It might be the last thing on your mind. Or, maybe you're one of the few who can't wait until it finally happens. Yes, I'm talking about sex after baby. For most women, the thought of having sex when they're still recovering from childbirth is unappealing, to put it lightly. Your partner, however, might have other feelings about it too. Knowing how to talk to your partner about sex after baby can help you both approach the subject in the most understanding way, even if you're no where close to being ready to jump back in the sack.
Even though I could share my own story about waiting the full six weeks and then some to feel ready to have sex again, the statistics are a bit more powerful. According to one study performed by practitioners at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, of nearly 500 women surveyed, nearly 83 percent of postpartum women experienced "sexual problems" (referring to pain, fear, or negative associations,) within the first six months after giving birth.
According to Parenting, difficulty getting intimate after giving birth is a very common situation that most new parents face. The combination of exhaustion, hormonal changes, physical pain, and relational adjustments can make sex awkward and hard to talk about for the first few weeks (or even months) after your baby comes home. But, like most things, being prepared can help ease you both back into bed and make sex as enjoyable and intimate as possible.
1. Know Your Timeline
Having a bit of a timeframe in the back of your mind can be helpful. Set a day or week that you feel like you'll be ready to try again, so that your partner knows that you're at least willing to try. According to Women's Day, most women are given the green light by their doctor at around six weeks postpartum, however, many don't feel ready to have sex again at that point. Talk to your partner about what the doctor said, how you're healing physically, and when you think you'll be ready to try again.
2. Be Honest
Your partner has an obligation to see things from your point of view. It's OK to be honest and tell them that you just don't feel ready to have sex yet. Talking through your feelings with them is better than masking the problem. Another article from Parenting pointed out that open lines of communication is always better than avoiding a difficult conversation, especially when it comes to sex.
3. Acknowledge How They Feel Too
Chances are that your partner has a very different point of view when it comes to having sex after baby. They've watched your body change over the past 10 months and now, with your new post-baby body, they're probably ready to reconnect more than ever. Although you're the one who actually went through all of those changes and need to be careful for medical and emotional reasons, considering their feelings will help the conversation flow much more easily than if you're both considering only your own feelings.
4. Get Creative
Sex after baby might look and feel much differently than it did before. Even if you're not quite in the mood, there's no harm with trying new ways to get in the mood. Try flirty texts throughout the day, or other things you used to do pre-baby, to get comfortable with the start of your new sex life. The aforementioned Women's Day article noted that you shouldn't be afraid to talk about needing lubricant, insecurities about your postpartum body, or even fear about pain during sex. Open communication is best for both of you.