Q: My partner and I had twin baby boys 4 months ago. As you can probably imagine, giving birth to two babies was very hard on my body. Having to then be ready to be a mom shortly after the fellas were out made things particularly challenging for me. To be blunt, there was ripping and tearing and my body took a line time to recover. Being run off my feet by two wee babes didn’t help! So, in the meantime, my partner and I haven’t had sex. He is a great person who is helping me as much as possible, but we are both feeling that something is lacking. I’m even having sexy thoughts on the rare occasion I’m not being a new mom! But I just don’t know if my body is physically ready. The thought of having to care for them with grouchy bits makes me scared to even try. When is it safe for me to try sex with my husband again?
A: Congratulations on the new additions to your family! That is wonderful news. And for sure, we completely commiserate with all aspects of your situation. Childbirth is a hard thing, a painful thing, a challenging thing. It is one of the most physical demanding endeavours humans ever encounter and that women can do it shows just how amazing and strong they are!
And for all that struggle to bring new amazing people into our world, women are rewarded with a lot of pain. And twins! Oh my! Here’s a toast to your continued recovery!
The question of when you can return to having sex is a common one. We like sex. We like to have sex. Sex is a great stress reliever when you’ve got two little babies taking up most of your time. Sneaking in some sexytime can make a huge difference in coping with the day!
But the question remains: when?
Each person will be different. It depends on the pregnancy, the birth, the damage done during birth and your healing afterwards. If you are feeling the urge but aren’t sure, the second place to go is your medical caregiver. When you’re being evaluated post-partum, Be sure to ask your doctor or nurse if your body looks to be ready to resume sexy moments. Generally, women are, physically, ready to have sex again 4-6 weeks after giving birth. This timeline can be longer depending on tearing, ripping or other complications.
Now, that’s the physical element. Our bodies are remarkable machines that can rebound and adapt after major physical exertion. However, childbirth is not just a physical event. For so many reasons, giving birth is also extremely emotional and psychologically draining. Post-partum depression is a real and challenging condition that requires much care and consideration for those who suffer. It sounds like you’re doing okay in that department and that is great!
Another potentially challenging situation is the feelings and desires of your partner. Simply put, some partners pressure their partner’s in resuming sexual activity much sooner than they are ready. This is a pretty despicable thing that truly shows the character of the person. It shows a pretty clear lack of respect for the trauma that the mother has gone through with their needs being put above that of the mom.
The only valid reasons for a woman to have sex after childbirth, when her body is entirely ready and she feels able are:
- She wants to.
- She says she wants to.
Fortunately again, your hubby sounds like a keeper who has his head on right. But if the situation does not include complete, unequivocal consent and agreement, then you need to consider your situation with your partner. The two of you have something much more important than sex to worry about—a couple things actually. And as much as you want to pursue some shenanigans, make sure you’ll both in the same headspace first.
Hopefully you find yourself in a great position to get into great positions. Hopefully the stars are aligning. If so, here are some tips that will hopefully help the two of you along:
Lubrication: pregnancy and breastfeeding can sometimes leave women more dry than usual. Add some lube to your fun to avoid re-irritating the vulva and vagina.
Tone up: Getting into the routine of doing Kegel exercises will improve the tone and sensation in your vagina. Both of you will notice a difference!
Go slow and think of pleasure: Take your time. Enjoy everything your partner can do for you...at one-quarter speed. And during all of this time, don’t think about the kids, the chores, your job. Just think about good feelings.