When pregnant I was told many things about sex post-partum, and frankly I have found that most of those things were either only 1/2 true or entirely missed the mark. At least that is for most women I know.
What are women told?
– 6 weeks after birth you will be healed and can resume intercourse. This goes for both c-section or vaginal births. Unless you have a particularily traumatic birth, it can even be much less time.
– Breastfeeding causes vaginal dryness and so you will need a lot of lubricant.
– It can be diffficult to overcome the two obstacles of making time given your new responsibilies, and the psychological hurdle of getting back into the mood.
– If you are on any online forums, you will read many posts about women who sucessfully start earlier than 6 weeks.
What is the reality?
– The concensus amongst women I’ve spoken with is that it takes many of them 4 months or longer to attempt intercourse for the first time.
– Lubricant is not always enough. Yes, things will move smoothly and without pain, but that does not mean it will feel the same or even totally enjoyable.
– It can take up to 6 months for sex to feel the same as it did prior to having a baby. This can be partly due to breastfeeding. It causes dryness, and at 6 months when you start solids you also decrease feedings, which leads to less arid lady parts. Also, your hormones have gone through quite the wild ride over the past year and they take time to get back into alignment.
– It seems that people who get right back at it shortly after birth are the ones who love to shout it to the world, while the rest of us quietly wonder why we can’t seem to figure out how to make that leap again! Good for those who have no issues; however, it is more likely that you will be someone who encouters some sort of problem.
– No matter how patient your partner is, nor how long you wait for the ‘right moment’, the first time post partum may be just plain crappy.
So while you’re being told of these medical timelines, psychologically and physically most women are really not ready when doctors claim they will be. Yes, you can have sex once your doctor clears you; however, it is absolutely not abnormal to wait longer…. even much longer.