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The post-partum period is the first few (usually six) weeks after delivering the baby. Sex might be the last thing you think of during this time. Sexual desires might decrease due to the following:
- Healing from the incision (in case of a vaginal delivery)
- Cesarean birth healing (abdominal incisions)
- Fatigue caused by the whole birthing process and pregnancy
- Stress caused by the newly born baby (especially more so in case of triplets or twins)
- Shifts in the hormonal levels
- Breastfeeding related breast sores
- Emotional difficulties such as parenting anxiety, relationship problems with the baby’s father
- Postpartum blues
After the incision (if any) has fully healed along with the delicate vaginal tissues, it is generally safer to have intercourse. It might take a few weeks for the healing process to fully complete. The doctor will be able to give a more personal advice on when it is ok to start having sex again. Usually in case of a normal delivery, the waiting period is 6 weeks. The emotional readiness and physical comfort is extremely important as well. In a lot of cases it might take up to a year for normal sex life of the couple to resume again.
Also, there is a common misconception amongst many couples that during the postpartum period, having a baby again isn’t possible. Condoms should be used if you aren’t abstaining from sex in the postpartum period. This helps in avoiding an unplanned pregnancy and the complications that can arise from two successive deliveries.
The body goes through a lot of changes after giving birth. Low libido affects the sex drive. The body needs time to recuperate and might not be ready for sex immediately after giving birth as it switches itself to give care for the new born. A break is often necessary as the body and mind heal.
Vaginal dryness in the postpartum weeks is also very common. Lube and lots of it can help. The vagina, in the initial weeks, stretches out quite a bit. It slowly starts returning to its original contracted state as the muscles become tight again.
It’s also important to remember that you can be intimate with your partner after you give birth to a baby, without having sex. Body contact and cuddles are ways of expressing your affection towards your partner. Love doesn’t need to be dependent on sex! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.