Sex after childbirth

Source: Contrasto

40 days before starting again

“After giving birth, it is necessary to wait at least 30-40 days before resuming sexual activity, regardless of the type of birth,” said Monica Calcagni, a gynecologist in the city. "This is the minimum time necessary for a complete healing of any 'cuts' (not only caesarean, but also episiotomy or small spontaneous lacerations), to allow the uterus and vagina to return to normal dimensions and to see the lochiae finish , ie the physiological blood losses that occur in the puerperium. In any case, before resuming intercourse, it is advisable to visit the gynecologist to check that everything is ok ”.


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The influence of hormones

After 40 days, however, starting sex again is not easy. Part of the 'fault' lies with the hormones. "After the hormonal disruptions of pregnancy, new changes occur in post-partum that cause a decrease in sexual desire" explains the gynecologist: "first of all there is a considerable increase in prolactin, which is the hormone that causes milk to be produced, but which referral induces a drop in libido; to this we must add that in the weeks following the birth the new mother is in a state of very high stress, which increases cortisol (not surprisingly called stress hormone), with negative effects on deso ".

The icing on the cake: it is easy that in the last months of pregnancy sex has been put aside and starting again after a long time could cause pain during the penetration, and this pushes to postpone an appointment that is anything but pleasant.

Deso in free fall

Even the psyche does not help us much: "On the contrary, let's say that after the birth of a child the sexual desire goes to be blessed" jokingly begins the sexologist Francesca of the city Tiberi Francesca of the city Tiberi, president of the Paesena Sexology Association and Relational Psychology. “And this for many reasons.

To begin with, from 'free and beautiful', as we were until a few months ago, we find ourselves suddenly catapulted into the role of mother, looking after a baby that absorbs all our time and energy. A beautiful experience, of course, but tiring, especially if I realize that, if we don't have help, we also have to take care of the house, shopping and any other children.

Moral: sex becomes another task that we gladly give up and when we finally rest our head on the pillow, we much prefer an extra hour of sleep to a red light encounter! Another factor: let's keep in mind that sexuality is closely linked to the idea of ​​motherhood and this, in a phase in which the first pregnancy has not yet been metabolized, leads us unconsciously to refuse an act that can bring other children, which one has not ready to welcome.

Let's say that becoming a mother is such an engaging and rewarding event that everything else is left out, as if it could disturb this moment of our own, which we want to enjoy at 360 °.

Shall we add the last one? After pregnancy the shapes change and we fear that our body is no longer so attractive in the eyes of the partner, so we prefer to avoid 'close encounters' ". In short, the ingredients are all there to stay away from sex. What to do?

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How recover the intimacy of a couple

  • Don't wait for the deso to come back. Sex should not be neglected while waiting for the desire to come back on its own: deso feeds itself, as well as declines in deso: the less you do it, the less you want to do it. If, on the other hand, you keep the flame burning, the deso gradually returns. It is a bit like the fear of driving: if after the license you do not take the car immediately, the fear consolidates over time and you end up not driving anymore.

  • Team up. Sex is a matter of couples and must be dealt with as a couple. Talk to him, tell him how you feel and what you are feeling: keeping quiet, pretending or refusing tout court is not good for you and not even for him, as it could give rise to a thousand interpretations. Maybe you will find that he too has some qualms about starting again, especially after a break of several months, or he realizes your discomfort but he doesn't know how to behave.

  • W the cuddles! The magic recipe? The 'tasting technique'. If you don't feel like having complete sexual intercourse, recover the effusions of the times when you were 'sweethearts'. It is a soft rapprochement with sexuality, which helps you to savor the pleasures of intimacy a little at a time: it is as if you had followed a prolonged diet and you did not feel like eating a binge all once: let's begin to taste a little bit of everything, from time to time maybe you will want to have a full meal ...

  • You take the initiative ... but take it! Most of the time, is he the one doing the approach maneuvers? Ask him to wait for you to take the lead. Knowing you can choose how and when he helps you feel more free, as long as it's not an excuse to put off your meeting indefinitely! It is true that with children time and space are very limited, but you have to find them: identify the moment when you feel most relaxed, most available, most attracted to him (and maybe when the baby sleeps) and make advances. And do not make the excuse that time is not found: to go to the hairdresser or to take a tour of the shop windows, time is found, right?

