Regain the seX factor
Even though you’ve had your six-week check, and your GP has confirmed it’s fine to resume lovemaking, don’t feel under pressure. Take it slowly, gently and be open with your partner about how you’re feeling
- Communicate. Be sensitive to each other and talk, talk, talk.
- Go easy on the boobs. If you’re breastfeeding, they can be painfully oversensitive
- Try a lubricant such as K-Y Lubricating Jelly from chemists. It can really help the first few attempts, especially if you’re still feeling a bit sore.
- Be creative. If penetrative sex is too difficult, try oral sex, masturbation or massage.
- Have a few drinks and dim the lights. Most men are delighted that sex is an option but even the most gung-ho new mum can suddenly feel inhibited by having to lift her jelly belly into position, so make sure you both laugh about it if it doesn’t go exactly to plan.
- Be prepared for a few false starts. Always stop if it’s all too much
- Buy nice knickers. Forget about squeezing into your old undies. Treat yourself to some sexy styles in your new luscious size – buy things to fit you now, don’t worry about waiting ‘until you’ve lost weight’.
- It’s common to feel insecure that your body won’t feel the same inside after you’ve pushed a baby out but it’s amazing how things spring back after childbirth (well, up to a point and a million pelvic floors later!).
What real mums say…
‘I’m hoping we’ll be lovers again’
Karen Gordon lives in Bradford, Yorkshire, with her husband, James, and has one daughter, Phoebe, 9 months.
‘I’ve found it hard to cope sexually with how my body’s changed. I hate my stretchmarks, and am still 2st overweight. That stops me feeling sexy.
‘My husband James tells me I’m beautiful and that the weight doesn’t bother him. But it doesn’t change how I feel. We first made love three months after my Caesarean and I didn’t really want to – I did it for James. Nowadays we have sex occasionally but it’s hard to find the enthusiasm and it tends to be over pretty fast!
‘We’re both still tired as Phoebe is not a good sleeper and I’ve just gone back to work which is draining too – it feels like we’re adjusting to the new dynamics of family life. We are both so in love with Phoebe that we have less time and energy for each other. But I see what a good daddy James is and I love him even more. I’m hoping once I’ve lost weight and we’re less tired, we’ll be lovers again.’
‘I’m scared sex will be painful’
Laura Jacobs lives in Tring, Herts, with her husband Rick, and has one son, Joe, 7 months.
‘We used to have a great sex life and made love two or three times a week. But it’s been really hard to get that back. Joe had evening colic for six weeks, so Rick and I never ate together, let alone had sex. One of us had to look after the baby until about midnight when he finally stopped crying. This put a big strain on us and we’d snap at each other. Combined with the sleep deprivation, sex was the last thing on our minds.
‘I also found the birth very hard to deal with – I had a bad tear and had to have stitches. I still have a real fear sex will hurt. We didn’t make love until Joe was 6 months and it was painful because of my scarring, so we had to stop. At the moment we don’t really have an active sexual relationship. Rick does understand but sometimes I feel guilty for not wanting to even try. ‘So for now sex is on the backburner. But we’re open about it and having Joe has made us closer.’
Don’t forget about contraception. Once normal service is resumed, don’t presume that breastfeeding and not having a period counts as contraception. They don’t!