Post baby intimacy: When is it okay to resume intercourse?

The thought of sex to a new mother can be nauseating. I know this because I was there. While your partner might be counting down the days to the 'big day' after weeks or even months of sex deprivation, you are most likely dreading it.

This reminded me of a story I was reading about a new mother whose husband was complaining that the six months 'no sex' restriction from the doctor was too long. The doctor had said six weeks, not six months,  but she was not about to correct him. She felt like his misinterpretation was a gift from the gods. The story doesn't say how it ended but it is an example of just how much new mothers detest sex in the first few months. Fortunately, this is temporary and you will have your sex groove back in time.

Before I had my baby, I used to think that it was the doctor who gave the green light to resume sex at the six-week postpartum checkup. It however depends on you and the type of birth experience you had. Your body needs time to heal and you will know when you are ready. For some mothers who had a natural birth, it can take about two weeks while for those who had an assisted birth or caesarean section, up to three months.

I also thought that there was something wrong with me because my libido was non-existent for weeks. Now I know that it is expected as our lactating bodies are trying to naturally prevent another pregnancy by keeping the oestrogen levels low. This is the reason why our libido vanishes into thin air.

Often times, mothers are scared of having sex after the baby thinking it will be painful, the episiotomy stitches may come off or they are just being self-conscious about their newly squishy body. As you wait for your body to heal, it is good to communicate your feelings to your partner as he might have no clue about the great transformation you are going through.

 Lack of intimacy for long can also bring resentment between you and your spouse. Be transparent about your feelings instead of hiding behind the 'I am not ready yet' mode.

At whatever point you decide to resume sexual activities, you should prepare yourself for awkward moments such as leaking or painful breasts or your body responding differently from what you were used to. It will take time for your body to feel normal again.

Before you actually resume sex, you should think about birth control. As much as exclusive breastfeeding can be used as a natural birth control, it is not 100 per cent effective because it can be affected by slight changes in your breastfeeding pattern.

Myths about sex after baby are many and often scary but our bodies are different and so are our experiences. It is best to wait until your uterus stops bleeding (which can take 10 to 14 days) but as long as your body has healed and you are mentally and psychologically ready to resume sex, don't be afraid to light that fire.