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Returning to the Bedroom after Childbirth

Maintaining intimacy and communicating with your partner.


It's been six weeks and during your postpartum visit your health care professional cleared you for takeoff, uh, sex. But here's the thing: having someone else touch you after handling the baby all day is probably the last thing you want. Plus, you may still be sore down there, particularly if you tore during delivery. So don't rush. Instead:

  • Explain how you feel to your partner and say that you need more time.
  • Find other ways to be intimate. Ask for a massage or even a foot rub. Read each other poems (if you're not too sleepy). Hire a babysitter and go out to lunch (you'll probably be too tired to make it through dinner). Even just spending 15 minutes a day talking to each other without the baby can help remind you that you were a couple long before you became parents.

When you do have intercourse again, use birth control. You can still get pregnant even if you're breastfeeding. And when it's time, consider using a water-based lubricant. Changing hormone levels may leave you drier than normal down there.

So here you are, six weeks into the wonderful world of parenting. The good news is that you're doing great; the bad news is that the next 18 years will be a nonstop cycle of learning, with knowledge that becomes obsolete almost as soon as you master it. Still, raising your child into an independent, responsible adult will also be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do with your life.

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