Sex After One (or more) Babies
Having a baby places special challenges on your lovemaking:
Challenge # 1:
You may find that you feel more vaginal dryness (especially common in moms who are breast feeding) and that your episiotomy makes intercourse uncomfortable for the first six weeks or so.
If you've learned anything from this web site, I'm sure you've discovered that sex is much more than intercourse. Having a baby is another one of life's major transitions. There are going to be changes to your body, to your relationship, and to your sexual response. It can be an opportunity to discover many options for arousing and satisfying each other sexually.
Vaginal intercourse isn't the only way you can enjoy sex. Instead of "waiting" for six weeks to have any intimacy -- explore what feels good to both of you. Talk about your fears, your likes, your desires or concerns. There are some wonderful water soluble lubricants available. Astroglide is one example. Warm them under some running water to increase the soothing effect. Ask your MD for a list of suggestions that can be purchased over the counter.
Challenge # 2:
Another problem may be that your husband is worried about hurting you so he doesn't touch your breasts of genitals which makes it harder for you to feel turned on.
Of course it's uncomfortable to be touched when your breasts hurt or your episiotomy hasn't healed. To accommodate the tender tissue, certain positions for intercourse may be uncomfortable like the male above position or rear entry. It allows the woman less control. You want to keep the pressure from the penis away from the posterior part of your vagina. Woman on top allows you more freedom of movement and you can direct his penis against the top part of your vagina. And of course, talk about what feels better to you. Don't get into the all or none philosophy. Remember to hold hands, kiss warmly, find entrancing places that long to be comforted and caressed and take your time. Hopefully your little one will stay asleep for the hour.
Challenge # 3:
Fatigue is another huge problem. Being awakened every two to four hours to feed little Hector or Henrietta can put a serious cramp into your enthusiasm and overall energy level.
Learn to be flexible. You may not feel hot to trot just before bed or first thing in the morning. Take advantage of those nap times and take a nap too (with your lover)! There is a great little machine that I discovered years ago called a Swingomatic. It allowed 30 minutes of uninterrupted bliss while my little angel was rocked to dream land. I understand that they are now available in one-hour models!
And don't forget that your relationship deserves time. Get a baby sitter and go to a hotel for some peaceful time away from the smells of baby food and diapers. After a relaxing nap, some loving may be in order. Don't rush into intercourse...spend time getting to know one another again. Just because you're parents doesn't mean you're no longer lovers.
Challenge # 4:
"My body feels differently." You may feel that your vaginal muscles aren't as tight following the delivery of your bundle of joy or that some urine is escaping at inopportune times. This improves with time but there are exercises you can do to speed up the process.
Tried and true Kegel exercises are great for getting your PC (puboccygeus muscles) back into shape. They surround the opening of your urethra, vagina, and rectum. It also helps to prevent the development of stress incontinence in later years (that's when you find yourself "leaking" urine when you sneeze or laugh). The great thing about Kegels is that you can do them anywhere and anytime. Red lights are great times to practice. It takes less than a minute. The muscles that you'll be strengthening are the ones that stop the urine flow. I tell my patients to imagine an elevator going up 5 floors and contracting the PC muscles a bit at a time as you ascend. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds and then relax gradually as the elevator descends. Practice this as often as you remember and your PC muscles will be in great shape!
Challenge # 5:
"We have no privacy now that we have kids".
Once the little ones are asleep (early bed times are healthy for kids and parents)...use those convenient locks on your bedroom door. Kids need to know that mom and dad needs private time to be together. The fact that people who are married and love each other have sex isn't something to hide. I'm not suggesting you have intercourse in the open in front of your kids, but I am saying that they should see you hug, kiss, and treat one another lovingly. I know so many couples who don't hesitate to criticize their spouses in front of their children but are uncomfortable showing affection. "It's too private", they'll say. What does this teach our children about intimacy and marriage? It will take more creativity, planning, and determination, but make sure that you make time for loving. It will pay off big time.
Challenge # 6:
"I just don't feel like it! The last thing I want to do is be sexual. Will I ever get that feeling back?"
Yes. Don't give up hope. Give yourself some time to get adjusted to the new role of Mommy and Daddy... but don't wait forever. Role changes and responsibilities are a biggy. Lives become preoccupied with formulas, diaper changes, and teething. Taking time for yourself seems like a luxury and mañana follows mañana. Soon it's been three weeks (or -- gasp -- three years) with no intimacy!
I tell my couples to begin touching when they feel neutral or positive. Don't wait for that overwhelming surge of uncontrollable passion. Just make time to touch your special person in loving ways. It doesn't have to lead to "IT." Touch is healing and reassuring. It's the body's emotional fuel. You always take time for a meal, even a quick one. Make sure to touch on a daily basis or you may "forget" how to be romantic. Once you take a few minutes to touch in loving/sensual ways, you might discover you've primed the pump and erotic feelings start to flow. Don't do anything that feels uncomfortable--just take a moment to remember how you created your little bundle of joy. Husbands (and wives) need reassurance that they're still desirable and sexy. Flirt, smile, and tell her/him that you find them irresistible. I know it's hard to do, but no one ever said this would be easy. Put in the effort and you'll be one of those silver-haired couples who are still having Extraordinary Sex long after your baby has left for college.
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