Sexuality for the New Parents
Most physicians advise waiting until 6 weeks after giving birth before resuming intercourse. This period is usually needed to ensure that no infection occurs and that the cervix has returned to its original position. Mother's can participate in intercourse at this time, provided there is no pain during penetration. The majority of women seem to have resumed intercourse by then; however, it may take until 12 weeks postpartum for orgasm to resume. Caesarean section incisions usually take approximately 2 weeks to heal and sexual intercourse is safe after this time.
To reduce the risk of infection, it is best to avoid oral sex until a woman is certain she has no cuts or lacerations as a result of the delivery.
Directly after delivery, a woman tends to report slower and less intense excitement stages, i.e. arousal, desire and orgasm. However 3 months later, most women return to their original levels of desire and excitement.
Research has indicated that women who breast-feed often report higher levels of sexual interest. However, these women may also find that they have less vaginal lubrication and the dryness can cause discomfort during intercourse. When women suffer from dryness using a vaginal lubricant is highly recommended.
It is important to remember that women who have just given birth experience an increase in tension, fatigue, stress and physical discomfort. Therefore, many may not feel like having sexual intercourse. However, this does not mean women do not want affection and intimacy. It is still important to keep showing affection and pay attention to your relationship together.
Men may also experience similar feelings and they may lose interest, or lose their erections during the first few sexual attempts after a baby is born. This may be because of fear of hurting their partner, general anxiety, increased levels of fatigue or conflict involved in viewing the birth process and having parental responsibilities.
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