  • Concentrate! Confess, how many times while making love do you think: what if the baby wakes up? Will I have turned off my cell phone? What do I prepare to eat tomorrow? No, that's not right! Take a deep breath and try to bring your attention back to the 'here and now': focus on what you are doing at that moment, on the part of the body that he is touching you; at first the thoughts will probably tend to wander again, but with a little 'training' you will see that you will succeed.

  • Participate actively. Don't let him 'randomly explore the map', but give him some help. "Often women complain that men immediately rush 'there', while they would like to be caressed in other parts," observes the sexologist. “Well, given that he's not a fortune teller, how does he know if you don't tell him? If you like stroking on the neck or on the thighs, don't hesitate to bring his hands there. Be sure that if you like it, he will like it too because he knows he is giving you pleasure. "

  • Pleasure makes you do your duty better. We come to a crucial concept. From an early age they taught you the rule: first duty, then pleasure? Or the idea that duty is 'good', pleasure is not? Or maybe you are one of those people who, when they want to do something beautiful for themselves, must first check that all the astral conjunctures are favorable?

Well, it's time to change course, also because motherhood can accentuate this way of being so 'perfect'. "Sexuality is a claiming of our pleasure and it is not right to sacrifice it to pursue the myth of a perfection that does not exist," notes the sexologist. “We begin to change our way of thinking from our daily life, allowing ourselves at least one pleasure a day.

It is not necessary to do who knows what, it is enough to dedicate yourself every day to a cuddle of pure enjoyment: laze a bit on the sofa, enjoy a nice spoonful of Nutella, treat yourself to a massage from the beautician, attend a water aerobics course: in short, moments in which you are not mother-maid-working, but you are yourself and you only think about yourself. Remember that you have to love yourself before you love others. It is also a positive teaching for our children: motherhood is not a duty, which forces us to give up on ourselves, and love does not mean renunciation ".

  • What if he doesn't like me? It is one of the most frequent fears of newcomers: that of not being attractive in the eyes of the partner anymore. It is true: the shapes of the body change, but often he does not even notice it (except that the breasts have one or two sizes more ... and this, rest assured, he does not mind!). But if you don't want to be seen with a few rolls too many, you can always turn off the light!

  • If he's the one that's blocked. So far we have talked about the decline in deso of her, but it can happen that it is the partner who is blocked. For example, he could feel excluded from the symbiotic relationship that is created between mother and baby, be held back by the idea of ​​a possible refusal or be afraid of hurting us; without considering that it is not easy for him to switch from the role of companion to that of dad and that he too could be stressed by the new rhythms imposed by the baby.

If you realize that he is experiencing one of these situations, you need to reassure him, of your love above all and that the birth of the baby has not changed your feelings towards him. And, once again, allow yourself plenty of space for pampering, without necessarily aiming at sex.

  • Darling, where are you taking me tonight? It is the last but perhaps the main piece of advice: even with a baby we must not forget that we are a couple and we must find time only for ourselves as a couple: if we separate from the child for one evening it will not be the end of the world! We take advantage of the availability of grandparents, babysitters or neighbors and we go to the cinema or to eat a pizza, without guilt: if we have had a baby it means that we love each other, and our love must be nurtured, to give the right nourishment, also in terms of serenity, to our family. And then, in the dim light of the room, maybe we will miss a boarding ...

  • Even if you are breastfeeding, use contraception!
  • Many still believe in it, but breastfeeding does not protect against unwanted pregnancies: it is true that fertility is reduced a little, but until the period returns, you never know when ovulation occurs and you do not have the usual signals - vaginal discharge, calculation of days - which allow us to identify the period at risk. If you do not want a new baby, therefore, you need to choose a method of birth control right away.

    Which? "If the mother is not breastfeeding, as soon as she returns to her period - about 40 days after giving birth - she can take the estrogen-progestogen contraceptive pill" replies the gynecologist; “If you are breastfeeding, estrogen should be avoided because it could pass into the milk, even if in small quantities, while there is no problem taking the progestogen pill, based on progesterone only, which is not released in the milk. Alternatively, the spiral can be inserted, but it is necessary to wait 3 months after a natural birth and at least 7-8 months after a cesarean. No problem, however, to use a condom right away ".

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