If you’ve recently had a baby, congratulations! While sex might be as far from your mind as possible right now, we look at some top tips for helping you get comfortable when you’re ready to go again.
Endless feeds. Sleepless Nights. Stitches. With all the new challenges that a new baby can bring, it’s not surprising that some mothers say sex is the last thing on their mind. If you’ve recently given birth and are thinking about having sex again – but are worried it might hurt – our top tips will help you leave any discomfort at the bedroom door.
After having a baby, when are you ready to have sex?
Nobody has to remind you that giving birth is a huge deal. It could be a few weeks. Or a few months. A c-section wound or a traumatic labour might understandably put sex on the back burner for a while. Going back to anything that happened pre-birth will depend on so many factors. When you’re ready, and indeed when you have the desire to have sex again will be unique to you. Try not to pay attention to, or feel pressured by what others are doing.
How can you start the ball rolling with your partner?
Talking is a good start. It might not feel all that sexy, but in fact, engaging in intimate conversation can be as sexy as getting naked and lying next to your partner. Opening up about everything from your fears around having sex, to what you’re really looking forward to doing once more, can be the ultimate turn on for both of you.
When you’re ready to pause the talk and get to it, kissing and touching can often be as fulfilling as going straight into full on sex. And remember – what is perceived as ‘full on sex’ is different for everyone. Here are some simple tips to help ensure you’re as comfortable as you should be during sex:
If you have stitches, talk with your doctor first
If you have stitches, or you’re still having some post-partum bleeding, it’s important to make sure that sex won’t increase your risk of infection. Any tear – big or small – can be painful, and should be treated with caution and care so that it can heal properly. Your doctor will be able to give you the all clear once you’re ready to have sex once more.
Look after yourself before and after
Give yourself time to get in the mood. Your mind and body have been used to giving so much recently, so why not give them something back in return? A relaxing bath can be the just the wind-down you need before sex. And if you incur slight pain or inflammation afterwards, a freezer pack wrapped in a towel and pressed against your groin area can help ease pain.
Try new positions
Common sense will tell you that if something doesn’t feel good, don’t go there. The great news is, there are so many creative ways to make sex good for you (and your partner) after giving birth. Because birth takes its toll on your body, positions that were once your old favourites may be a little uncomfortable, and might need a rethink. Take the time to try different things, and keep on talking to your partner so they know what feels good, and what doesn’t.
Positions where you’re more in control (such as cowgirl, on top) are ideal, as you get to move more freely and set the rhythm. If you’re after deep penetration yet want it to feel as smooth and gentle as possible, spooning with your partner allows you to be held and stimulated at the same time. The key is to keep on trying different things, and keep on talking to your partner so they know what feels good, and what doesn’t.
Get your lube on
Yup. It’s an instant hit of moisture for those times when your vagina feels more like a desert plant than a juicy peach. Your hormones are all over the place after you’ve given birth, and for a while your body is desperately trying to find the balance. Be kind to yourself and do everything you can to help your body out.
Durex Naturals lube range has 100% natural ingredients, and works gently with your body to moisturise your vagina, which may be extra sensitive after having a baby. Because it’s designed to make sex feel even more smooth, it can make all the difference between having the type of sex you’d rather give a miss, to having the sex you’ve been missing so much.
Keep an open mind
The pressures you’re under from bringing a new life into the world are big enough, so don’t feel you should be doing things the way you used to do them. This new stage of your life should invite changes that please you and your postpartum body (in all its power and glory).
Masturbating will sometimes be just the ticket for getting a quick hit. And because time is of the essence when you’ve got a new baby, you don’t need to fit these solo sessions around your partner. When your partner does get involved, don’t hold back on asking for what you want. If that’s oral sex without anything else, great.
This is your time to call the shots. Sex in all its forms can be a great way to decompress during the exhausting days of early motherhood, so be clear about what you want, and get your kicks where you can.
Go slow and steady
Even if your labour went smoothly, and your recovery period was relatively straightforward, you might still be concerned about what sex is going to be like after giving birth. When you get back on the horse, take it slow to make sure you’re really enjoying every moment and to ease yourself into it. That’s not to say that if high-voltage, break-the-bed sex is your thing then this can’t happen soon. But if you’ve only recently given birth, take it easy, and you can always up the tempo as you go along!
Along with broken sleep and cracked nipples, it may take a little longer to get turned on than usual. Long stretches of foreplay can be just what you need to relax your mind, enjoy the good feelings, and hold onto some sexy thoughts for next time.