Returning to sex postpartum can feel like navigating uncharted waters. But let's talk about it openly - sex after kids is a topic that deserves much more airtime than it currently gets! It's often surrounded by myths, misconceptions, and unnecessary stigmas.
When it comes to postpartum intimacy, each couple's experience is unique and influenced by various factors such as physical recovery, sleep deprivation, and hormonal changes to new parental responsibilities. While it's common for the sexual energy to ebb in the first few weeks or even months after childbirth, it's crucial to remember that this is normal and not a cause for alarm.
When it comes to resuming sexual activity after childbirth, it's important to understand that everyone's journey is different and the timeline will depend on the type of delivery and personal recovery. Generally, medical experts advise waiting for a period of about six weeks after a vaginal birth. This allows time for the cervix to close, postpartum bleeding (lochia) to stop, and any tears or repaired lacerations to heal.
In the case of a C-section delivery, the same six-week rule applies, even though there might not be any noticeable changes in the vaginal area. This is because a C-section is a major surgery and your body needs time to recover. During this period, it's vital to listen to your body and not rush the process. Remember, any discomfort or pain during sex is a sign that you may need more time to heal. Always consult your healthcare provider if you have concerns or questions about resuming sex after childbirth.
Where to start
- Communication is key: Open and honest dialogues with your partner about your fears, anticipations, and physical changes can help both of you adjust to this new phase in your life. Communication plays a critical role in resuming sexual activity post-childbirth. It's important for partners to openly express their feelings, concerns, or fears about having sex after kids. Misunderstandings or unexpressed emotions can lead to tension and affect your relationship. Therefore, creating a safe, non-judgmental space for dialogue can be incredibly beneficial.Remember, sex after childbirth is not merely about the physical act. It's also about reestablishing the emotional intimacy that might have been overshadowed by the whirlwind of new responsibilities. Talk to each other about your desires, what feels good, and what might be uncomfortable. This discussion can also cover the potential use of maternity lingerie to help boost your confidence and create a conducive environment for intimacy. If you're feeling apprehensive about sex or dealing with body image issues postpartum, don't hesitate to bring this up with your partner. Working together to rebuild your sexual relationship after childbirth can strengthen your bond, leading to a more satisfying and fulfilling sexual and emotional partnership. Don't forget, patience, understanding, and mutual respect are key during this time of transition.
- Take Your Time: Jumping back into the sexual arena postpartum should not be rushed. Just like your body took time to adjust and recover from childbirth, it also needs time to readjust to sexual activity. It may take weeks, or even months, for some women to feel physically and emotionally ready for sex after kids. This is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. Do not compare your readiness to others or feel pressured by societal expectations. Your well-being and comfort should be the priority. Remember, there's no set timeline for resuming sex. It's important to listen to your body and respect its pace. When you feel ready, start slowly. Begin with non-sexual touching and gradually move towards more intimate acts as your comfort level increases. Use maternity lingerie to make yourself feel more attractive and comfortable. Taking your time and prioritising communication will ensure a more pleasurable and less stressful reintroduction to sex after childbirth.
Not feeling it? Here's how you can get your libido back
- Seek Professional Guidance: If you're struggling to reignite your sexual desire postpartum, don't hesitate to seek help from professionals. Therapists, counselor or even your gynaecologist can provide valuable advice and techniques to help you reconnect with your sexual self. This may include pelvic floor exercises to enhance physical comfort during sex, or behavioural therapy to address any emotional barriers you're experiencing. Remember, there's no shame in seeking help - it's a sign of strength and self-care.
- Nourish Your Body: Postpartum hormones can wreak havoc on your libido, but a balanced diet can help bring your hormones back into equilibrium. Prioritise foods rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Staying hydrated is also crucial for overall wellbeing and sexual health. These simple dietary changes can boost your energy levels and help revive your sexual desire.
- Maintain Emotional Intimacy: Emotional intimacy is a critical component of sexual desire. Spend quality time with your partner outside of the bedroom to strengthen your emotional bond. This could be as simple as sharing a meal, taking a walk, or talking about your day. Regularly expressing love and appreciation can also foster emotional intimacy and reignite the spark in your relationship.
- Explore Maternity Lingerie: Maternity lingerie is not just for pregnancy - it can also boost your confidence and make you feel sexy postpartum. There are plenty of stylish and comfortable options available that cater to a new mother's changing body. Wearing something that makes you feel attractive can help you reclaim your sexual identity and spark desire.
Remember, regaining your libido postpartum is a process. Be patient with yourself and know that it's okay to seek help. With time and support, you'll find your way back to a satisfying sex life after kids.
Not feeling yourself in the bedroom? Tips on feeling your best postpartum self
Feeling sexy again after giving birth may seem like a distant concept, but it's more attainable than you think. Here are some tips to help you reclaim your sensual side postpartum:
- Embrace your body: Your body has undergone significant changes and it's crucial to celebrate its strength and resilience. Appreciate your postpartum figure and the powerful journey it has been through.
- Prioritise Self-Care: Make time for yourself. Whether it's working out, meditating, or simply enjoying a relaxing bath, doing things you love can help boost your self-image and mood.
- Explore new intimates: Investing in maternity lingerie that accentuates your new curves can be empowering and can help you feel more confident and sexy.
- Connect with other mums: Speaking with other mothers who are experiencing similar changes can provide comfort and understanding. Sharing experiences, tips and stories can help you to feel less alone.
- Seek professional help if needed: If feelings of low self-esteem persist, consider seeking help from a professional. Postpartum therapists can provide strategies to cope with any negative feelings towards your body or sexual drive.
It's all about the journey, not the destination. Be patient with yourself and your partner as you navigate this new chapter.Your body has done something extraordinary, and it may take time to adapt to the changes. Be patient with yourself during this journey.
Contraception. You need it even if you're breastfeeding!
Understand the Importance of Contraception: Even if your menstrual cycle hasn't returned, you could still get pregnant soon after giving birth. It's a common misconception that breastfeeding is an effective form of contraception, but this isn't always true. Couples should discuss contraception methods and decide what works best for them. Condoms, birth control pills, and IUDs are all suitable options. It's crucial to have this conversation as part of your postpartum care to avoid unintended pregnancies. Always remember, maintaining your health is as important for you as it is for your baby.
Remember it's about having fun
Exploring intimacy postpartum involves more than just sex. It's a chance for you and your partner to reconnect on a deeper emotional level and rediscover each other in a new context. Try not to put too much pressure on yourselves to make everything "perfect". Instead, focus on creating a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere. Play your favourite music or light some scented candles to set the mood. Explore new positions that work for your post-baby body and offer comfort and pleasure. Remember, laughter in the bedroom is perfectly okay – not every intimate encounter has to be serious and intense. Having fun, being playful, and maintaining a sense of humour can help alleviate any pressure or anxiety related to sex after kids. This is a new chapter in your relationship, and while it might seem challenging at times, it also offers a unique opportunity for growth and deeper connection.