Getting back into sex after birth is a major challenge for many moms and this could have a negative effect on your relationship or marriage.
Sexual and reproductive health expert Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng says the the type of birthing process a woman has undergone largely affects how soon after birth her body will be ready for sex.
According to Dr Mofokeng (more popularly known as Dr T), normal vaginal delivery without complications requires a wait of about six weeks since you need to allow your body to heal from the acute stress. “It also depends how you’re feeling,” she adds. “If you are breastfeeding, your body will be tender, your energy quite depleted for a long time, and your hormones need to balance again.
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There are many reasons why women may feel they are not ready to have sex yet.”
If you’ve had a caesarean, your abdominal section is obviously affected, says Dr T. As much as your vagina wasn’t involved, you know that the scar from the caesarean requires healing. Additionally, there are certain sex positions that will cause extreme discomfort.
So what can you do to give yourself a kick-start when you’re ready?
Consult your doctor
You have to consult your doctor before you have sex. Dr T added that there is a lot of pressure for woman to get their pre-pregnancy bodies back as soon as possible. This means that women often fall victim to a lot of gimmicks in a quest to lose the ‘baby’ fat and this often interferes with nursing. She recommends visiting your doctor soon after birth to chat about sex. Make appointments to see your doctor five days after giving birth and again six weeks later.
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The most important thing to remember is that all good things take time. While you might feel like you are ready to get back into sex, your body may disagree. Cuddle, kiss, do whatever is needed to foster closeness between you and your partner. Dr T says: “It can take up to a year for a woman to feel herself again and on top of that, your body image needs to recover. Some women, however, can go back to being sexually active after two or three months and they absolutely love it, so sex after birth can go both ways.”
Make a vow to always discuss ‘sexpectations’ openly with your partner. The same way sex can be an issue during pregnancy, it can also be a stumbling block after your baby is born, says Dr T. She advises women not to put themselves under emotional stress because it will delay arousal and intimacy. Typically, pressure coming from your partner could further alienate you while internal pressure becomes amplified. “There is no medication to help you, you need to allow the natural flow of child-bearing,” she says.
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Accept that your body will change after you’ve given birth. The sooner you fall in love with it (and stay in love), the sooner you can exude confidence (and perhaps go shopping for sexy lingerie).
Ditch the guilt
Your baby will not be neglected if you hook up with your partner for a quickie or a steamy night now and then. Don’t feel bad! You’re a good mother and you’re doing a great job.
To give yourself an extra push, these exercises (courtesy of www.vwhcare.com) will help tighten your vaginal muscles to get you ready for the grind!
Kegel exercises are effective in tightening your vaginal muscles and because it can be done just about anywhere, it’ll be your secret. Kegel exercises consists of contracting and relaxing the vaginal muscles. And repeat!
Yes, you can even bring out the toys. Vaginal props are also useful in tightening your vaginal muscles and are available in cones, balls and barbells. All you have to do is insert the props into the opening of your vagina and tighten around it. After a while, shift to the heavier and smaller props as the muscles grow stronger and become tighter. Special vaginal eggs have been designed to help increase elasticity and blood flow to the vaginal muscles, which will in turn awaken your sexual sensitivity.
Leg raises and squats
Believe it or not, leg raises and squats are tried & test methods that help with with tightening your vagina if it’s become loose from childbirth. Simply keep your legs straight, keep them elevated for a minute or two and then lower. Repeat and alternate your legs.
Additional reporting: www.vwhcare.com