If your baby has just arrived, or is due to, you may still be harbouring illusions that your sex life will be back to normal in no time. If you are, stop. As a new dad, you’re going to have to learn that sex is a whole different matter when you’re a parent.
First there’s the recommended waiting period of four to six weeks after your partner delivers that you’ll have to wait. Because infections are likely while your partner is still healing, you won’t be able to have penetrative sex during that time. There’s also lochia, the bloody post-baby discharge that you need to contend with, and while it is possibly to engage in external sexual activity, like oral sex, there’s a good chance both of you will be too tired anyway. Instead, use the time to connect physically through hugs, touches and even hand holding. It’s important to stay connected, but pushing for sex is dangerous and could cause friction in your relationship.
Next, you need to forget everything that you’ve heard about not getting pregnant while breastfeeding. Even though women who are breastfeeding are less likely to be fertile, they can still get pregnant, so unless you want to try for another baby immediately, always use birth control. Discuss contraception choices with your partner before you start having sex again and always assume that she’s fertile.
You’ll also have to realise that while your wife may be physically able to have sex six weeks after your baby is born, that doesn’t mean she’s emotionally ready, or that she wants to. Having a baby is a huge physical, mental and emotional strain, and there’s a good chance she won’t be into the idea of sex for some time after your child has arrived. Then there’s tiredness, crankiness and the changes that her body have had on her self esteem. The best advice is to take it slow, and let your partner take the lead.
If you do decide to try to get your wife in the mood for sex, your approach should be romance, romance and more romance. Your wife is probably hormonal, emotional and physically exhausted, and you’re both adjusting to having a whole new person in your lives. Start slow, reassure her that you love her, and make the little romantic gestures that women fall in love with.
Finally, when you are both ready to try sex again, take it slow. Let your partner take the lead here too, as she may still be in pain, or scared of pain. Vaginal dryness is also a common problem for new mums, so you may want to invest in lubricant before hand. Also remember that when you first start having sex again, there’s a good chance it will be interrupted by your child. Patience, and a sense of humour, is key!