All questions answered about intimacy after pregnancy: By Dr.Priyanka, Leading Gynaecologist at ePsyClinic.com
20 Aug 2015
Birth of a baby is the most wonderful experience for a couple but this little bundle of joy can actually be a sex killer. The time after childbirth can be challenging and getting back to normal emotionally physically takes its toll on all couples.
1. When is the right time to start sexual relations again?
All women have vaginal discharge and bleeding after birth (vaginal or caesarean)Called lochia and it’s better to abstain till it stops at around 4-6 weeks. Having sex before the discharge stops puts you at risk of pelvic infection.
In case of vaginal birth and stitches it may take longer than 8 weeks till healing completes.
2. How to get over the fatigue and sleeplessness to feel sexy again?
For moms of newborns sheer fatigue can be the biggest roadblock to resume a sex life. Sometimes even dad, may be tired. If fatigue is keeping you away from sex the first important thing is to talk it out with your partner.
3. How to cope with emotional issues and anger resentment?
If you are angry with your partner you will not have sex with them. Many of these can be addressed through discussion with your partner. Every couple should seek therapy after childbirth to help resolve smaller problems. One typical feeling is anger or resentment about being at home leaving a well-paid job while your spouse has normal routine
4. Do post pregnancy hormones affect sex drive?
Estrogen levels are down after pregnancy and that can cause vaginal dryness which makes sex more painful. A topical lubricant like lignocaine jelly can be used to help in lubrication. But painful intercourse could be due to infection and it is important to consult your gynaecologist. Hormonal changes also lead on to postpartum blues and [postpartum depression which again bring down sexual desire. Talking to a counsellor does help tide over feeling of helplessness and anxiety.
5. Does breast feeding affect sexual desire?
Babies may not sleep through the night and need a feed every two to three hours in the initial months. Feeding the baby drains a mother physically and emotionally at times and block the sexual desires. There may be some milk leak which can be a turn off and also breasts may be tender. Again this settles with time and by six months as baby get weaned off things do settle down.
6. Body image post pregnancy and its effects?
Weight gain during pregnancy, stretch marks, cesarean scar are all body changes which are inevitable and it’s important that partners realize that. Women who feel depressed due to the body changes again need support and talking it out starting an exercise plan helps. Pelvis floor kegels exercises to tone the pelvic muscles are easily learnt and need to be done daily for at least three to six months post-delivery. These are repetitive tightening and releasing of the pelvic muscles exercises which also help vaginal tears to heal.
7. What are the alternatives available?
If full blown intercourse is not possible just hugging holding hands relaxing foot massage can be explored. The first year with the baby is physically exhaustive. Both partners need to accept the change. It’s not about how much sex you are having but how you feel about it.
It’s realistic to think that things will not be the same as re baby and find comfort and joy in each other.
Tags: #Sex-life #post-partum