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Sex After Baby? No Thanks

Photograph by Twenty20

I will never understand how some couples get pregnant during the time after childbirth when you’re not supposed to have sex yet. Between my brand new hemorrhoids, the unexpected episiotomy, leaking breasts and a sagging belly, I did not feel like a sex goddess. I felt more like an exhausted, over-milked cow.

The mere thought of anyone other than my baby getting close to my boobs made me wince. I could not imagine my husband touching my sore, cracked nipples, or caressing my flabby belly, which I kept under wraps with a postpartum girdle.

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My baby's father, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of my newly voluptuous breasts and couldn't wait to get the doctor's go-ahead to have sex. He was sure that the only thing standing between us was my OB-GYN's orders.

Personally, I was overjoyed that I had a wonderful excuse to avoid sex altogether and was in no hurry to get back in that saddle. Since the moment the baby came out of my crotch, and for a long time after the happy but messy event, I had no desire to put anything back in there.

Unfortunately, my husband came with me to my OB-GYN follow-up on the day the doctor told me we had the green light to have sex. He fist-pumped with glee and smiled like a little kid. I froze.

“Are you sure?” I asked the doctor, my legs wide open, feet still up in the stirrups. “Yep, it all looks good!” she smiled. I believe I cursed her in my head. So, of course, that same night, while the baby slept in her cot, I felt something hard against my backside … Could it be? Was it?

Yep! My husband was more than ready to resume our sex life, but I definitely was not. Instead of feeling aroused by his touch, I was revolted. It really wasn't about him, it was about me. Six weeks into mommyhood, I still wasn't up to spreading my legs for anything other than a medical examination. But how could I tell him without crushing his ego or hurting our relationship?

If you're a new mom and your sex drive seems to have vanished into thin air, here are some tips from someone who's been there. I hope it makes it easier on you.

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1. Set a “sex” date on the calendar.

Explain that it may be OK with the doctor for you to have sex, but that it's not OK with you! Tell him how you feel about your body and motherhood and set a date in the not-too-distant future. This way you can avoid giving him excuses every day, making him feel rejected and unhappy.

2. Give him a blowjob.

Let's be honest: oral sex keeps him happy and his penis out of your privates. If you can't even summon the energy to do that, then by all means, skip it.

3. Let him masturbate while watching you undress.

If you aren't up to giving oral sex just yet (having a baby can suck the desire out of you for a very long time), then suggest that he masturbate while watching you—and without laying a hand on your breastfeeding body parts or your sore crotch.

4. Start out slow, with a sensual massage.

Tell him you need to warm up to the idea of sex again, and that a sensual massage with oils (avoiding any areas you can't bear to be caressed) is the first step. Think of it as foreplay. And who knows, you may end up getting in the mood for sex.

5. Do fun stuff together.

When you get into the role of new parents, it's easy to forget you were once a couple without kids. Get abuela to babysit your bundle of joy for a night out. When you reconnect with your partner as your significant other instead of as a parent, it may spark the lust you thought you’d lost.

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