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Postpartum Sex

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These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

from Having a Baby, Naturally by Peggy O'Mara, Editor and Publisher of Mothering Magazine

Postpartum section, p. 220


At your six-week checkup, your midwife or doctor will probably tell you that you can resume normal sexual relations. Many women greet this  announcement with mixed feelings for a number of reasons.

For one thing, you are probably still tired. If you are breastfeeding, the changed levels of estrogen in your body make you feel quite different. Even your skin feels different, and being touched may not feel the same way it did before. Your body may still sore, or you may have sore breasts. Your breasts might start leaking like a fountain the moment you even try to cuddle or have sex. All in all, things not the same as they were before your body has changed, and so have you.

Many women report that the constant physical contact they have with the baby makes them feel like they just want to be left alone the rest of the time. Some women feel as though their bodies are meant only for the baby's use in the early weeks, and turned off at the idea of sharing it with anyone else.

Your partner, on the other hand, may have the opposite response and might be feeling left out, or even jealous of the attention the baby is getting from you.

Perhaps the best way to reinstate the physical bond with your partner in the postpartum period is think of intimacy in terms of nurturing touch, rather than sexual activity Until you feel ready for again, you might enjoy a light massage or foot rub, and your partner might enjoy sitting close together or going for a walk and holding hands. Cuddling and taking a nap may be even better!

Once you feel ready to have intercourse, go slowly. You will probably need to spend more time on foreplay. Add candles or music, even if you never used them before. Since hormonal changes may make you feel a little dryer than usual, try a water-soluble lubricant.

Before your baby was born, you probably never had to plan sex—you could be as spontaneous as you liked. You will get some of that spontaneity
back again, but for now you may have to take your chances when they come. If you plan for sex at a certain time, and the baby foils those plans by waking up and wanting to be fed, don't just abandon chances to be close. Sit together while you nurse baby and talk, or ask your partner for a foot rub while you take care of the baby. And find another time later. Allow this to add an element of romantic intrigue to your relationship.


Especially for Fathers section, p. 220

Finding Time for Sex

During the postpartum period, which usually lasts about six weeks, women need to refrain from having intercourse while they heal from childbirth. That sounds like a long time, but most couples barely miss it in the flurry of activity that surrounds the care of a newborn. Truth be told, most parents are too excited, wound up, and just plain tired to think about sex during this time.

However, many men find that once they are interested in sex again, it's the last thing on their partner's mind. This can be emotionally painful for both parties, with men feeling unloved and women feeling pressured. It can help both of you to temporarily redefine "sex" to include all expressions of intimacy. Consider these possibilities:

Rediscover romance. Spend time holding hands, cuddling, or kissing. Create a romantic atmosphere with food, candles, scents, or music. Most important, make time to talk: compliment one another, reminisce about your first date, or talk about sex, if you like.

When you are ready for sex again, prepare to be a bit more spontaneous and flexible than you were before the baby was born. You may need to "steal the moment" and grab opportunities for sexual intimacy when you can. Waiting for just the right moment may not be possible. Many new parents report that their babies seem to wake up at the most inopportune times, so be prepared for a few interruptions as well!

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Postpartum Issues


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