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Sex After Baby: How To Reclaim Your Sex Life

Why it's normal to have a low sex drive after baby. Plus tips to rekindle the passion.
If a romp in the hay is the last thing on your mind after your baby's born, you're not alone. A decreased sex drive is very common among new moms, and this feeling can last for months. 20 percent of postpartum women had little desire for sex three months after delivery, and another 21 percent had a complete loss of desire or aversion to sexual activity, according to one study.

Why you're not in the mood

There are many factors that contribute to the lack of sexual desire, say experts, and these include:

You're exhausted. When you find yourself with some downtime, sleep can seem a lot more appealing than sex.

You're in discomfort. In the months after birth, you may be sore, or have tender breasts. And if breastfeeding, your estrogen levels are lower, resulting in dryness and further discomfort. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it's important to wait until tissues have completely healed -- which takes about four weeks -- before resuming sexual activity.

You have decreased desire. What goes up, must come down. This is true of post-pregnancy hormone levels, and consequently, sexual urges. It's also not unusual to feel less attractive after giving birth -- which doesn't do much for desire. Chances are you've got some post-baby weight to lose, or are so busy caring for the baby that you haven't had time to devote to things that make you feel good about yourself, like exercise or getting a manicure.

But rest assured, at some point you will probably feel ready, willing, and able to have sex again. Before you lower the lights and get down to business with your partner, get the OK from your doctor, and remember that rebuilding a sex life takes time.

Tips to reclaim your sex life:

Keep an open mind
Getting close doesn't have to mean intercourse. Apprehensive? Try holding or gently massaging each other. Gradually include foreplay, and talk to your partner if you're uncomfortable.

Try lubricants
They do wonders for dryness. ACOG recommends a water-soluble cream or jelly.

Embrace change
Different positions can definitely help bring back spice. The woman-on-top position may make it easier for you to move, and more able to enjoy sex.

Relax
Experts suggest waiting until you won't be rushed, such as when the baby is asleep for the night or off with relatives.

Use birth control (even if you're breastfeeding)
Since your cycle is still off, it's difficult to know when exactly you will ovulate, which means you could get pregnant again before you want to.

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