Sex After Giving Birth: The Facts

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21 Oct 2015

Sex After Giving Birth: The Facts



With all the changes abound after giving birth, sex may be the last thing on your mind. As you prepare your home and your lives for the new little person coming under your care, you and your significant other are perhaps giving scant thought to relighting the fire between the sheets. However, natural urges will soon creep their way back into your mind – but you may feel slightly confused by the correct etiquette for post-birth sex.

So, here we have a look at some of the facts to help make it easier to get back into the rhythm and dispel some of the rumours which make the rounds.

When Can I Have Sex?

Traditionally the standard waiting time for first-time mothers to have sex again, according to the advice of midwives and doctors, is set at roughly six weeks – after the baby’s first postnatal check-up. A 2013 study by the British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology revealed that almost half of first-time mothers have full vaginal sex by the time that baby is six weeks old.

Recent American publications have dispelled this figure – saying it should not be entirely set in stone and there is no real scientific proof behind the six week rule.

What If I have Sex too Early?

Sex After Giving Birth: The Facts 2


Listen to your body when deciding whether to begin an active sex life after giving birth. If a new mother is still feeling exhausted from giving birth and the new responsibilities of being a parent – it is advisable to avoid full vaginal sex.

This is particularly advisable if the vagina is still sore and if there are still stitches in the area.

Are there Alternatives?

Some of the traditional alternatives are still available. Hand relief is still a viable option for both men and women, although it is not advisable to penetrate the vagina until after the postnatal examination. Sticking to stimulating the clitoris and the outside of the vagina is the safer option – during the period when the vagina may still need to do a little extra healing.

This can be particularly healthy for the relationship of new parents, helping them reconnect emotionally and spiritually during a time when a lot of their attention will be paid to the new baby.

What Should We Avoid?

Cunnilingus should not be performed upon the new mother for a couple of months after childbirth. This could lead to an infection transferred from the mouth to the vagina and womb. Even more seriously (although uncommon), post-birth cunnilingus can lead to air being pumped into the vagina and the potentially-fatal condition, air embolism.

It is also very important to avoid rough sex shortly after the baby arrives – all sex should be gentle and considerate.

What If I Never Regain My Libido?

It can be quite common for both partners to lose some of their sex drive following birth. Both partners will feel exhausted due to disrupted nights and the huge list of new jobs which are required for the baby.

If it does not return, it could be a case of postnatal depression – in which case, you should visit your GP. And if it does lead to relationship problems, NHS sexual health experts may be able to offer helpful advice and guidance.

Will I Need Extra Lubrication?

During the first few months after giving birth – there are lot of emotional and hormonal changes occurring. This means that dryness is not uncommon at all – but it does not mean that you shouldn’t have sex or can’t have sex. Using lubrication can help keep the sex enjoyable and comfortable for everyone – helping you and your partner reconnect.

Additionally, it is important to resume using condoms if you don’t want an immediate little brother or sister for your baby. Some women become fertile again within a few weeks of giving birth. Luckily, the good folks at Freedoms Shop can do you great deals on top brand condoms. Check out the full range, here, or call our dedicated team on 020 7685 5977.

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