Sex after birth
Sex after birth
Sex after birth can be a touchy topic. It is so individual. I want to look at some of the reasons
why women might not be feeling like jumping straight back in the sack, but would also like to
acknowledge that there is nothing “strange” about having your sex drive return to normal (or
be higher!) following the birth of baby. Please remember that we are all unique with unique
hormonal systems and unique relationships.
If your partner isn’t keen on sex following the birth of the baby there could be a number of
reasons: hormones, pain, self-esteem, tiredness. These can all have a significant impact on
libido. The important thing to remember is this: It’s not really about you.
Firstly – Your partner may still be experience postpartum bleeding. Many women do not feel
sexy while they are experiencing bleeding and it seems reasonable that she may not want to
attempt sex yet. Patience is key.
Many women experience self-esteem issues about how their body changes during
pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. They may feel self-conscious about getting naked, even
with someone they love and trust. Communication and sensitivity is a must in this situation.
A huge reason why your partner may not feel like sex, or even like having a cuddle, is
hormones. Birth brings a massive oxytocin rush, breastfeeding also brings a big oxytocin
rush. So does touching and orgasm. But after the rush of birth and all that breastfeeding
some mums suffer from a bit of an “oxytocin overdose” also referred to as “being touched
out”. Chances are this is a biological function designed to ensure that mum doesn’t fall
pregnant again too soon after birth. And I’m sorry, but there is no way to effect mum’s
hormones – all you can do is show your love in other ways and wait until she is ready.
If your partner had a vaginal birth she may hold fears around how her vagina has changed
and whether it will still be “good enough” for you. Or she may be concerned about potential
pain during sex. If her labour and birth was traumatic or filled with intervention she may
simply be uncomfortable with the idea of anyone being near her vagina for a while. Provide
reassurance, make her feel safe and confident that you will be considerate. Assure her that
you love HER, not just her vagina. Provide love in other ways.
If your partner had a caesarean she may hold a variety of concerns about her body and
whether she is “womanly” enough. She may also still be experiencing pain around her scar.
Again – provide love, reassurance and be considerate.
Birth is an incredibly transformational time, for mum, dad and the family unit. Life will never
“go back to normal” and it stands to reason that your sex life will change. Change doesn’t
have to be bad. It can be the perfect opportunity to take back the magic of a new relationship
– because it is a new relationship. Take the opportunity to communicate, explore and enjoy
each other with care and consideration.