There seems to be a lot of conversation around when new mamas should be ready to engage in sexual intercourse with their partners again postpartum. It’s apparent that the timeline varies from women to women–and any discussion of there being a “normal time” to get back into the sack should be debunked.
The six week marker may be premature for new moms who are struggling with pain, physical discomfort or postpartum depression. A new in depth study for the journal of Culture, Health & Sexuality found that many new parents are misled into believing that there is a set time for getting it on again after childbirth.
“Among participants, the most frequent recommendation from health providers was to resume sex after the six-week postpartum visit,” Andrea DeMaria, an assistant professor in Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences who led the study told MedicalXpress.. “But we found some women were ready before six weeks due to personal and partner desire, while other women expressed difficulties resuming sex, including pain and exhaustion from caring for a new baby.”
Continuing, “Providers should communicate to their patients pre- and postpartum that women have varied experiences with resuming sexual activity after birth, and there is not one strict recommendation or guideline that applies to everyone,” she said.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology amended their recommendations on sex after delivery, explaining that the decision to engage in sex “should be an ongoing process, rather than a single encounter, and that all women have contact with their ob-gyns or other obstetric care providers within the first three weeks postpartum,” a press release on the topic revealed.
Stephanie Meier, a co-author of the study report, told MedicalXpress that health care professionals should make it a point to let women and men know that there is no “rule” for when you should start again. Whether you start sooner or later, there is no one six fits all approach to intimacy after baby.
“If health care providers can bring this up and normalize these different experiences, then women and partners will be more aware of what they should be on the lookout for, that these feelings they’re experiencing are normal,” Stephanie Meier recommends.
“Those conversations should continue throughout prenatal and postpartum.”