Sex and intimacy is often tough for new parents due to less time, tiredness, hormonal changes and worries about contraception. If you and your partner have both decided to take it easy, then there is no problem but if you both have different levels of sexual desire, this can add stress to your relationship.
In most relationships, things do get back on track, but it is important to be patient. If you are concerned that your sex life is totally off-track, please talk to your doctor.
Dr Wycliffe Ssemuko, a general practitioner with Galax Medical Centre in Zana, explains that after child birth, the woman’s hormone levels change, leading to new body reactions.
“The changes can highly influence how much a woman feels or desires sex,” says Ssemuko.
Talk about sex
According to parents.com, an online portal, the most effective way to get more of what you want is by talking about sex with your partner. “Open lines of communication about wants and needs in the bedroom are key. Just like anything else, if it is not talked about, the problem will fester and become a bigger,” it states.
If talking to your partner about your sexual needs still seems like a stretch, get professional assistance from a third party you trust, like a physician or therapist. “Unwillingness or inability to have a healthy sex life with your partner is like any other health issue It is certainly not going to heal on its own.”
Does breastfeeding affect sex?
A little known-fact about breastfeeding is that it puts your body into a kind of temporary menopause (though not completely, remember you can get pregnant), particularly for the first six months. The biggest side effect of which is extreme vaginal dryness, which can make sex painful.
If you want to have penetrative sex while you are breastfeeding or pumping, doctors recommend using lubricant or vaginal estrogen to increase wetness. And in some cases, you may just need to wait it out.
“I thought I was not as beautiful and my vagina had enlarged. Because of this, I feared undressing in front of my husband. However, he kept telling me that I was still as beautiful and encouraged me to exercise.”
Rahma Nakayima, mother of six
“After giving birth to my daughter I stopped having sex with my husband because I feared getting pregnant so soon after a C-section. It took at least six months before I would even allow him to touch me again.”
Sarah Namutebi, mother of one
“Love was at the peak before I gave birth. We had all the time in the world and would have sex any time we wanted. After giving birth, the sexual urge reduced. I stopped yearning for him like before.”
Lydia Nalwanga, mother of one
“Before having children, there were no privacy issues. We would do anything freely. But after I gave birth, especially as the child grew older, there was need to control some of the things that we used to do. I also developed fear of getting intimate again because I was scared that I would bleed again.”
Brenda Mudodo, mother of one
“For me sex became more painful. I would give him excuses whenever we had to get intimate to the extent that I would worry when it was almost time for him to return from work. I also feared conceiving soon after since I was not using any contraceptive.”
Azidah Namanda, mother of 3
“My doctor recommended one and a half months for me to resume sex but due to the fear of getting pregnant, I could always give excuses, or find something to keep me busy at that time till he goes to sleep. Fortunately, my sexual urge tripled.”
Phiona Muganga, mother of 2
What counsellor thinks
Evelyn Kharono, a counselling psychologist with Kira Medical Centre, says child bearing for any woman comes with different perceptions depending on the age of the mother and the number of births. But majority of mothers experience a level of joy and excitement. The moment a woman gives birth, there is a natural tendency to concentrate on the new born more than any other thing. This at times affects their libido for sex.
After child birth, some women may still be healing and at times experience pain during sex.
During such a time it would be advisable for the husband and wife to discuss their sex life to make it easy for the woman to open up in case she has fears. The couple can also go to a doctor to discuss what is safe and not safe.
He adds that communication can solve such issues in the family. Openness from both sides on sexual life can help. For example, if the woman has any fears she can discuss with her spouse and if necessary they seek counselling or speak to someone they trust.