How Sex Might Change During and After Pregnancy
Many couples are thrilled to find out that they will soon be expecting a baby. Hours are spent picking out the perfect name, perfect paint color for the nursery, and perfect crib or bassinet.
And then a reality suddenly dawns on them… how will being pregnant affect their sex life? Will they even have a sex life anymore? While there are no medical reasons that couples can’t have sex during a normal and healthy pregnancy, they may find their desire for sex waxes and wanes. This is perfectly normal.
What to Expect (in the bedroom) When Expecting
During the first trimester, most women feel exhausted and, well, nauseous. Her breasts may have also become extremely tender. It goes without saying that things in the bedroom might cool off a bit in these first few months.
But not to worry, many women report that their libido gets a second wind during the second trimester. It is during these three months that women are the most physically comfortable. However, it is also during this time that women really begin to show. These physical changes may throw men a little. They may start to worry that they will hurt the baby, and some may simply not feel as attracted as they once did.
The last trimester can be challenging for couples simply because the baby has gotten so big, and finding positions that are comfortable for everyone can be… a bit difficult. It is during this time that women can feel extremely uncomfortable and unattractive, and yes, okay, maybe even a wee bit cranky. During this time, it’s a good idea for couples to find a way to connect without sex.
Sex After Delivery
It’s common for couples to reassure each other that once the baby is born, their sex life will go right back to what it was before they got pregnant. This generally isn’t the case. For starters, healthcare professionals suggest women wait around 6 weeks after giving birth to resume having vaginal sex, even if the baby was born via C-section, as the body needs time to heal. Oral sex, however, is fine.
Once it is safe to begin having sex again, and once the woman feels up to it, most couples find they are simply too tired to have it! Some women may find their minds and hearts to be in the mood, but their body does not cooperate. Numerous hormonal changes can leave the vagina feeling dry and tender. That’s why it is important to listen to your body and take things slow.
The most important thing couples can do, as they wait for things to return to normal (spoiler alert: once you have a child, nothing will ever be normal again, and that’s a wonderful thing!) is to communicate truthfully and honestly with one another.
If communication is strained, or if you think the new mother might be suffering from postpartum depression, it’s important to seek help from a professional therapist. He or she will help you navigate the tumultuous emotions that come along with birth and parenthood.
If you or a loved one would like to explore marriage counseling, please get in touch with us. We would be more than happy to discuss how to help.