New Delhi: Sometimes there is intimacy and other times it might just be a need to have sex; but when you’re adjusting to life with a new baby it can get hard. If you’re not feeling sexy or your afraid that sex will hurt, talk to your partner. Until you’re ready to have sex, maintain intimacy in other ways. Spend time together without the baby, even if it’s just a few minutes in the morning and after the baby goes to sleep. Look for other ways to express affection.
If you’re still struggling, be alert for signs and symptoms of postpartum depression – such as severe mood swings, loss of appetite, overwhelming fatigue and lack of joy in life. If you think you might have postpartum depression, contact your health care provider. Prompt treatment can speed the recovery.
Remember, taking good care of yourself can go a long way toward keeping passion alive. Dr Indu Taneja, Head of Department-Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad gives you more insight on the subject
After about 9 months of reduced sexual activity during pregnancy, a couple may be ready to resume intercourse shortly after the birth of the baby. If a woman has had a caesarean delivery, a perineal tear, or episiotomy, a medical professional will likely recommend that the couple waits until the 6-week postpartum visit before resuming sexual activity.
Following childbirth, a woman’s body enters a healing phase when bleeding stops, tears heal, and the cervix closes. Having intercourse too early, especially within the first 2 weeks, increases the risk of postpartum haemorrhage or uterine infection.
Each woman’s postpartum experience is different. Someone who had a very difficult delivery or an associated complication must follow her doctor’s advice.
A number of factors keep women away from resuming sex, “We found that some women just weren’t sure about their bodies, or they had pain and discomfort.
They have vaginal dryness (lack of oestrogen for 4-6 weeks). Sometimes remembering the pain of childbirth is a deterrent.
Fatigue is the number one enemy of resuming intimacy.”
A few psychological factors like low sex drive can deter one from resuming sex due to the low level of circulating hormones while breastfeeding.
Body image is also a concern, and some women aren’t feeling super comfortable about the changes in their bodies.
Women may not feel mentally prepared or may feel nervous, especially if they tried to have sex and it didn’t go well the first time due to reduced vaginal muscle tone or limited capacity of stretching. To tone your pelvic floor muscles, try Kegel exercises. To do Kegels, imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the marble. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three. Work up to doing the exercise 10 to 15 times in a row, at least three times a day.
To ease discomfort during sex:
Seek pain relief: Take pain-relieving steps beforehand, such as emptying your bladder, taking a warm bath or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you experience burning afterward, apply ice wrapped in a small towel to the area.
Use lubricant.: This can be helpful if you experience vaginal dryness.
Experiment: Discuss alternatives to vaginal intercourse, such as a massage, oral sex or mutual masturbation. Tell your partner what feels good – and what doesn’t.
Make time:.Set aside time for sex when you’re not too tired or anxious.
If sex continues to be painful, consult your health care provider about possible treatment options.
Once a couple resumes sexual activity, keep contraception in mind after 6 weeks of childbirth. A reliable method of birth control following delivery is essential to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Our options immediately after delivery include:
A contraceptive implant, such as etonogestrel (Nexplanon)
A copper or hormonal intrauterine device (IUD)
Progestin-only contraceptives, such as the contraceptive injection medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) or the minipill norethindrone (Camila, Ortho Micronor, others)