All newly married women hope and look forward to having their first baby with enthusiasm but not many consider what happens after that.
You’ve gone through conception, pregnancy and birth, and now the baby is here.
With all the changes that’s going on in your life, sex is probably the last thing on your mind – but there will come a time when that will change.
Doctors will tell you at your six-week postnatal check-up whether you’re physically OK to have sex again.
That’s just the physical side of things – there’s a lot more about sex after a baby that nobody tells you.
Here are eight things you might want to know.
1. You can get pregnant again immediately
And I mean, immediately – it doesn’t matter whether you are breastfeeding or if your periods haven’t started again.
If you’re back at it and you are not using contraception, you could be welcoming another little baby in nine months time.
And if you thought your sex life had taken a blow after one baby, try having two babies under the age of one.
2. Your sèx drive can disappear
You might want to have sex again but thanks to the hormone changes in your body, your libido may have other ideas.
It tends to swap its stockings and suspenders for stretch pants and the sofa, and it can take time to coax it back out again.
3. His sex drive can disappear
He is man. Man like hunting. Man like sex. Right?
Some men can experience a dip in testosterone after their baby is born and that can lead to a drop in their libido too, which can be rather convenient.
4. The idea of intercourse can freak you out
‘A baby has just come out of my vagina and now you’re expecting me to put something sexy back in it?’
Sex and birth can seem like two planets, on opposite sides of the universe, and your brain can struggle to bridge the gap.
It’s both ironic and logical.
5. Your breasts can leak milk when you’re aroused
If you’re breastfeeding, the same hormone that helps with ‘let-down’ of the milk can be released when you’ve got the horn.
So you may get an occasional bit of extra spurtage when the going gets hot. Be prepared!
6. Sèx can hurt
Traumatic birth, stitches, surgery and a pelvic floor weakened by nine months of baby carrying can all make sex painful for months or even years after having a baby.
Postnatal hormones can also cause a bit of dryness in the vaginal canal.
Isn’t parenthood glorious?
But help is at hand – doctors can refer you for surgery, physio or counselling as required.
You can also build up your pelvic floor strength with kegel exercises and water-based lube can make things sexy again.
7. Having sèx with your baby in the room is just weird
They have no clue what is going on, of course, but it’s another psychological hurdle to get over, and one which no one really talks about.
8. sèx can be fun again
The general medical advice is that, subject to your doctor’s approval, you can start having sex again after about six weeks.
You may feel ready to rumble then, or it might take you much longer, but you can have great sex again.
There are many reasons for this.
First, a sense of being a family and having been through a big life experience together can make sex more intimate and loving.
And secondly, many women find that working on their pelvic floor strength makes their orgasms even better than before.
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