Sex After Giving Birth: Will Childbirth Affect Your Sex Life?

Yes it certainly will, so please don’t expect that everything will instantly return to normal.  Men in general simply don’t understand and believe this.  Many younger men believe that they’ll be able to have intercourse as soon as their partner gets home from the hospital.  This just isn’t true.

You see childbirth is a pretty traumatic process for a woman.  Having a baby pass through her vagina is almost like having a small explosion go off inside her.

The delicate vaginal tissues are inevitably strained, bruised, and torn and it takes some weeks for these injuries to heal up.

Furthermore, childbirth involves considerable hormone changes – as well as emotional stresses.  As a consequence, very few women feel rampagingly sexy until a long time after they have given birth.

Therefore, it’s important for both mother and father to realize that lovemaking may not go brilliantly in the first six months or so after the baby arrives, so be prepared and be patient.

How Soon Can You Resume Having Sex?

Traditionally, midwives and doctors have advised that a woman shouldn’t consider having full sex (i.e. intercourse) until after her post-natal check-up. This examination usually takes place about six weeks after the birth.

However in recent years several American medical publications have pointed out that there is no real scientific basis for this six week prohibition.

The idea seems to have risen over time and was perhaps based on the known fact that the womb takes about six weeks to return to its normal size.

But some mothers have recently stated in internet communications that they felt pretty sexy within two or three weeks following childbirth and wanted to resume lovemaking.  Some say that they have done so without any ill-effects. However, medical advice remains that the average woman should postpone intercourse until after that six week check-up.

Can You Go In for Any Other Sexual Activity Before Resuming Intercourse?

Yes, and it can be a great way to let off some of the sexual tension between the two of you!  Couples do often get very frustrated when they’re waiting to resume sexual intercourse.  This applies particularly to men!

In the meantime there is one serious danger to be explained in a moment.

Can Both of You Go As Far As The Point of Climax?

Absolutely!  It will do the post natal woman no harm at all to have orgasms if she wants to.

Things You Can Do Include:

  • Hand petting the man by the woman – what’s often called a hand job.
  • Hand petting of the woman by the man – using his fingers to stimulate her clitoris. But he should not put his fingers inside until she has had her post natal examination and the doctor, or midwife has said that everything has healed up.  Just stick to stroking and rubbing the outside of her sex organs. It’s quite safe to pay plenty of attention to her clitoris, which is well away from the area where stitches were put in.
  • Oral sex performed by the woman on the man. This type of love play termed fellatio often proves a wonderful experience to the male who is desperate for sexual release.
  • Mutual caressing of other various parts of each others’ bodies.

Is There Anything We Should Avoid?

Yes! Please remember this important warning. You’ll note that in the section above we have not recommended oral sex performed by the man on the woman (i.e. ‘going down on her’)

This activity-often referred to as cunnilingus is definitely off limits during the first few months after childbirth.

Why?  Two Reasons:

  1. It could introduce infection into the vagina and womb.
  2. Even more seriously, it has occasionally led to death. These tragedies have occurred because the man has (often accidentally) managed to blow air into the vagina. Air can very easily get into the blood vessels of the newly-delivered womb and cause an often fatal illness called “air embolism”.

Not long ago the British newspapers reported an appalling case in which a man forced his wife into cunnilingus shortly after she came home from the hospital, blew air into her and killed her.

Your Breasts after Childbirth:

Is it alright for the partner to handle the new mothers’ breasts?

Yes, it’s okay – provided the woman feels happy about it. But don’t go in for ‘boob play’ if she develops any kind of breast disorder, such as a nipple crack or an abscess.

Caressing your breasts may also make you produce streams of milk. This is natural and okay if the two of you don’t mind it. It may be a good idea to feed your baby before having sex, in order to empty the breasts as much as possible.

On a related topic, over the last few years there has been an increasing number of internet posts by women who are embarrassed or ashamed because they are having orgasms while breastfeeding.  This is nothing to feel guilty about.  It doesn’t mean that you have perverted sex feelings for your baby or anything like that.  It’s simply an affect of the powerful hormones that are released after childbirth and during lactation.  In particular, one called “oxytocin” is said to have an orgasm-inducing action.

What Happens To The Female Sex Drive After The Birth?

Most women (though there are exceptions) don’t feel the need for sex for at least a few weeks or more after childbirth. The reason for this is simply exhaustion.

If the delivery was long or difficult, the woman may also feel anxious about getting pregnant again.

Generally woman start getting their desire back within a few months of having a baby.  If your libido doesn’t return, you should seek help from your doctor.

What Do You Do When You Want to Resume Having Sexual Intercourse After The Birth of Your Child?

When you’re both ready to have sexual intercourse after the birth, you should begin gently. If possible, find a time during the day when you’re not worn out.

Hormone changes and worry can lead to some women experiencing vaginal dryness for the first three months after giving birth. You probably don’t need to take hormones for this. Instead buy a lubricant over the counter from a pharmacist such as K-Y Jelly.  Some condoms have built in lubricants that may help as well.

For the first few sex sessions after the childbirth it’s a good idea to choose a position in which the woman can control the pace and depth of penetration.  A position with her on top, or one where both parties lay side-by-side facing each other, may be more comfortable.

Note to Male Partners:

Be gentle and be patient.  Don’t try and force your way in and do not pressure your spouse into having sex before she is ready.

Don’t forget about contraception.  It’s very easy to become pregnant again far sooner than you intended.  Try and decide on some form of family planning by the time your baby is four weeks old.  If in doubt, ask the doctor at your post natal examination about contraception.

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