Sex after pregnancy is a very confusing topic for most couples and can cause further distress and anxiety during the postpartum period if understanding and communication between both partners does not occur. Dads, you may feel things have changed with the arrival of your bub. Mum may be so focused on bub that you’re starting to feel left out. She may be starting to pull away from you and cover up and you may be feeling rejected and unloved. The good news is that it won’t last forever. However, it will take some understanding on both ends of the relationship. Dads, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not personal. She hasn’t magically turned off you over night. There are many factors that may cause the delay for resuming sex and it’s important for you to understand these so you do not take it personally and the topic can be approached with sensitivity. Making your partner feel that you respect her feelings will enhance the experience and will likely impact the discussion in a positive way.
You will resume having sex and it will be great sex.
But before that, have a read of important information below on postpartum sex:
When can we start?
Most healthcare professionals recommend waiting between four to six weeks after you give birth. Two weeks postnatal your partner is most likely still bleeding and at risk for a haemorrhage or uterine infection. If your partner needed stiches it is likely her caregiver will advise to wait until after the six-week postpartum visit. Every woman is different and every body is affected differently by pregnancy. It may take many months before sex can resume as usual.However, it can take many months before you partner wants to have sex so it is important you discuss this with her.
When will I feel like having sex again?
You may be ready to resume having sex straight away but your partner may not. Some women need a few months and some women may need longer. There are many factors that can contribute to the delay.
Unfortunately some births don’t work out as planned and childbirth can leave women in physical pain or with damage to their bodies. These take time to heal. Your partner may also fear sex will hurt and it can be enough to turn her off the idea.
Firstly, get the advice of a midwife or doctor and discuss her recovery if you are both unsure, especially if she has experienced tearing. Be patient and let her know that you are ready when she is. There are other ways to be intimate with each other so start slow and work your way up. Be sure to check in with her as you progress to ask her how she is feeling.
A recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that for each additional hour of sleep a woman has, it increased the likelihood of her having sex by 14%.
To combat exhaustion, accept all offers of help with your baby and the house so you’re partner and you can rest. Once you’re both rested you are likely to feel more energetic and your wife may feel rested and therefore sexier.
Your partner may be self conscious of weight gain, saggy/stretched skin and breasts that are producing milk.
Remind your partner that she is beautiful and that you love and adore her. Be sure you seem sincere about this and not “pushy” for sex. Do not treat good behaviour and sex as a trade. Be sensitive to comments about food and weight – her body will take time to get back to normal.
Feeling connected to your partner postpartum is extremely important for the health of both partners, your relationship and in turn your new baby.
We hope we have made the topic of postpartum sex not so alien!