How childbirth and breastfeeding affects sex between couples

After childbirth, how eager should the new mother and father be to resume conjugal activities and intimacy?

Welcoming a new baby can be challenging for couples

There is no definite time for sexual activities to begin but surely not immediately after delivery or surgery. Most doctors put it at four to six weeks after childbirth.

There is a higher chance sex would not even cross the new mother’s mind.

She would have so much to deal with, learning how to take care of the baby and understanding what the baby needs.

However, research has shown that women who breastfeed their babies would less likely resume sexual intercourse.

This is because, after childbirth, prolactin levels rise and, the higher the prolactin in a woman’s body, the lower her estrogen levels are and this reduces her sex drive.

Also, when breastfeeding, there is a release of oxytocin. Prolactin and oxytocin make the new mother find breastfeeding pleasurable.

This is also combined with the new relationship and feelings of affection the baby stirs up in her. The new mother might find herself not craving intimacy with her husband.

Some women feel less attractive after childbirth, for others, the opposite happens, they feel sexier; the increase in hormones plus the constant breastfeeding can cause arousal.

However, not feeling like having sex at all is normal and, sometimes, the new father or husband might be a little scared of the vagina too.

Most women do not get pregnant while breastfeeding because breastfeeding acts as birth control. This is called the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM).

For the first six months, a woman is breastfeeding, she is clear of getting pregnant.

In a way, that is some sort of birth control and a 'have all the sex you want' card. However, for breastfeeding to be a form of birth control certain criteria have to be met.

The baby must be less than six months old. She must exclusively feed the baby breast milk without any other solid food or formula. She must not have seen her period prior.

Using breastfeeding as a form of birth control requires that you meet all these criteria.

At the end of the day, the decision on when to start having sex depends on the couple and in some cases, the husband has to be understanding,


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