Wendy Powell

The Truth About Post Pregnancy Sex

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Pregnant woman in a green dress, gray sweater, and cream hat outside in the snow.

I hope your sex life to date has given you much pleasure and and fun… but maybe ‘after-the-baby’ launched a new, not so fabulous, post pregnancy sex reality.

Post pregnancy sex: the first 6 weeks

If you had a vaginal birth, having a whole baby pass through your lady bits makes them tender for a while. Your delicate vaginal tissues are strained, possibly bruised or torn and these injuries take weeks to heal.

Whether you had a vaginal birth or c-section, complication free, with or without intervention, emergency or elective, your hormones are rocking you. It’s an emotional earthquake, complete with after-shocks that have your moods swinging high and low.

Your breasts are painful, veiny orbs, stretched to the max, firing off jets of milk at anyone that dares to touch them.

For at least the first six weeks, any intimate activity will ideally be gentle and slow, and limited to touching, kissing and cuddling. Penetrative sex of any description can, and should, wait. Take your time, don’t be rushed, stop when you want to and above all communicate with your partner. They

The six week check

Let’s discuss the ‘6-week check’. That appointment with your Doctor or OB-GYN when you’re pretty much a zombie surviving on no sleep and you are still in shock both physically and emotionally about the heck just happened. Often it goes a little like this: your baby gets a check over and they ask you ‘how you’re feeling’ and if ‘everything has healed up okay’ and other such vagaries. Then assuming no urgent referral or issues, you’re sent on your way with a cheery ‘all-clear to have sex and start exercising’.

However the reality is that embarking on post pregnancy sex or any other definition of sex may not be your top priority right now. Know that your ‘six-week’ check is an arbitrary, and very early, postnatal check in. It does not mean you should be starting or dong anything at all you don’t feel like doing.

So when are you ready for post pregnancy sex?

In the midst of new motherhood, it might feel like your overstretched tender body will never feel like you again, tingle to the touch, or bend into any playful positions or moods. But post pregnancy sex will be fun again. Take your time.

But for now, concentrate on you, on healing and strengthening yourself physically and emotionally… on cherishing love, if not yet passion. Don’t rush your body. That birth thing was HARD and your body needs time. Be nice to yourself. If there is pain or something just doesn’t feel right at all, book in with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist (you can get a GP referral or go private).

How long will it take? That’s personal to you. You’ll get there when you’re good and ready.

Will sex after childbirth ever feel the same?

It might feel different. It might even be better. But yes it should feel good. Will you love your body and feel sexy once more? Yes, definitely! You can restore your body confidence after childbirth, but it takes, time, effort and the right exercises.

Use lube. Be comfortable. Say what feels good and what doesn’t (it might be different than before). Never continue through pain or discomfort. No, it’s not ‘supposed to hurt a bit’. Control speed, and intensity and call time whenever you need to.

So relax about post pregnancy sex… the truth is most women who have given birth have their priorities right: tea, sleep, cuddles.

Do you have feelings or symptoms you’re not sure about? Something not feel quite right?
Check out this post on What’s Normal and What Isn’t For Your Post Pregnancy Body

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