This topic is very important that’s often never discussed (unless it’s with your best girlfriend). But even then, it’s usually on your mind yet feels uncomfortable to openly talk about. So, when is the right time to have sex after birth? Let’s talk about it.
Every single relationship in your life will change as a new mother.
- Your relationship with yourself – who am I now?
- Your relationships with your friends – you lose some (that are not flexible with working around the schedule of your new life) and you gain some (yay, new mom friends!)
- Your relationship with your partner (husband or boyfriend) – this is the biggest relationship in your immediate family.
I am not including lesbian partners here because I think they would be more understanding about how it can be difficult for women to be intimate again after baby. (Please comment below if you disagree).
Sex all the time
The funny thing is, while you’re trying for a baby you have sex ALL the time. Especially if you’re eager to get pregnant. (This is a whole other blog post about keeping intimacy fun, month after month, while you try for a baby). The point is, your sex life is VERY active. Then, once you become pregnant, it’s different. Pregnant women have heightened senses (you smell everything – bad breath is a huge turn off), you’re more emotional than usual, and you can feel physically awful (morning sickness). In some cases, pregnancy can bring on a physical exhaustion that makes you want to sleep all the time.
Often your libido can spring back in the 2nd trimester. But then the 3rd trimester comes along and a lot of women can be so physically uncomfortable that sex is the last thing on their mind. Yet, I’ve also met women who have the opposite effect. Pregnancy is different for everyone. Some women love having sex while they’re pregnant and some women have orgasmic births! Every single women’s body is different, as every pregnancy and birth is unique.
Baby, oh baby
Your little miracle is here. So how long do you wait to have sex after birth (vaginal or c-section)? It can be a LOOONG time. And it’s probably the LAST thing on your mind. But chances are, it’s not the last thing on HIS mind – you’re a glowing mama! For many reasons, you might not feel beautiful as a new mom. You’re getting to know you new body, feeling like a war zone all over, and sweating more than usual. Did you know, you burn 500 calories every single time you breastfeed?! Showering every day can be pretty hard too (hello, dry shampoo). So, you get it. New moms might not always feel sexy. But this isn’t every mom’s journey. Irregardless, your partner’s going to be interested in getting intimate again. And there it is – another big change in your relationship with your spouse.
After all the chats I’ve had over the years – with new moms in my Mom & Baby Yoga series, with friends, with health care professionals in the community – I’ve learned that the journey to intimacy again is unique for every couple.
Some free advice
- If intercourse is painful, do not continue. It could mean that your pelvic floor has sprung into hyperdrive healing after birth. Intercourse should not be painful at all, so visit a pelvic floor physio in your community to get checked out. For an excellent online program, I recommend Mommy Berries.
- If you’re not in the mood, do something else that connects you to your partner. Holding hands, snuggling, a massage, all of these can be intimate and done without expectation.
- Open communication is key. Let them know you need time and that moving slow is best for you right now. Figuring out your new baby takes a lot of time and energy and sex can be the last thing on your mind. Lots of moms express a feeling being ‘tapped out’ and/or ‘touched out’.
- If you have no desire to talk about it (or ever be intimate again), seek out a couple’s counsellor. Intimacy is important. You need to feel loved by your partner and they need to feel loved by you. We feed on love and affection from our partners and a lack of it can drive us away from each other. If this is you, seek professional help to start the conversation and help you feel connected again.
You’re not alone
After giving birth to a baby, the relationship with your body, and everyone in your life, changes. Take it slow, relax and don’t put any expectations on yourself. Your journey to sex after birth is unique to you and your partner. In motherhood, you learn that you know what’s best for your family. The same goes for your heart. You know what feels best in your heart. So, keep the communication open with your partner and let the love flow.
If this topic is something that interests you or you have advice from your own experience, please comment below!