Sex After Baby
The intimate nature of childbirth can have its roller coaster moments. Whether you had an insatiable appetite for some lovin’ throughout the pregnancy, or whether the idea of gettin’ down and dirty didn’t flow until the postpartum realm, there will be a time when you feel like getting physically romantic again. Sex after baby is a topic that doesn’t get discussed openly too often between couples. The yearning of physical connection with your partner, especially when it’s been some time since the last tryst. Sex is one of the big 3 contributors to relationship woes.
How Long Should I Wait?
Depending on one’s delivery method, the cervix may need more time to process recovery. In general, medical providers advise that an individual who has given birth abstain from passing any any object through the vaginal canal for at least 4-6 weeks. In some instances, the internal healing and bleeding has subsided by 2-weeks postpartum giving the green light for a little red light action. Vaginal deliveries typically are given a clear sign to participate in sexual intercourse around 4-6 weeks. Cesarean births due to the nature of the surgery, typically has a clear period of 6-8 weeks.
Why the wait? And what’s so special about being 4-6 weeks postpartum? Through childbirth the body goes through multiple changes and and adjustments. As the body begins to heal post-birth, it needs the time to do so healthily. The dinner plate sized space left vacant by the placenta, the bleeding as the uterine lining sheds, healing from a tear or an episiotimy, and other tendencies of birth can all play a part in the postpartum recovery. Giving the body 4-6 weeks allows that time. Paying attention to any added pains, discomforts, nausea, excessive bleeding, and swelling to notify a provider of concerns. Vagi
Will Sex After Having a Baby Hurt?
It feels like the first time…it feels like the very first time. Well, kinda. The idea of pain is subjective to the individual. Can the idea of having sex after baby bring anxiety, sure. Will sex after baby be uncomfortable, maybe. Will I enjoy it, we hope so! Sex after birthing a baby is bringing a whole nother thought process to the body. Above all, don’t jump the gun. If you don’t feel mentally, emotionally, or physically ready, take the time to wait until you are. When that moment presents itself, it will be that much more enjoyable. Some things to consider when jumping in the sack after a period of refrain and recovery:
Take it easy and get relaxed. A tense body won’t enjoy the action. In fact, it will inhibit the flow of oxytocin that secretes throughout the body during lovemaking, kissing, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Pour a drink, put on some favorite tunes, turn the lights down low and keep the baby monitor on video only for the moment. Don’t forget to lube it up and change positions as wanted. When you feel relaxed, your partner will feel relaxed.
In the words of Usher…”Baby let me take it nice and slooooww…”
Get comfortable with the idea. Foreplay throughout the day hinting at what’s to come an create a fun interaction. Planning the love making session during a longer siesta for the new baby, to help avoid interruption. Also allowing you to mentally be in the present space to enjoy the time together. Put on something comfortable that makes you feel comfortable, relaxed and HOTT!
Communicate what feels good and what doesn’t feel good. Be in the driver’s seat of the flow intensity that you are enjoying. Is it too slow? Are things going too fast? Feeling pain? Uncomfortable? Just like riding a bike, and you want more? Express yourself and let your partner in on the feelings. They are following your lead, take it!
Lubrication for Sex After Baby
Slippery when wet. That’s a good motto when it comes to having sex at least for the first few encounters after having a baby. Natural vaginal moisture can decrease in those weeks after childbirth. Preparing and planning for the love-making sesssion ahead of time can help avoid any delay when the moment hits.
The benefits of lubrication during sex after baby gives a seemless flow to the motion in the ocean. The lubrication aids in preventing uncomfortable friction and agitation. Utilizing a good lubrication can make a difference in the enjoyableness of having sex.
The options for lubrication on the market are plenty. Choosing one that is sans dyes, flavors, and perfumes for reduction of irritation is a wise way to go. UberLube is silicone-based lubrication with vitamin E. Good Clean Love, is an organic water-based lubricant. The recognized classic name brand of KYJelly is still going strong.
Birth Control Options
It may not be in the ball park of a thought, but at the 4-6 week postpartum visit, birth control options will be discussed by your provider. Keep in mind your body, your hormones, and your feeding method.
If your body naturally doesn’t respond well to medicated birth control options, more natural methods in family planning/prevention are good options. The rhythm method is tracking menstruation cycles to gauge when one will be ovulating. Rhythm method can be utilzed to plan a pregnancy as well as avoid a pregnancy. There are also ovulation tests that can also be beneficial with tracking ovulation. Lactation amenorreha method (or LAM) is another form of natural birth control that is used. This method of birth control is generated by exclusively breastfeeding. There are however some critiera to help solidify the effectiveness to this form of family planning:
- Baby is 6 months old and younger.
- Breastfeeding is the sole source of nutrition.
- Breastfeeding sessions don’t go longer than 4 hours between feeding in the daytime, and 6 hours in the overnight hours.
- Menstruation cycle has not yet commenced.
Plan for a backup method depending on how the body reacts to the primary method.
The mini-pill is progestin-only birth control that is an oral contraceptive. This pill does not contain estrogen and is known for being a great option for breastfeeding individuals to decrease the possibility of a pregnancy. This form does minimal-to-no impact on the breastfeeding supply, breastmilk composition, and breastmilk taste.
The traditional birth control options are also presentable options during this early postpartum period for ones that know how their bodies will be affected, they already use or are familiar with, or are not ready (or wanting) to become parents again. These options are:
- Condoms, Diaphrams, and Sponges
- Birth Control Pills
- Depo-shots and Patches
- IUDs and Implants
- Vaginal Rings
- Tubal Lidgation and Vasectomy
When it comes down to a little alone time for sexy time, keep in mind that it’s okay to go slow. As you verbally communicate your needs and desires, be prepared to stop and go as needed. Sex after baby can be a long awaited desire, and it can be a long awaited dread. Not matter how, when, or where, give yourself grace and the time to ease back into the saddle. So…‘bring sexy back’, and ‘shake your groove thang’!