They enter the world in so many different ways and the effects on a woman’s body can be minimal or quite significant. It’s not just the physical scars that last; traumatic births, fears of getting pregnant again, anxiety, post natal depression and just plain exhaustion.
Therefore sex after having a little one can be one of the last things on your mind or possibly after a little bit, one of the first things. It’s not just the women either, partners may be affected by the birth and have any of the issues listed in the above paragraph.
I had a little nosey on Babycentre and they recommend at least 3 weeks or until the after birth bleeding has stopped. This just avoids the chance of an infection.
I wrote an honest post a while ago on sex during pregnancy and received some really honest thoughts from the blogging community. I expected quite a light hearted post on a fun activity but instead was met with the sad reality that it is not always the woman who is not keen on sex during pregnancy but the partners. The reasons for this were not always the most heartfelt either.
I wondered what the the consensus would be for sex after pregnancy. I was expecting a good mix of responses and I was given just that.
Like everything in life, we humans are all different and the length of time couples seem to have waited can completely vary. This is what I mean:
“After we had my daughter I barely lasted two weeks before I dived on him! It was like crazy hormones 🙈It did hurt the first time – less pain and more uncomfortable like losing your virginity again. However after that it was back to normal quickly. this pregnancy I don’t want to be touched as I feel so ill and have had so many complications.” Alex from Better Together Home.
” It has differed depending on each birth I have had. After my first I couldn’t even think of it for 3 months due to amount of stitches I had. With the others we have tried after 2/3 weeks, if it was sore we waited.” Lynne from A Day in Life of a Mum of 6.
“I think 48 hours is more than enough time. But seriously, I think it was several weeks after all 3 of ours. I hate to say it, but I found watching childbirth quite traumatic, so I wasn’t desperate to have sex that soon after! It was just a case of my wife telling me when she was ready.” Pete from Household Money Saving.
“Two or three weeks with the first two, but with the third I had to have surgery for a 3rd degree tear so it was about 4 or 5 weeks.” Rachel from Coffee, Cake, Kids.
“Well given there is just 12 months between my youngest two it’s clear that we got down to it pretty early on! We’d definitely had sex before my six week check with all of the children….I think the longer you leave it the scarier it becomes to see if it all still works!!” Laura from Five Little Doves.
“After a traumatic birth with my first, I didn’t want to be touched by even a barge pole. It was around 7 weeks when we consciously started getting more intimate. But, after about 5 months, I felt bad for my poor patient husband and I ended up getting pregnant with my second – believe me, the odds were against me getting pregnant, but we did!” Leyla from Motherhood Diaries.
“I don’t think we lasted the six weeks wait and had to get the morning after pill each time hah! not sure how we managed it to be honest with three children and exhaustion haha!” Sarah from Mummy Cat Notes.
“I had 3rd degree tears the first time and was so very, very scared of having sex in case my stitches broke. I waited 3 months before I felt brave enough to have sex again. Fortunately my husband understood and was really gentle and tender when we first started having sex again.” Jenny from Monkey and Mouse.
“We were months afterwards, I’m always astounded at how quickly people do it afterwards! I think Harry was about four months old and it was after our first night out as a couple.” Amy from A Mum Full of Dreams.
“A long time for me. I had an emergency c-section with my first and then had an infection. I think it was around 3 months.
The second was a planned section with no infection and heeling quite fast but was still around 9 weeks due to stitches etc, sneezing made me feel like my insides were going to spill out of my stitches and twisting movements hurt……it was the most boring none moving sex for a while until fully heeled (I think he was just so glad to get some he didn’t mind).” Clare from Emmy’s Mummy.
“My daughter has just turned 2 and we still haven’t. A very traumatic birth followed by very serious infections and mental health issues have caused me to be too scared of getting pregnant again to even think about wanting to. I have no desire whatsoever for it any more.” Lyndsey from Me, Him, The Dog and The Baby.
“We were a few weeks after both of mine. Fortunately neither were traumatic births so I think that definitely helps, although I remember being nervous about it.” Kerry from Blissful Domestication.
“I think the birth makes a big difference. It was 3 months ish after my first – 4 hour Labour and stitches. After second it was about 3 weeks but she came very quickly and I had no tears or stitches. I felt pretty normal again after a few weeks.” Danielle from Someone’s Mum.
“We had twins so even if I had wanted to, it was a logistical nightmare as rarely were they both asleep at the same time I think it was a good few months when they started sleeping a little bit longer.” Beth from Twinderelmo.
