In general, the doctor will give a green light for you and your husband to return to having sex after giving birth within the next four to six weeks. But this does not mean your sex life will return to normal, as it should before the baby comes to the world.
The body of a mother will not be able to come back exactly as it was. Although this is something natural, it is undeniable that physical changes can make sex after giving birth a challenge in itself. Below are a number of body changes from a new mother after childbirth that can affect your sexual desire.
Having sex after giving birth, what needs to be considered?
1. Decreased sex drive
If you are not in the mood for having sex after giving birth, you are not alone - many new mothers are also like that. Because even if it is past six weeks that the doctor recommends, your body still has to recover from post-natal physical trauma. Your hormones and emotions change dramatically, your uterus shrinks, your cesarean section or episiotomy is being healed, and you may be tired and overwhelmed caring for your new baby and family. In addition, the hormone estrogen which drops sharply after giving birth will make you lose sex drive.
"Many women take up to a year before feeling well and ready to return to sex," said Hope Ricciotti, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School and obstetrician at the hospital Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston, reported from WebMD.
The good news is that your sex drive will not be forever zero. The interest in having sex will gradually rise again with recovery - although it will be different when exactly for everyone. The most important thing is to let your body fit up to 100 percent before actually going to bed. For a while, you and your partner can look for intimacy through other alternatives, such as hugging, kissing, or even just watching a movie together after your little one sleeps.
2. Dry and stretchy vagina
After giving birth, it is possible that the skin between the vagina and anus will be torn or must be cut. This is called an episiotomy, and nearly 50 percent of women giving birth will experience this. But regardless of whether or not you are on a biotomy, the vagina generally feels softer and looser - and may never return to its exact form from before pregnancy. Even women who give birth by caesarean section can also experience this because the remaining pregnancy hormones widen the pelvic brim door.
On the other hand, the vagina will feel drier after giving birth due to the sharp decrease in the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels will be even lower when you enter breastfeeding, so vaginal dryness will be more pronounced. Low estrogen hormones cause low sex drive and decreased vaginal ability to produce natural lubricants.
It may take several months before you begin to feel comfortable with your vaginal changes after giving birth. However, if you feel something is wrong - pressure, feeling of "looseness" or pain that continues during intercourse - this can be a sign of pelvic prolapse. This is a condition that requires doctor's attention.
Meanwhile, the best thing you can do to restore your vaginal state is with Kegel exercises that can help tighten the pelvic floor muscles and around the vagina. In addition, there is nothing wrong with using sex lubricants if you want to try again having sex after giving birth.
4. The stomach is still big
Many women hope that after giving birth their stomach will return to its normal size immediately. In fact, it takes around 6-8 weeks before the uterus shrinks back to its size before becoming pregnant. So in the meantime, your stomach may still look like you are about six months pregnant.
What's more, it takes up to a year or more to lose your pregnant weight. Plus you may still have to deal with stretch marks, scars, bigger foot size, sagging breasts, even hair loss.
Try not to think about the body changes you are experiencing right now. Stress thinking of a bad body image kills the mood to make love. Take care of yourself as best you can and treat yourself to love and affection while you restore your body. Admire every achievement your body experiences: You carry a baby in your stomach for nine months, and successfully bring it to the world alone. Your child is in the world thanks to all your struggles. And what is prettier, stronger, and sensual than being a mother?
5. Breast milk may leak when orgasm
Orgas releases oxytocin, the hormone that triggers the release of breast milk, aka letdown reflex. This is why your milk may leak (even spurting) when you and your partner have sex after giving birth. Although this can be embarrassing for you, but rest assured that the situation of breastfeeding leaking during orgasm is not impossible to happen even in women who have never given birth.
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