There are 146 million Google results for “sex after baby,” which seems to prove it’s a topic a lot of people want to discuss. Some of the more notable headlines off that search include:
- “45 Secrets No One Tells You About Having Sex After Giving Birth”
- “What The First Time After Pregnancy Is Really Like”
- “Rekindling Your Sex Life After Baby”
- “A Dad’s Guide To Sex After Childbirth”
There’s good advice and information in all those articles, and one of them — I won’t tell you which one so you actually click through them — contains the awe-inspiring sentence “It was like fucking a cactus.” (It’s not that bad, really.)
The major basic things you need to know are:
Timing: The recommended wait time is 4-6 weeks, because giving birth has a degree of — for lack of a better word — ‘trauma’ associated with it, and women typically need to rest that area. The actual fact of the matter is that oftentimes, women wait months and months and this causes a rift with their partner/husband.
The Child Component: Within six weeks (or even 2-3 months), your child is still an infant. He/she isn’t even speaking yet. So it’s less an issue of being walked in on or anything like that — that’s a topic for having a seven-year old, yes — and more an issue of how much your life changes. You will be exhausted and your routines will be different. There’s a chance things could begin to get hot and heavy and then … bam, the baby cries or there’s some other interruption related to your newest family member. (That’s mentioned extensively in the first link above.) The first time after baby is going to be a little bit awkward even if you’ve been together for years and had a great sex life through pregnancy, so you want to make sure the mood/environment is somewhat controlled. Manage the baby’s needs first (dry diaper, etc.) before turning to your needs.
The exhaustion: This is a tough one and honestly, you just need to push through it. It might be a little easier on Child 2 or 3 when you have more experience. But some of the best advice on this comes from one of the later American Pie movies, which admittedly were not very good. In one of the later ones (I can’t even remember which one), Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) tells Jim (Jason Biggs) that just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you stop being married, lovers, or sexual partners. A baby changes a lot of things, but it can’t change your sex life — because if and when it does, it can lead to other issues and resentments building up, and that’s not good for anyone.
Final story, quickly: one of my friends used to work with a guy who was Mormon. Him and his wife wanted about six kids, but they started a little bit later — i.e. early 30s. As a result, each time a new kid was born, the guy was a little pushy with wanting to start up again and get back in the zone. Eventually they ended with 2 kids and a heap of problems, anger, and arguments over his behavior. Here’s the deal, as the dad’s guide above will also discuss: the woman went through a lot here. You should have an open, frank discussion with her about her wants and needs — but let her set the timetables and the context. That’s the fairest, most logical way.
Any other thoughts on this topic?