Sex after baby. If someone would have told me that it would be completely different for me physically and mentally, I would have scoffed and gone on my way. If someone would have told my husband that it would basically be non-existent, then we wouldn’t have had a baby in the first place! The physical relationship between partners after experiencing the pain, turmoil and blessings after welcoming a little one into the family is pretty bleak. You hear hushed whispers of the lack of time and energy to get carnal under the sheets but no one ever really talks about it. Well, I’m here today to share my experience about those sexless months (yep, you heard me right – MONTHS) after giving birth and some suggestions on how to remedy the situation.
Sex was the very last thing on my mind after I gave birth to my now 13 month old baby girl. Matter of fact, it wasn’t even on my radar, so when my doc gave me the okay to partake in mattress mambo 6 weeks postpartum I both panicked and got annoyed. I panicked because I was nowhere near comfortable or confident in this new, foreign body, and I instantly got annoyed because I assumed my husband would be primed and ready to get back to our regularly scheduled program.
From the get go I faced the situation all wrong. In my head I convinced myself that it was my duty to ‘please my man’ and that, even if I wasn’t ready mentally, I needed to perform as a dutiful wife. I’m rather delusional, I know. Some of the things that I felt after the birth of my child were exhaustion (from sleep deprivation), fear (of possible pain during intercourse), panic (my body was not ready to be seen without clothes), and stress (is the baby okay?). My concerns definitely included my lack of sex appeal given the fact I had plenty of extra skin to throw around, as well as my fear of becoming pregnant again. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Had I sat down and discussed with my husband the concerns and fears I had from the beginning, we would have avoided the miscommunication and resentful feelings that transpired after the fact. So my first advice to you is consider first your feelings – are you ready? Is your body ready? – and then those of your partner. If you aren’t feeling it, it won’t work.
After putting it off for a couple of weeks after the doctors okay, it was finally time to perform and get busy. Boy was that experience the most mortifying, confusing and painful experience of my life?! Sex is supposed to be fun, exciting and hot but our first go at it went completely and utterly wrong. Without getting too graphic just imagine old people getting it on – limbs all over the place, awkward positioning and tears. I was so self-conscious about my body that I felt awkward, embarrassed, and insecure. And while I had already anticipated a little discomfort during what was supposed to be our hot and heavy romp, I was surprised by all the pain, which led to tears, which then led to frustration on my husbands end.
Because of that one disastrous attempt as rekindling our sex life, I shut down completely. That ‘Don’t Touch Me’ sign was plastered on my forehead for months and any time my husband tried to get me in the mood, I immediately shut him down and exited the room. I was so traumatized by our previous attempt that I assumed our next one would be equally as awkward and painful as the first. And then one day I grew fed up with myself and the situation. I could see my husband growing more and more inpatient with the situation and because I had shut down for so long, I didn’t know how to reach out to him and reassure him that it had nothing to do with him. That it was an internal battle within me. So I threw up my hands and waved the white flag. It was time to pop in the Marvin Gaye and get it on. And you want to know what; it wasn’t as horrific as the first time. Yeah, there was pain and little insecurity on my end but for that time I decided to unwind, shut my brain off and be in the moment with my other half. Apparently that did the trick!
Renewing intimacy with your companion is something that seems so much easier said than done, trust me on this, but you’ve got to put in the time to rebuild that foundation. Let’s pretend I’m your sex guru (don’t worry, I just freaked myself out too), here are my tips on how to get it on with as little pain and discomfort as possible:
- Typically after giving birth vaginally or from a C-section our nether region is dry and tender (especially if you are breastfeeding) – solution: use lubricating creams.
- Practice safe sex! Condoms are best but consider speaking to your doctor for a low hormone birth control prescription.
- Take is slow, both figuratively and literally. Try different positions where you feel comfortable.
- Try to focus on the task at hand. Be in the moment with your partner and actually be present. Push away any thoughts of baby, to-do lists, or chores, this will only distract you.
However if you aren’t ready, don’t be afraid to say no but don’t blow your spouse off without talking about any issues or concerns you may have. Know that there are other forms of intimacy that can be shared with your other half. I highly suggest spending time just the two of you, sans baby, send dirty text messages between each other, or get physical in other ways. Try and reawaken that passion and intimacy that had you making babies in the first place! Men need constant reassurance that they are needed, so let your man know that you love them and still find them desirable. I’m pretty sure they feel the same, hello you’ve just increased your cup size, what’s not to love?
I can’t make any promises because every woman is different but from experience, in time sex will become fun again!