Reclaiming Your Sex Life After the Baby
By Rebecca Geiger
"Sex!" you laugh, "What's that?" Sure, distant memories of candlelight
dinners, slinky negligees, and drinking champagne in your high-heeled
shoes can still stir a nostalgic sigh or two. But even months after the
birth of your baby, the last thing on your mind is a romp in the hay.
That's perfectly normal and the reasons are myriad. Factors include:
When you find yourself with some downtime,
sleep can seem a lot more appealing than sex. "Even if there's
interest, it can seem like such a big production," says Kathy Kahn, a
33-year-old Denver mother of Tyler, seven months.
In the months after birth, you may be
sore, or have tender breasts. And if breastfeeding, your estrogen
levels are lower, resulting in dryness and further discomfort.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
(ACOG), it's important to wait until tissues have completely healed --
which takes about four weeks -- before resuming sexual activity.
- Decreased desire
What goes up, must come down. This
is true of post-pregnancy hormone levels, and consequently, sexual
urges. "My libido was nearly nonexistent for about four months," says
Kahn. "Because I was nursing, I had a closeness with my baby that my
husband wasn't part of. I had intimacy all day long, so sex didn't feel
It's also not unusual to feel less attractive
after giving birth -- which doesn't do much for desire. Chances are
you've got some post-baby weight to lose, or are so busy caring for the
baby that you haven't had time to devote to things that make you feel
good about yourself, like exercise or getting a manicure. Rest
assured, at some point you will probably feel ready, willing, and able
to have sex again. Before you lower the lights and get down to business
with your partner, get the OK from your doctor, and remember that
rebuilding a sex life takes time. Some tips to help you get going:
- Keep an open mind
Getting close doesn't have to mean
intercourse. Apprehensive? Try holding or gently massaging each other.
Gradually include foreplay, and talk to your partner if you're
- Try lubricants
They do wonders for dryness. ACOG recommends a water-soluble cream or jelly.
- Be flexible
Different positions can definitely help
bring back spice. The woman-on-top position may make it easier for you
to move, and more able to enjoy sex.
Experts suggest waiting until you won't be rushed, such as when the baby is asleep for the night or off with relatives.
- Use birth control (even if breastfeeding)
cycle is still off, it's difficult to know when exactly you will
ovulate, which means you could get pregnant again before you want to.