I probably spent as much time thinking about sex after birth as when I lost my virginity. I spent many hours thinking whether it’d hurt, whether it’d be the same and whether I’d recover from my birth. I felt like sex after birth was a pretty big deal!
My hubby was very kind to me and told me to take my time. After birth all I could think about was, I am never having sex again. I couldn’t walk properly let alone think about being intimate! The doctors asked whether I’d considered contraception and I replied with “Hell no, if my hubby comes near me again, I’m running for the hills!”
Looking back, I probably didn’t need to be so nervous. Here’s a few things I’ve learnt:
1. It takes time. The doctors told me to wait at least 6 weeks to ensure that everything was healed downstairs. By 6 weeks, I was definitely healed and I had no more bleeding, however, I just wasn’t ready. It’s overwhelming becoming a mother and it was the last thing on my mind! Timing is important and your partner needs to respect that. You need to be both physically and emotionally ready.
2. Make sure you plan ahead about which contraception method to use. You might think that you’ve just given birth and there’s no way you’ll fall pregnant again. But in fact, our body snaps back pretty quick. Even when you’re breastfeeding and not menstruating, it is important to use contraception. A friend of mine fell pregnant 3 months after giving birth while she was breastfeeding. She was completely shocked when she saw a positive pregnancy test!
3. Hormones can make it feel different. Use lubrication, particularly when you’re breastfeeding. Hormones can do funny things to your body and one of them is causing you to be a bit ‘dry’ downstairs.
4. It is also scary for your partner! Don’t forgot that your partner saw you give birth, and sometimes that’s worse than actually going through it! I don’t remember much about giving birth but if you ask my hubby, he can name things down to the minute.
5. Be open and honest. If you’re not ready, say so. It is definitely okay to say you’re not. It took me 3 months before I was both physically and emotionally ready. Even then, I was really scared.
6. You might get interrupted. Babies sleep alot but sometimes they just won’t sleep when you want them too! We don’t stress about it, if it’s not meant to happen it’s okay. We just try again later.
7. You’ll be tired and sometimes you just don’t feel it! When Madeleine was younger, her sleeping was a bit sketchy. Some nights were good and some were bad! Their sleeping does get better and eventually they’ll sleep through the night. Your tiredness will get better and you’ll have more energy to spend with your partner!
It takes time after birth before you’re ready for sex. With some, it might be a few weeks and others, it might be a few months. It is like losing your virginity all over again, you need to be physically and emotionally ready. The most important thing I’ve learnt is to be open about it with your partner.