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You’ve recently given birth and he can’t wait to start having sex…

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Perhaps you and your partner thought that once you got rid of the bump in your stomach, you would want sex again. If it hasn’t happened, don’t be too concerned – it’s perfectly normal! Many women experience changes to their sexuality after childbirth, and most have a lower sex drive than normal for at least a month or two after giving birth.

I’m no longer pregnant. Why don’t I feel like sex?

Following childbirth, many changes occur in a woman’s body. First of all, her hormone levels change. As hormones regulate a woman’s sex drive and her sexual response (for example, the extent to which her vagina lubricates itself), the hormonal changes associated with childbirth mean her sex drive and sexual responses change.

There are also new emotional demands as the woman is coping with caring for her new baby. This may mean she is tired, relates to her partner in different ways, or simply doesn’t have time away from the baby to think about sex. She may also be self-conscious about her post-pregnancy body or her larger lactating breasts. When you consider all these things, it’s little wonder that many women don’t feel like sex after childbirth!

Is sex safe?

Women (and their partners) may have concerns about whether or not it is safe to have sex after having a baby. Rest assured! Most women can safely start having sex just two weeks after giving birth. However, if you had stitches you might need to wait a bit longer – talk to your doctor to find out when it is safe for you to have sex.

You’ll still need to be careful about sexually transmitted infections, so you may need to have a condom handy. And remember, you can fall pregnant again, even if you’re breastfeeding, so you’ll need to choose an appropriate contraceptive method. There are many methods which can be used right after childbirth (even if you’re breastfeeding), so talk to your doctor and make sure you’re prepared!

Let’s talk about sex, baby

A little chat with your partner may be a good remedy! If you are scared to talk to him, remember that he’s probably scared, too – even if he wants to talk! He’s never given birth, so it’s difficult for him to understand what you’re going through. He may be wondering why you don’t want to have sex, or he may be scared that sex will cause you pain.

If you think he’s avoiding you because he finds your stretch marks unattractive, think again. Many men are very attracted to their partners after childbirth because of the changes to their body. Even if you don’t think you’re sexy, your partner probably does. Often the only thing stopping him from dragging you to the bedroom is his belief that you’re not in the mood.

But I still don’t feel like sex!

Talking will help you and your partner understand each other. But it won’t necessarily change your sexual feelings, so you might need to try some other strategies.

Remember that sex is not the be all and end all of a relationship. Appreciate spending time with your partner and try other ways of being intimate. It’s the perfect time to con him into giving you a romantic massage (after all that hard work giving birth, you deserve it!) or lots of kisses and cuddles. Being intimate might be just the turn on that you need!

Finding the right kind of sex

When you’re ready to have sex (and don’t start until you feel ready!) you may find you need to do things a little differently than before. Perhaps you need to organise a babysitter so you can have some uninterrupted time with your partner. It’s also a good idea to have a water-based lubricant handy (and insist on lots of foreplay!) as many women find they don’t produce as much natural lubrication after giving birth.

Try experimenting with different positions. When you first have sex, it might be a good idea to start on top, so that you control the intensity of penetration. Keep trying until you find a position that feels good, and don’t be shy to tell your partner how sex feels and what you want.

Sex after childbirth isn’t always easy, and women’s sexual problems don’t necessarily fix themselves. But with a little effort, you can have a great sex life. Communicate, be confident and, most importantly, enjoy yourself!

More information


For more information, see Sexuality After Childbirth.

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Posted On: 19 July, 2010
Modified On: 28 August, 2014

Created by: myVMC