The thought of sex after child birth often makes us women cringe, out of fear of pain or discomfort. Or simply because you feel way too tired to even fathom the thought as long restless nights and mommy duties are getting the best of you.
6 weeks postpartum is when you are usually given the all clear, some people cannot wait and for others 6 weeks is just too soon. Either way both of these feelings are completely normal, some women are anxious about sex for a while after childbirth and take longer to get their libido back. Whilst others feel it has been long enough and they eagerly anticipate being able to have sex without a huge bump in their way.
After giving birth and going through the long winded recovery it’s great to believe that everything is going to ‘go back to normal’ in the bedroom. But the truth is even though in most cases you are having sex with the Father of your child, it feels as if there is a stranger in the room. Funny thing is, the stranger isn’t your partner. It’s you, yes you are unfamiliar with your post baby body and things don’t feel quite right.
The mental side of things.
This is probably the hardest part of adjusting to the bedroom after a baby. You end up lost in your own head with thoughts of ‘do I feel the same?’ and ‘why does this feel so odd’. Then once you get into the swing of things the paranoia of the baby waking up begins and it becomes hard to ‘be in the moment’. You have to try to be present as hard as it may be, it shows when your mind is elsewhere.
This is an awkward one. When you breastfeed your nipples become ‘tough’ to make breastfeeding less painful and easier to do. This does unfortunately mean that you lose some sensation there so if that is a ‘go to’ area in the bedroom that may change or take a while to adjust to. Then… You get the leaky boobs. If losing some sensation isn’t bad enough your breasts leak due to stimulation and this can be really off putting for some women. It is normal to become defensive and build a ‘hands off’ mentality.
Sometimes things that would have worked for you in the past just don’t work anymore. It is important to communicate with your partner. Not only so they know how you feel but also to reassure them it is just due to child birth and not something they are doing. Some women find that after having a baby they need to use a lubricant and others find they are constantly moist.
No matter how much you are reassured that everything is ‘normal’ you won’t believe it. You may find yourself opting for lights off and feeling insecure naked. This is completely normal as your body has gone through extreme changes in a short period of time and you are aware of the difference. After giving birth, even months after your body is constantly changing. So something that bothered you two weeks ago will seem insignificant as time passes.
Things are different when you have had a baby, but different doesn’t have to mean bad. It is a case of knowing when you are stuck in your own head and trying to get out of it. The awkwardness goes if you let it and after time you do get back into the swing of things and feel like your ‘old self’.
Communication and patience are so important and if things do seem off go slow. Take your time to get back into it and rediscover what works for you and your partner.