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Mother and Baby

Sex After Birth: How, When And Why-Not-To-Worry

One of life’s greatest ironies is that having a baby can often put you off the whole ‘having sex’ thing

Babies change everything – your sleep, your shape and your relationship with your partner. Aside from your body having been stretched and pulled around, a newborn’s needs are overwhelming, so sex can become a low priority. But, when it does resume, it can feel different in a positive, exciting way. Honestly.

Take things slowly

Depending on the birth, it can take weeks or months to want penetrative sex again. To discover how you feel, sex psychologist Dr Petra Boynton advises exploring. ‘Use your or your partner’s fingers to gauge how things feel,’ she says.

If you’ve had a caesarean, you may be worried about sex positions that involve weight-bearing around your scar, so Petra advises doing something you probably haven’t done since your teenage years. ‘Have sex with your clothes on. You can try out different positions and see if they feel comfortable,’ she says.

Show each other affection

If relentless feeding, sleepless nights and leaky breasts have left you feeling less than sexy, don’t panic. ‘Just as you can go off sex, so can your partner – whether it’s from exhaustion or watching you go through birth,’ says Petra. ‘All relationships can live without sex for a while, but not without affection and support.’

So make sure you talk to each other. Acknowledge the huge change you’re both going through and, temporarily, take the pressure off having sex. Instead, focus on being thoughtful and affectionate. Yes, even through the sleep deprivation.

Acknowledge the huge change you’re both going through, and temporarily take the pressure off having sex

Change your sex routine

Not being able to revert to your pre-baby sex routine can shake things up. ‘The sex you have initially as new parents may not be the sex you used to have, because you won’t have the time or energy for it,’ says psychologist Corinne Sweet.

‘It’s more likely to be something that gives you both a release, such as a quickie on the sofa while the baby’s napping, mutual masturbation, oral sex or even giving each other a massage in bed.’ It’s normal. And nice, non?

Embrace your new body

It’s easy to punish yourself for your new lumps and bumps, but instead try and love them. ‘You’ve done this incredible thing – created a human being – so try to revel in your womanly curves while they last, because it’s likely your partner will,’ says Corinne.

And don’t let any insecurities about them make you forego sex altogether – just think about what will help you feel more sexual, and make it fun. ‘It may be staying under the covers, being partially clothed, in the dark or using soft lighting,’ says Petra.

Be aware of your breasts

While you may be sporting an impressive pair size-wise, your breasts can turn into 24/7 milk bars that leak and crack.

‘Some women feel more earthy and sensual, while others think their boobs are out of bounds as they’re too sensitive,’ says Corinne. ‘If your breasts leak milk, have sex in the doggy position, so they’re not squashed, or wear a bra with breast pads.’

Feeling comfortable means feeling confident, and you’ll enjoy yourself way more. What are you waiting for?

 
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