Women first worry that marriage rings the death knell on romance. Just when their fears have been confirmed or not, it's time to worry again. They become pregnant and they think: "Does motherhood spells the end of their sex life?" Somehow the word 'mother' doesn't inspire amorous or romantic stirrings associated with candle-lit dinners and impromptu bedroom trysts. This feeling is further reinforced by the fact that most women find that they have absolutely no interest in sex in the postpartum period.
No sex please, I've just had a baby
There are several reasons why new mothers feel less than sexy in the postpartum days. One of these is physiological. A new mother's hormones are still out of kilter and this can affect her sexual desire in the postpartum days and when she's breastfeeding. Hormonal changes can also cause a lessening of vaginal lubrication, which is a further impediment to enjoying sexual intercourse.
New mothers also feel a little fragile. They worry that sex might be painful or cause some internal damage or even lead to another pregnancy. In this frame of mind, they cannot be expected to be ready to resume their sex lives. Couples eager to resume their sex life should make sure that the woman is fully healed or she would find sex painful. This may make her wary of trying intercourse again in the near future and the stress will affect her enjoyment and also her husband's. This would especially apply to women who've had an episiotomy or who've had to have stitches.
Is there time for sex?
Let's not forget that once baby comes home, new parents aren't going to have a minute to breathe. By the time they've fed, bathed, and clothed the baby, put him to sleep and done the laundry, they just about have the energy to sink gratefully into a chair. There's no way that they'd have the energy to even think about making love. Sex is put on the back burner while they try to get a semblance of routine into their lives again.
New parents' ardour is also cooled because they are uncomfortable about having sex in the same room where their child is sleeping.
A nursing mother's sexual needs may get depleted as during this time she is completely involved in nurturing the baby. Sexual needs may be overlooked by her as baby’s nourishment is her priority now.
In addition, some women feel uncomfortable with sexual foreplay that involves fondling their breasts. They feel that their breasts now have a nurturing function and are awkward about thinking about them in a sexual context. Sometimes, breasts leak milk when stimulated, which can make either or both partners physically and psychologically uncomfortable.
How long it will take to resume sex life?
Recovering from the rigours of delivery may take a couple of months or more. Usually, to get accustomed to the new routine, mothers may need at least 6 months time. During this period couples may engage in other safe activities apart from sex for satisfying each other. Avoiding sex and preferring such activities will help new mothers to avoid getting pregnant immediately after delivery.
Normally, menstrual period is delayed due to breastfeeding. So, before having sex it is ideal for a woman to wait till she gets her first period after delivery. After, getting the period she can then visit her obstetrician who can guide her on suitable contraception option. Usually, doctors suggest opting for copper-T or condoms which are safer options for breastfeeding mothers. Always consult your obstetrician before using any contraceptive. After choosing an appropriate contraceptive, you can resume your sex life by seeking your obstetrician’s approval.
It is a must to take right precautions in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy during this period. It will be very tough for a new mother to handle the stress of another pregnancy at this time. At the same time, babies which are conceived within one year of the delivering the first baby have a risk of being born prematurely. Getting pregnant immediately after delivery can also take toll on a woman’s health. So, all these things should be kept in mind while resuming sex life after delivery.
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- The Indiaparenting Team