I have a very frank question:

After I have my baby in December, how long will my fiance and I need to wait to have sex again? Is there an average recovery time or is it totally different for everyone?

asked 27 Oct '09, 14:17

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edited 27 Oct '09, 14:25

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I am impressed with peoples' willingness to share! These are very valuable answers for curious soon-to-be parents.

(27 Oct '09, 23:31) Scott ♦♦

Yes, thank you very much for the frankness, everyone!

(28 Oct '09, 02:56) Artemis

12next »

The Mayo Clinic has an article on sex after pregnancy. In general, I've heard you should wait a minimum of 6 weeks or after you've been cleared by your doctor.

I had a cesarean so I figured I shouldn't have any problem having sex at 6 weeks. Much to my shock it hurt (way worse than I remember the first time). However, we took it really slow, used lots of lube, and managed to get everything back to normal after a couple of weeks. (I wouldn't let my account depress you. I suspect this is something that different for everyone. Just don't automatically assume you can start having sex again the moment you hit 6 weeks.)

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answered 27 Oct '09, 14:28

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Thank you! the article was actually very informative. :)

(28 Oct '09, 02:54) Artemis

We got back into it at 3 weeks. Like Kiesa, I also had a caesarean, and was surprised at how much it actually hurt. My husband said that it felt much different (like "smaller") but I just think it was because I tensed up so much from the pain!! It does get better over time though - just go slow and be gentle.

I found out after that we should have waited at least 6 weeks to allow your body to rest and heal, or at least until the blood loss has finished (which was what I waited for) to minimise risk of infection.

You'll find however, that the pure exhaustion of having a newborn will be the factor that will override your desire more than anything. Like many new parents, we just don't have sex as often as we used to now... but not for lack of want, but because by the time we manage to get to bed each night after bathing, playing, feeding and settling our babe, that we fall asleep before the idea even pops into our heads!

Sex is a very personal thing and you will both know yourselves when you are ready. Don't rush it, and make it special the first time all over again - after all, it's what got you here in the first place with your beautiful miracle!

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answered 27 Oct '09, 21:48

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Our obstetrician recommended 40 days.

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answered 27 Oct '09, 14:23

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we still have 12 to go =)

(27 Oct '09, 14:23) JJJ

But you're not counting or anything. ;)

(28 Oct '09, 21:43) Artemis
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not at all... 11 now!

(29 Oct '09, 00:28) JJJ

Prior to having my twin sons, I read up online about this and found some articles that said it could take as long as a year for your hormones to return to normal and for you to feel comfortable again to be intimate. This scared me (and my husband even more!!) and my doctor said just to wait out the 6 weeks and all should be good.

So after I had a c-section, I figured I was in the clear, why should I have any issues? I thought that only women who had natural births would have pain afterwards. I was wrong. It honestly was very unpleasant and uncomfortable for 6 very long months :( But as soon as I finished breastfeeding, all was well again....so I'm attributing it all to the hormones??

Sorry to bring you down, but I guess you should be prepared for the unexpected. Hopefully, you'll be back to normal quicker than I was! :)

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answered 28 Oct '09, 02:42

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that's interesting what you say about the pain hurting once you stopped breastfeeding... you could be right - hormones do crazy things to your body!

(28 Oct '09, 22:29) Lin

My baby's 10 1/2 weeks old. I COULD have sex again, but I don't want anything to do with it yet! I was traumatized "down there" and am afraid of any further pain. I was told that "the first time" again will most likely hurt. I'm looking into investing in a chastity belt ;)

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answered 28 Oct '09, 16:39

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sad! I hope you fully recovery soon.

(28 Oct '09, 21:42) Artemis

I was told to wait 6 weeks but I think I waited longer. Since I was breast feeding, up a few times at night I don't think I really did anything for quite a few months afterward. Be very careful! Even after waiting the six weeks, she is still very fertile so make sure to use protection or else you'll have baby number 2 on the way. My cousin has two babies about 10 months apart.

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answered 10 Nov '09, 05:45

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+1 for the fertility note. My dad and his older brother are about a year apart and so are my sister's 1st 2 kids.

(12 Nov '09, 16:16) Dinah
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Aren't those usually called Irish twins? :)

(13 Nov '09, 03:31) Artemis

Yes we were told 6 weeks too. I had a grade 2 level tear and while my doc is proud of his work (sewing job) I am still not the same down there and its been almost 14 months. Physically I'm still very very tender.

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answered 31 Oct '09, 03:07

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ouch! I hope you can heal eventually!

(31 Oct '09, 06:17) Artemis

We waited nearly 6 weeks after our first, 4 weeks after the second, and just over 2 weeks after our third. My wife didn't say anything about being sore after 2 or 3. I think she was sore after our first though. Long time ago now...

I have heard if you have a c-section you need to be more careful about how long you wait as it is a pretty major op.. If its a natural birth then it is up to you. Obviously if it hurts, then wait a little longer.

Contraception is more awkward though, you are likely to be stuck with condoms or femidoms for at least 6 weeks. That was definatly the worst part.
(My wife is diabetic, so she has several weeks of weekly post-natal checkups. She did have to confess at one of them that she may be pregnant again, thankfully she wasn't)

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answered 04 Nov '09, 18:46

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I'd second Lin's third paragraph: I sometimes jokingly say that children are the best form of contraception. Families vary, but you'd be amazed how much sleep you can do without, and that does tend to cut into your libido. That and - from my observation - mothers of young babies, especially breastfeeding ones, are so intensely physically bound up with their babies that most of their 'physical' needs seem to be met. (I think that's very difficult for a mother-to-be to imagine, but life does get very turned upside down by a baby.)

This doesn't mean that things will never be the same again, though there is a fair chance that they won't. But that doesn't mean that they can't be different, and better. But it may take time.


Going slightly beyond the scope of your question: the first months after baby's arrival are also VERY hard for the new father. Feelings of uselessness, of being excluded from something special: mother and child are fusioning and he's outside looking in; the feeling that the mother only needs his services, but no longer needs him. This is equally difficult for the mother, who has her own doubts about her ability to cope, and probably doesn't have a great deal of emotional energy to devote to reassuring her partner too.

However (and this is a father writing), men need to 'get over it' as far as "what, no sex?!" is concerned. If you can't learn to be loving, caring, tolerant, patient, supportive and understanding with the mother of your child at the time she most needs it, you'd better hope that the words "erectile disfunction" never cross your horizon. Because if they do that's exactly what you'll be needing.

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answered 07 Jan '10, 13:54

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I also read about this supposed feeling of "lost attention" and "uselessness" that fathers feel, but I didn't really get that. "The Expectant Father" said it's normal to feel "left out", but again, didn't get that. I think it's different for everyone. I would said that as a new father I experienced: very little sleep, and a lot of stress and worry. Thankfully it doesn't last forever.

(08 Jan '10, 03:29) Scott ♦♦

Yes, I feel I didn't stress enough that it doesn't last forever. And I think knowing what to expect, and learning to communicate these kind of feelings, also helps. Unfortunately, the first time round this is not easy!

(08 Jan '10, 05:49) Benjol

I had a natural birth, no epidural, no tearing, waited 3 weeks and it was fine. I did feel it less than now, takes a couple of months and Kegle exercises before how it feels comes back to what it was. The position I adopted to give birth was on the left side, right leg pulled against my chest by the right arm. If you are in the right mental state to listen to the doctor and he or she knows this position, I recommend it !

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answered 27 Oct '09, 16:32

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Asked: 27 Oct '09, 14:17

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Last updated: 07 Jan '10, 13:54