For new parents, marriage can easily be categorized into two parts. Pre-baby and post-baby. As a woman tries to deal with her role of motherhood followed by raging hormones, the man of the house is left feeling confused and often uncared for. To make matters worse, there will be plenty of advice from friends, parents, and acquaintances which may not be reliable. Add to that a tiny human who needs your attention throughout the day. Clearly, sex after pregnancy is going to be a little different and you need to be aware of why and how that is. Here are some popular myths, busted.
1. She’s Ready When The Doctor Say So
Childbirth is a laborious process with long-standing mental and physical changes. So, while your doctor may have given the go-ahead after six weeks, your wife may not yet be ready. That’s because her body is going through dramatic hormonal changes while her episiotomy wounds are healing. Plus, nursing an infant 10-12 times a day is no easy task. Talk to your wife and find out what she’s comfortable with. Be mindful of her needs and take it slow.
2. It’s Never Going To Feel The Same
It’s true that childbirth temporarily stretches the vaginal muscles and tissues. And physical intimacy during this period may feel different than what it used to be. However, the good news is that your body is always healing and your natural anatomy should return to normalcy a few months from delivery. Kegels or pelvic floor exercises are a great way to help get in shape faster.
3. The Pain
Some women may experience discomfort during intercourse. This could be a result of ‘pelvic organ prolapse’. Hormone changes post-pregnancy also causes vaginal dryness which makes adds to the issue. Others may experience pain from a C-section or episiotomy that hasn’t fully healed. During this time, it’s more important to make your wife feel comfortable. Start by working towards emotional intimacy and talk to each other openly about the challenges you’re facing. It’s also advisable to consult your doctor if the pain persists.
4. She Isn’t Into It Like She Used To Be
As most women tend to hold back on sex after delivery, it’s common for their spouse to feel uncared for. But before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to understand what she is going through. For one, lactating mothers tend to have lower estrogen. This results in a plummeting libido and vaginal dryness, making sex a more complicated affair. Many mothers also tend to feel worn-out and tired. Some, even experience post-partum depression if they don’t receive the right care and attention. Others still feel conscious of their now-changed body. Such mental and physical changes may cause a new mother to act differently. But what’s important is understanding that it’s a natural phase – one that will pass away with time.
So, What Do You Do Instead?
Start by spending more time with her. She’s gone through pain, both physical and emotional. She’s given up her career and time to nurture your child. And as she stays home all day with an infant, she is prone to feel dejected and out of place. Make your best effort to spend time with her. Care for her needs and show that you’re there for her.
One of the key things after childbirth is to focus on building emotional intimacy. Take your wife out on a date or schedule a holiday in her favourite vacation spot. Make more conversation and be involved in her everyday struggle. This helps in building intimacy. You can also make your wife feel comfortable about her body. Treat her with kindness and make her feel as loved as possible.
Being a happy couple is the first step towards being better parents, and that’s what you should focus on.