Intimacy After Pregnancy
How to have a healthy sex life after pregnancy and when
The age old question. How can we get back in the sack after our baby is born? It is a very delicate time but it’s something that we all think about before, during and after pregnancy. There are a couple of things we worry about; some justified others illogical, let’s discuss a couple.
Time to heal.
It’s obvious that after you give birth you won’t be able to immediately have sex with your spouse due to obvious (or not so obvious for those who have never had children) physical limitations. If you’ve never heard of an episiotomy, look it up! Although not performed as regularly now, a lot of women (including myself) still have a significant amount of tearing as your baby emerges into this world through a small hole of your body. No one likes to hear it but hemorrhoids are also a huge inconvenience. Not to mention turnoff.
You have to give your body a sufficient amount of time to heal. For some it’s longer for other’s not so much. Your midwife and/or doctor will recommend a standard 6-8 weeks, you go to your post-partum appointment, then ease into it again. For me however, I waited 4 weeks after my first and 2 and 1/2 weeks after my second! What can I say; my husband is just that hott lol.
Another obvious issue is the guilt that comes after birth. Once you have this little human that is depending on you and crying constantly you start to feel guilty that you want that one-on-one time with your spouse. You’ll feel guilty that sometimes you’re mad at your little baby because every time you try to sneak in a quickie it’s like the baby senses it and starts crying and it’s inevitable to be irritated. THIS IS NORMAL. Don’t feel guilty for having these feelings. This is a normal part of post-partum. Make sure you voice these feelings with your spouse so that he can comfort you.
Role as a wife.
Some tend to feel guilty when their libido is just on pause it seems like. They feel like a failure as a partner and almost always keep their feelings of inadequacy to themselves because they are just thinking What about him? This is a time to focus on you. If YOU are not ready then he will understand, but also understand that this is not easy on him and be patient. Or it can start adding to factors that can cause post-partum depression. NEVER keep your feelings to yourself. Be open with your spouse and maybe a friend or sibling. Sometimes you feel they won’t know what you’re going through but you’d be surprised how much better you will feel just to vent.
This is where I went wrong. Lol j/k… sort-of. Do not underestimate how fertile you are after you give birth. Breastfeeding is not to be used as contraception and Natural Family Planning (the fertility awareness method) cannot be used effectively until you have begun to menstruate regularly after your done breastfeeding. This is my preferred method of contraception since I’m catholic. I got pregnant with baby number two a short 4 months after I had my first son! Let’s just say little Elías was a huge surprise.
It is a good idea to have a conversation with your partner about limits and maybe a safe word so that you are both aware when something you are doing is hurting you. Try to ease into things but remember that men (no offense to you men) sometimes lose the ability to think and we have to reign them in. *insert high five*
For those of you that have the ability to breastfeed (more power to ya!) you will struggle with leakage. It is not sexy in any way but you will have to try and find a way around it. Try to buy lingerie where a maternity bra can be worn underneath so you don’t have that issue.
Intimacy doesn’t only mean sex. Yes we all long for that passionate sex that we used to have before the kids were in the picture (again without feeling guilty because our children are the biggest blessing) but remember to appreciate what you have now and find ways to spice up a special night to re-kindle that passion.
Back to normal.
As with all things it will eventually get better. Hang in there! It may seem like forever, but it is a very short amount of time in the long run. Your life will normalize. I promise.
Don’t forget your Kegels girls! These are our friend! Those who don’t Kegel are screwed. Lol. This is very important. Our bodies are resilient but we need to help them along. More than anything there are a lot of women that have issues with urination after giving birth and this is not something that helps when you’re trying to feel sexy again.
He’ll still find you sexy.
After all is said and done just remember that if you are fortunate enough to find your soulmate, the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, or are in a committed relationship, he will still find you sexy regardless. You might not feel it, but it’s the truth because You Are Beautiful!