Most of the couples experience some changes in their sensual relationship during pregnancy. Just as pregnancy does it, so does childbirth.
Pregnancy and childbirth come as a source of both physical and emotional changes for the new mother and can affect her sensuality. Many men are not very sensitive to these changes. They want what they always wanted. You will enjoy physical intimacy after pregnancy, but it will take time and planning. Issues like pain, bleeding, fatigue, breastfeeding, and your mood can all interfere with a normal return to pleasurable play after childbirth.
Most doctors advise waiting six weeks before resuming play after giving birth. This is because:
- Your cervix needs time to close.
- female organ discharge takes time to stop.
- Tears, incisions, and lacerations need time to heal.
Each one of you has different post-delivery physical issues to deal with. Once your doctor says it is safe for sensual act after giving birth, the ultimate decision is up to you.
Most women (with exceptions) don’t feel very keen on play for at least a few weeks after childbirth, and the main reason for this is simply exhaustion. If the delivery was long or difficult, the woman may also feel anxious about getting pregnant again. Generally, women start getting their desire back within a couple of months of having a baby.
Time for Emotional Adjustment
Having a new baby in the house changes your world. It is not surprising that physical intimacy after pregnancy may not be your main concern for a while. A major reason is a lack of energy after pregnancy — it is not unusual to feel tired for weeks or even months. Changes in your hormones after pregnancy can lead to postpartum blues. And it is normal to feel some sadness, anxiety, and irritability, but these feelings should go away after a few weeks. More serious sadness and depression may indicate full blown post-partum depression and require prompt medical attention. Even if you find the time and energy, hormone changes can take away the desire for play after giving birth. So don’t worry if you don’t feel like you are emotionally or physically ready for play after pregnancy. Give yourself time and communicate with your partner about your feelings.
State of Breasts after Pregnancy
Is it all right for the partner to handle the new mother’s breasts? It is okay provided the woman feels happy about it. But don’t go in for ‘boob play’ if she develops any kind of breast disorder, such as a nipple crack or an abscess. Also keep in mind that caressing the breasts may well make you produce jets of milk. But if you find it off-putting, it would be a good idea to feed your baby before having play, in order to empty the breasts as far as possible. This extra milk production is simply an effect of the powerful hormones that are released after childbirth and during lactation. In particular, one called oxytocin is said to have an extreme pleasure-inducing action.
Breastfeeding After Pregnancy
Breastfeeding is another issue that may impact play after childbirth. Breastfeeding decreases your estrogen levels, which can increase female organ dryness and make sensual play after giving birth more uncomfortable. Certain birth control pills can lower your milk production, so this should be discussed with your doctor when you are deciding on what method to use. Breastfeeding does not prevent you from getting pregnant. This is a common misconception.
Birth Control After Pregnancy
If you don’t want another baby right away, you should plan on birth control before sensual play after giving birth. There are many options, but the time to talk about birth control with your healthcare provider is before resuming bed play. You may consider the following.
- You should wait at least three weeks after childbirth to start a combination-type birth control pill if you are not breastfeeding. You need to wait at least six weeks if you are breastfeeding to avoid decreased milk production.
- You can take a progesterone-only pill right after childbirth even if you are nursing.
- These hormones can be passed to the baby during breastfeeding. These are unlikely to harm your baby, but you should talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned.
- Other acceptable forms of birth control for sensual play after giving birth include condoms, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and diaphragms. Diaphragms must be refitted after pregnancy.
Dealing With Intimacy After Pregnancy
- Rethink intimacy. Play is not the only choice for physical intimacy. Work on communication, spend time together, and look for other ways to express affection before jumping into the act.
- Use artificial lubrication as needed. A certain amount of discomfort is normal at first. Dryness and changes in the female organ anatomy may require artificial lubrication for a while. Try using a water-based lubricant and experiment with different positions if penetration is still painful.
- Pelvic exercises. The muscles that surround your organ may need some help getting back into shape. Ask your healthcare provider about learning Kegel pelvic exercise techniques.
- Timing. Plan to have intimacy when you are well rested and won’t be interrupted. This could be in the morning when you are fresh or during baby’s naptime.
- Take good care of yourself. Getting back into your normal routine requires a healthy diet, regular exercise, good hydration, and as much rest as possible.
Parenting is a big responsibility and requires a tremendous amount of energy. It takes time for your body and your mind to recover from pregnancy. You need to have reasonable expectations and go at your own speed. Have some patience and planning, and physical intimacy after childbirth can be a pleasurable experience again.