks
A tear in your stitches
Have You Experienced This? Some women face leaky breasts during intercourse. This is not uncommon. Sex and breastfeeding can stimulate similar hormones in your body. This causes some women to face a let-down during orgasm. You can wear your nursing bra during sex to feel more comfortable. You can also feed your baby before having intercourse, so your breasts don’t feel as painful or sensitive.
Special Care for Sex after C-section
If you had a C-section delivery, you need to be a bit more careful about resuming sex. It is likely that you will experience less bleeding after a C-section as compared to a vaginal birth. However, it may still take up to 4-6 weeks for your cervix to close completely. You should resume sex only after this period. Keep these tips in mind:
Try sex positions that don’t put pressure on your abdomen. Your incision area will still be healing, and this will ensure you feel no pain during sex. The side-by-side position and spooning are good options to try. Also consider oral sex.
Don’t skip the foreplay! Even non-sexual foreplay like a massage will help you feel more relaxed and ready for intercourse.
Don’t forget the lube. Some women can experience vaginal dryness after delivery, and a lube will reduce the discomfort.
Kegel exercises are recommended even for mums who had a C-section. Doing Kegels will help strengthen your pelvic floor.
Don’t hesitate to openly talk to your partner about any discomfort you may be facing during sex. You have just given birth, and your body has gone through a lot. There is nothing to be ashamed of, ladies!
See the doctor at once if you experience severe pain, bleeding or discharge during sex after a C-section birth.
All said and done, there’s only one golden rule you must remember even if you forget everything else: don't let anything stop you from getting intimate but ONLY after you heal yourself! Ease into things with romance, foreplay, the works. In time, you'll rediscover how enjoyable lovemaking can be!