“I recovered from a harsh birth badly, and had to wait for gynecaelogist check-up. I was cleared for penetrative sexually only after about 4 months. To be honest, it was a relief to have a medical reason not to feel pressured to jump in the sack straight away and I’m glad we waited, as I didn’t have any pain at that point anymore. And anyway, while you are waiting you can do lots of other things in bed that are nice but not as scary as full-on sex.” Irina from Wave to Mummy.
“I waited around 5-6 months both times and I really didn’t enjoy it for almost a year after each. I was too terrified the stitches would rip open and couldn’t think of anything else aside from the pain of the birth down there! It was the same after both births. It was the last thing I wanted to do. With breast feeding for a year I just didn’t feel sexy at all!” Victoria from Healthy Vix.
“t was a year for me, but I been stitched so badly, I needed an operation to fix it and reinstate ‘access’ (sorry for TMI!). After that, things improved quickly!” Nikki from Yorkshire Wonders.
“This seems like such a big deal at the time but now the time has past I’m struggling to remember. My first was a c section so I wasn’t as worried about sex and think it was around 8 weeks give or take. I was mostly worried about pressure on my incision. When we did it, it was fine. My second was a vaginal birth that caused quite a lot of damage and we waited months and months and months. With 2 young non-sleeping kids we really didn’t care though, it wasn’t high on our priority list. The first several times we did it, it was uncomfortable. I think it’s really important that women aren’t rushed at all and get to heal physically and emotionally from the trauma of birth.” Nyomi from Nomipalony.
“About 6 weeks after my third child. In reality though, it’s logistically challenging to have any intimate time as the children/work/general life takes up nearly all my time. The first time I was so scared of any pain but it was fine. It took a good long time (about a year) before I had any desire for sex but I think that’s more because of stress in my life than birth issues.” Alice from Living with a Jude.
“After a forceps delivery and therefore stitches I think it was about 6 weeks. We didn’t wait as such, it was just when we both felt comfortable – him that he wouldn’t hurt me and me that I felt fully healed.” Kim from Raising a Ragamuffin.
“After an awful birth and an eating disorder it was a good few months. But then after second birth it was a lot faster.” Sophie from Mama Mei.
“We tried just after six weeks. I was really eager to ‘get it over and done with’ but it was painful and not at all enjoyable. I had a ventouse delivery with a second degree tear so not the worst type of delivery and yet it took a long time for me to feel back to normal again. Sex was painful for quite a long time and I was also anxious that it wouldn’t feel the same for my husband.” Nicola from Mummy to Dex.
“Our wedding day was 6 weeks after my first son was born so we waited until then. It was actually really special and we both enjoyed it! With baby no2&3 I seemed to heal a lot quicker and 3 weeks was the right time for both of us.” Samantha from North East Family Fun.
“After birth me and my husband waited 4 weeks to have sex. It was torture. Even though I was recovering from a 2nd degree tear after birth I was so horny. I was gagging for it at a week but thought I best wait because of my stitches. We done other things though to keep me satisfied.
“My husband said he thought it’d be a lot longer before we had sex again judging by what he’s read on Dadblogs.
To begin with it felt really strange to have sex and I had to make sure I was very turned on it actually do it. Now it’s easier and doesn’t feel as uncomfortable but my husband says that I’m a lot tighter than I used to be before baby. Which is weird. We’re now 15weeks postpartum and are back to the usual amount of sex just not as rough as before!” Bella from Documenting The Drews.
“As I was only left with two tiny grazes after a 10.3 pound baby my OH thought that meant we could get straight back to it! I think we waited around 4 weeks and it was lovely and I’m happy we did do it quite early.” Nadia from Scandimummy.
“It was about 3 months after my first. Mind you he was forceps. With my second we waited for about 7 weeks, but it did hurt which put me off for another few weeks! I was nervous both times, which seems silly now. My husband was a perfect gentleman, he waited until I was ready and still made me feel attractive in the meantime. Even with the jelly tummy, swollen boobs and bags under the eyes!” Claire from Life, Love and Dirty Dishes.
As you can see there were some very different responses, totally depending on the type of birth it seems. Of course a more traumatic birth, may make the wait a little longer. For me it was 5 weeks with both girls. I think both times we could have earlier but I was a bit nervous. There was never any pressure and especially with my first, I didn’t feel myself for a few weeks. It was a massive shock to the system; life would never be the same and I think for a while, sex was the last thing on my mind.
If you are reading this asking the question of when is the right time only YOU will know that. There should be no pressure. You and your partner need to be comfortable, ready and happy to get your physical relationship back.