Lovemaking after childbirth

Lovemaking after childbirth

| |  Family Practice

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Making love after childbirth can be a tricky thing, and many new moms aren’t ready as soon as new dads are. It’s important for men to first understand the many physical and psychological reasons a woman needs to wait, and then to learn how to make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible once the time comes. Compassion, patience and expressed love are crucial at this time in a couple’s life. A man may need to practice male organ care in the form of a little more self-pleasuring during this time, but he can rest assured that, if the situation is handled respectfully, his intimate life will return soon enough.

1) The fear of pain is real. Whatever kind of birth a woman has - natural, assisted natural or C-section - she is susceptible to postpartum pain, particularly during penetrative activity. This pain can present for weeks or even months.

  It’s not considered safe for women to make love for the first two weeks after any form of delivery; the body needs to recover, and she may be bleeding during this time. Making love while bleeding can increase her risk of infection. If she delivered naturally, her organ needs to recover; if she had a C-section, her abdominal wound needs to heal. Six weeks is the generally administered advice for waiting, but she may need longer.

2) She may not be in the mood for a while. There are a number of reasons that a new mom may not be feeling frisky, and they don’t have anything to do with her attraction to her partner. One reason is hormonal: Women have less female hormone available within the first four to six weeks after delivery, and for the duration of time they breastfeed. This can cause dryness in her female organ as well as loss of sensual drive.

Also consider the exhaustion she must be feeling. After nine months (give or take) of carrying around a baby in her belly, then going through childbirth, she is taking on the demands of parenting a newborn (as her partner is as well). She may have absolutely no energy available for making love at this time.

3) She may not be feeling good about her body. Body self-consciousness is highly common among all women, but perhaps more so among those who are pregnant or have just given birth. Her body is changing rapidly; if she’s breastfeeding, it’s also in high demand as essentially a food source for another human being, so she might be feeling a bit like her body isn’t hers anymore.

4) She may be depressed. Postpartum depression can be severe, and can easily impact her desire. It’s important for a woman with this condition to have a good support network, and for her partner to be a part of it.

What Can a Man Do?

First, being fully supportive and accepting of his partner’s limitations around making love is crucial.

To combat pain when lovemaking is resumed, men should have on hand plenty of lubricant and should assume positions that won’t put pressure on her sore spots (such as spooning if she had a C-section). If it turns out she’s still too sore, offer to provide manual or oral pleasure instead.

To help her feel better about her body, remind her of the amazing feat it just accomplished - bringing life into this world. Appreciate her body - provide intimate touch (if she wants it): cuddle, caress and kiss. Show her that you cherish her, inside and out.

 

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