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Sex after birth: what do I need to know?

Generally speaking, you can begin to have sex after the birth of the baby whenever you and your partner both feel that it's right for you. The assumption has always been that you had to wait for your six week postnatal check and your doctor to give you the go ahead. But, there is also a suggestion that it may be a good idea to try before the doctor's visit. Then you will be able to discuss any problems you encounter during the love making. However, having sex before the six weeks mark could result in infection, so waiting until after the doctor gives you the go ahead is probably best.

The time for resuming sexual relations is different for each couple. The majority of couples resume their relationships between one and three months following the birth of the baby. But, there are others that wait until about the six month mark, and some that wait even a year. There is no norm to aim for.
Many new mums may feel reluctant or apathetic to love making for a variety of reasons. The most obvious reason is tenderness from a tear or episiotomy and stitches. Even if there isn't an episiotomy or a tear, the perineum can be bruised and sensitive for a time. Use your common sense and allow the wound to heal and the stitches dissolve before attempting sex. 

Another overwhelming factor is tiredness. Caring for a newborn baby twenty four hours a day is exhausting both physically and emotionally. When you finally do get into bed you just want to sleep. 

Your own body perception may also hold you back. Your body may feel so changed by pregnancy and birth that you need time for it to recover. You just don't feel like your old self. Many women report that their libido is low during this time in their lives. They just don't feel sexy.
Sometimes the situation occurs where your partner wants sex before you do. When this happens, both partners need love and understanding to prevent it from becoming a problem. It is important for each of you to talk about your feelings. Your partner may feel rejected if you don't want sex. You need to explain to him that the physical discomfort or anxieties are holding you back. 

The first priority for you as a couple should be to set aside some together time. A great many couples complain that there just isn't time for each other during the first weeks with a baby. Words and cuddles effectively express affection and emotion. Both of you will benefit from this kind closeness. Sex doesn't have to mean full penetration. The stimulation of touch by itself can be highly pleasurable.

More questions

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