Your life: Sex after the babyYou're tired beyond belief. Your sexual desire is nil (thanks to readjusting hormone levels, particularly if you're breastfeeding). Everyday life with a baby is so different from the life you were living when he was conceived that those days seem a distant memory. Just because your doctor proclaims you physically ready for intercourse doesn't mean the rest of you is ready to go along, even if your mate is.
Whether or not you feel like making love, you and your partner can still focus on loving one another. In a University of Wisconsin study, 65 percent of women petted with their partner during the first month after childbirth and 34 percent performed oral sex, while only 17 percent had intercourse.
Here are a few common postpartum concerns about sex:
Will intercourse hurt? If you had any stitches due to a tear in your vagina or an episiotomy, your vagina may still feel tender, and it may be months before the soreness goes away. Because the missionary position may put pressure where you're sorest, consider other positions. If you're breastfeeding, changes in your hormone levels may lead to vaginal dryness; if so, try using a lubricated condom or a lubricant like K-Y Jelly.
Has my vagina been stretched out? No. The vagina is very elastic — it expanded to accommodate your baby and then reverted to pre-pregnancy size afterward. Childbirth doesn't permanently stretch it out of shape. However, Kegel exercises can help strengthen your vagina's muscle tone.
Will my husband still be attracted to me sexually? If your husband seems distant or less interested in sex himself, remember he's going through a lot, too. It's likely he may also be exhausted and stressed by the new demands of having a baby in the house. He also may need time to get adjusted to the fact that his sexy wife is now a mother, too. Talking frankly about your feelings and all the weird changes having a baby brings can draw you closer. If the time's not yet right for sexual intercourse, you can still cuddle, kiss, hug, and please each other in other ways.