Let's Talk About Sex....(after) Baby

adults-barefoot-bed-1246960.jpg

This often comes up in one of our antenatal classes and if it doesn’t, I bring it up!  Yes of course it can feel slightly uncomfortable talking about it amongst a new group of friends, but let’s not be too British about it – after all, it’s how you got pregnant in the first place and it probably won’t the last time you ‘do it’ – although it will probably be the last thing on your mind in the early days of becoming a new parent.

So when is the RIGHT time to get back in the saddle?

Answer: Whenever you are ready.

Your baby could be 7 weeks or 6 months before you’re even ready, so don’t feel pressurised by your partner or any of your friends.  Finding the time may be one of your challenges and of course feeling confident enough that nothing has changed ‘down there’ will probably be another thing preoccupying you.  Your postnatal body isn’t going to be what it was initially either but that is completely natural.  After all a pregnancy is the best part of 10 months, so be kind to yourself.  For most, everything does soon settle down and return to normal and with a bit of exercise you can expect to be pretty much there.

Try to avoid asking your partner if things feel different!   He will probably be none the wiser and will just be delighted to have you back again, so try to enjoy it as best you can.  I remember thinking that I have just have ‘to do it’ and get it out of the way and it was a little bit like that.  It was all rather uneventful if I am being honest, but it was such a relief have just ticked that box.  The pressure was then off.  Like a lot of things if left to build up, resuming sexual intercourse can become a bit of an issue, so try not to leave it too long.  A lot of mums use the GP 6 week postnatal check as the perfect excuse to get the all clear – it can also help psychologically if you know that all is well and if you have had stitches or a small tear, it would be good to know that these have healed.

If you’ve had a C section then of course you should be feeling pretty confident that nothing much has changed as far as your vagina and perineum are concerned, but of course your tummy muscles and scar could feel quite sore.  Any positions with your partner placing all their body weight on your abdomen may not be the best idea.  Spooning could be an option – as not only is it intimate it but it is a great position when recovering from a caesarean.

·      Only have sex when you are ready

·      Be kind to yourself and remember that your partner will not be half as judgemental as you will be

·      If anything hurts or feels uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to stop and to try something else or wait for another time

·      The hormones produced when breastfeeding can cause vaginal dryness, so do have a water based lubricant at the ready

·      Have you thought about contraception?  You can get pregnant very soon after the birth of your baby, even if you are breastfeeding and haven’t started your periods again.  So please do not take any risks if this is something that you are not prepared for

·      Will your baby object if he is in the same room as you?  Common question!  No – your baby will have no idea what you’re up to and remember your baby will be very familiar with any of your noises already.  If you do feel that you really cannot continue with your baby in your room, you can always move them out during that time.  Remember a well fed and contented baby is more likely to give you more time!

Please remember that you can get pregnant straight after birth and when you are breastfeeding.  So do use contraception.

Useful link:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/sex-contraception-after-birth/

Contraception choices post birth:

https://www.thedigitalgp.com/contraception-after-birth/ (Dr Bella Smith, The Digital GP)

 

Bundle Team – 20 April 2019

Rachel Drewsex, post birth