Six months. That’s how long 13% of new mums wait before having sex after childbirth while 23% wait six weeks*. In a no-holds-barred post, Kelly of Tiasmum 12 goes beneath the covers to find out more…
You’re ok with me talking about sex right? I mean it’s just sex, innit. To be honest, sex after kids is not something I thought about pre-baby. Did I just assume that the great, trying-to-conceive-a-baby-sex would continue? Did you? I’m pretty sure I didn’t expect it to change as much as it has, because it really has. OK let’s start at the beginning.
I fell pregnant at the very start of 2012, straight away we started “doing” it less. I was just so tired! Things started to improve into our second trimester, almost back to our normal once or twice a week. Then come the third when I was the size of a whale and mega exhausted, and it went downhill again. But none of that compares to what happens after you have had a baby.
Now I was quite lucky in the sense that I never needed stitches, however even thinking about sex straight away was out of the question. I hurt, and the thought of having him go “down there” frankly terrified me. In my leaflets from the NHS, I was recommended to wait six weeks before sexual intercourse. We waited about seven then we tried, and it hurt and felt all wrong. It’s so hard to explain, but having a baby changes you! I was dry and it was still tender, having sex hurt. We waited a while before trying again, both traumatised by our experience and it still hurt.
Only now, a year on does it not hurt anymore. However it’s still not really happening as our daughter is still in our bedroom. It’s a bit of a running joke between me and her father that she doesn’t want a baby brother or sister, she sure can pick her moments to wake up! Plus I’m so tired, that tiredness you get from having a new baby never truly leaves you. Sorry about that. True to say that having a baby has 100% changed our sex life. But anyway, enough about me! I asked some of my amazing Twitter friends if they would tell me their experiences, and I’m pleased to say that they all agreed. All asked not to be named, but here’s their accounts of sex after kids.
After my first 6yrs ago we had sex again after 9weeks. It hurt a lot and bled too. I had suffered a second degree tear and probably should have waited! By the time he was 10 months sex was normal again and i fell pregnant again when he was 14 months. After my second it was a year before we had sex again. I had a traumatic birth and was very poorly afterwards. He was 10lb and it showed. I was sore for months. I also suffered chronic PND and never wanted sex. Once we did after the year it hurt a bit and we rarely had sex. We got back to normal once our son was 2!
After my third it was 12 weeks and it was completely pain free. His birth was very easy though and no stitches. We don’t do it regularly though as he is up 3-5 times a night. I am still breastfeeding too and I struggle using my boobs for 2 different things :-\ Baby is 11m and still in our room – it makes it difficult. The other 2 sleep well though so there’s hope once baby is older and out of our room!
I must say that after having a baby I didn’t feel very different ‘down below’. I didn’t even have much pain, even though I had had an episiotomy. Nothing seemed too bad, to be honest, physically. So I didn’t have that fear about having sex after, like I thought I would have. That was what I was worried about the most.
I didn’t have sex again until 4 months after bubs was born. I have only had sex once after this time up to this point. Why? Number one, I was so tired, my partner was so tired, everything was about the baby. I couldn’t think of anything else. Also, baby was in our room, and there was no way I could have sex with her in there. I just couldn’t. To start with I was breastfeeding, and I felt odd about them being touched. So we just got on with life and didn’t really do anything sexual at all. There may have been the odd ‘fumble’ but it never went further than that.
The times we have had sex are when baby has been staying over at someone else’s house, and we have gone out for the night. Alcohol helps haha!
Does it feel the same? No. In that I can’t switch off and enjoy myself, not really. My mind is racing with a hundred different thoughts. I don’t really feel sexy, or feel turned on, very much either. It’s just too far down my list of priorities! I think my weight has something to do with it to. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed it, but I don’t feel like I need it, if you get me.
Before baby, we had to stop having sex for three months after my ectopic pregnancy. Then as soon as we could, I got pregnant. So I guess we have got used to not doing it much at all. I feel a lot better now about it than I did, and I think I can start to learn to unwind. Especially as now bubs is in her own room, and we know we can go out and she can stay over at her grandparents without any issues. It’s been so long since we had a normal, regular sex life that I think both of us are just trying to get back into the swing of it, as it were!
We left it about 5 months after giving birth before we tried having sex. We used protection and I found out 3 weeks later I’d fallen pregnant. I’d fallen pregnant with my first within a week or so of trying so we’re obviously very fertile. Nature intervened and I lost it only a few weeks later. Since then we daren’t touch each other I think maybe 4 times since that happened and that was 2 years ago.
I miss the connection of it, I think once you become a parent you become all too aware of the consequences! In the few times that we have done it I’ve panicked like hell, we now use 2 forms of protection. But it seems like we’re meant to be baby making machines and we currently don’t want any more!
But to me sex does not a relationship make. We have had infrequent arguments about it, but we are very in love and get on great, we have a fabulous mental connection and the physical connection is just a bonus to us.
Our son is always guaranteed to make a squawk or a noise if we do try anything, and the other problem we have is the difference in appropriate times! I’m a lazy morning sex person, my hubby is a when we go to bed person. When I go to bed I go to sleep cause I’m tired, he can’t stay in bed late on a morning as he likes to be up early!! So finding a time to match up is hard!!
It has been different every time.
With the first 2 it was about 6 weeks. 3rd, was 6 months, 4th was 7 months. I was definitely more conscious the first time after giving birth – scared it would hurt. I also suffered a 3rd degree tear with my first child and 2 and 3 were Caesarean sections, so I had that on my mind. And also the physical aspect of would my husband still fancy me after watching these human beings come out my below haha! And obviously after having a baby it does change things – especially if the baby is in your room! Will it wake the baby? What if they see? Then when they become older and go in to their own room it’s: what if they walk in?
I think if anyone says it hasn’t changed – they’re lying!! Haha
To be honest I can’t really remember when we started again after number 1 child. But I do recall it was when she had moved to another room and breastfeeding had almost stopped, but even then breasts were no go zones. It sort of went back to normal – once a month. But quite honestly it was probably less then that. Too tired and I did get the feeling that when it did happen it was to shut me up. So I was left to my own devices (flying solo if you will!)
Number 2 was worse then number 1. My wife had already suffered a miscarriage in between the two pregnancies and so was more anxious – understandably! In the 18 month period from when she fell pregnant until the baby was 9 months – we had sex 5 times. Once was to create life and another time was to encourage birth – alongside raspberry leaf tea, hot food and the bumpy car ride. Lots of flying solo!
Number 2 slept so badly that she was over 1 year old before she slept a single night through. It was worse then number 1, having a toddler and a baby. Sex was something that happened infrequently… over a year it was once every 4-6 weeks… and then it felt that it was like before. We have naturally different drives… mine’s much higher.
That’s life I guess. With work, running a house and looking after 2 children sex is a very low priority for my wife. Whilst we all have needs, we also have to take in to account the other person and how they feel. Life is what it is. It’s now about once a month for 20 minutes on a Sunday morning before we get interrupted.
Nearly everyone I spoke to had similar experiences, maybe there should be a warning in the title? “Don’t read if you enjoy sex and are trying to conceive?” Do you have a positive pre kids sex life story? Do leave me a comment, I would love to hear your story.
*Poll of 1,350 mothers by The British Pregnancy Advisory Service.
Ed: we don’t sell (ahem) ‘grown-up’ toys at Kiddicare but we do sell a huge range of toys from birth to five. Why not treat your little one to a new plaything to free up a bit of time with your partner? Have fun!