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What will it feel like post-baby? Will it hurt? What will my partner think of my post-baby body? In the early days of motherhood, in a whirlwind of nappies, feeds and sleepless nights, the thought of resuming some sort of sex life may be the very last thing on your mind. However…once the madness of those early days subsides maybe you are ready to think about being intimate again. So, what should you expect and what can you do to make it all just that little bit easier?
The first and most important thing to say is that penetrative intercourse is not the be all and end all of intimacy. Cuddles and foreplay are more important than ever at a time when you may feel a little insecure about your changing body. Healing scars from C-sections or tears may still be tender (there is lots we can do to help with scar discomfort but more about this in another blog!). If you are breastfeeding your tissues may also be a little more sensitive.
Having a little look and feel “down there” yourself can really help to reacquaint you with your body and even just gently touching any scars or sore areas with your own finger to get them used to any form of touch without responding with a high state of alert can be a useful start.
Especially for the first few attempts a good lubricant is also a must and your Physio can advise you which brands are recommended. Some of these are also available on prescription so lube up ladies! Many Physio’s recommend the use of a good lubricant also to many patients who are not sexually active as it can promote good tissue health. Think of it as conditioner for your bits!
After a straightforward birth there is no right or wrong about when you should or should not resume your sex life post-baby although it is commonly recommended to wait until any bleeding stops or until after your 6 week postnatal check. Unless you are also really keen on having another baby ASAP it is also worth making sure that you have whatever contraception you prefer to use in place – breastfeeding is not a foolproof means of contraception!
While the first attempt may be a little uncomfortable for many women as a general rule it should become more comfortable with each attempt. If however you find that the pain gets worse with each attempt or it is not improving by the 3rd or 4th attempt then you need to seek help. You are not alone and Physiotherapy can help in many ways to alleviate discomfort and build confidence in your postnatal body to help you resume intimacy as you would like it.
And most importantly, while you are doing a fabulous job of caring for your new baby don’t forget that you also deserve great care after doing such an amazing thing and growing a new human!
Contact us on 01548 852355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any concerns we are here to help you! Ask for a postnatal check.