Monday, July 6, 2009

Postpartum Sex

Posted by Kim

As written by Sarah Lipoff for the SF New Moms Examiner

We love our partners, there wouldn’t be a new baby in our lives if we didn’t, and there is only so long the inevitable can be put off. There has been plenty of time for recovery, the baby is starting to nap regularly, and life is starting to have a normal rhythm. It’s time to get busy – in the bedroom that is.

Sex, the forbidden topic. It isn’t something everyone wants to chat about after having a baby. The memories of the labor experience is still fresh in the mind and the idea of any other action in the nether region is a bit daunting. Will it be painful? Are things going to feel different? Am I ready?

Here’s the thing. When you are ready, you can still have a great sex life after having a baby, either vaginally or by c-section. The most important thing is to jump back in the pool when YOU are ready. If your partner was around for any part of the birth, they should have gotten a glimpse into what the experience was like for you. This should give them a little bit of an idea of how you need to heal, and have some understanding for your lack of enthusiasm. If you had any tearing or an episiotomy during birth, it needs to heal before partaking in any sexual activities. It may take longer than the suggested 6 week waiting period before you are all healed up.

At 6 weeks, your OBGYN will want to see you for an exam and make sure things are going well. This is also the time frame suggested to wait before having any sex after birth. If all goes well, your OBGYN will give the official thumbs up, and you are ready for action. The problem is, you might not be feeling it, or ready to feel anything.

I am going to be real honest. My husband was there for the whole birth and it was absolutely awesome to have him be such a large part of the birth of our daughter. He saw the pain, the blood, and the whole shebang. I was absolutely amazed that he was ready to get back in action just a few weeks after our baby was born. I explained there was no way anyone was going anywhere near that area of my body, not now, not for a while, maybe not ever!

My hormones were raging, which is normal. I was also still bleeding, which is normal. My breasts hurt and were swollen from breastfeeding, which is normal. And I was exhausted from lack of sleep, adjusting to breastfeeding every 2 hours, keeping a house clean, and just living in general. Having a newborn is a lot of work, and it can take its toll on other aspects of one’s life. Sex was definitely not high on my list. But, I knew it was for my husband.

After my 6-week check-up, I was given the thumbs up and told to take it slow, use lots of lubrication, and make sure to have some four-play. It seemed so awkward hearing suggestions from my OGBYN who just weeks ago brought my daughter in to the world. She could read the trepidation all over my face and basically told me to just do it. So, I did.

Here’s the deal. It is going to hurt. You aren’t going to probably be really into it, and there is a big chance you will have some bleeding afterwards. But, it is important to not forget that sex is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Take the time to bring it back into your life. It is important for you, your partner, and the continuation of your relationship. Just because you have a new baby doesn’t mean you can’t get busy every once in awhile.

Oh, one last thought to leave you with. Make sure to use birth control. Unless you are ready to go down that path again.

Here are a couple great websites to help with postpartum sex:

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