• Sex & romance after childbirth!

    1471947630
    Boogaloo [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 2120
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    Heeelloooo! Sorry if this is a long post (mine always are!).

    Many of you know that I gave birth to my lovely boy 5 months ago, it was a fairly easy birth resulting in a 2nd degree tear. It took a while for that to heal but by my 6 week check everything was fine, although the doctor was very rough with me and I've been pretty traumatised from that experience, so I still haven't attempted to have sex yet! 😮 I am starting to notice that my relationship is deteriorating a bit, I'm well aware that I don't show my OH much affection or give him my attention as I'm so engrossed in being a mum, and whenever he tries to be affectionate with me I insinctively push him away because deep down I'm frightened of it leading to sex, even if it's just a kiss. I'm breastfeeding too, so I feel like my body belongs to my son and it's not sexual. I feel horrible about this, it's not fair on him at all 😞

    My partner is very supportive and patient, but I need to get over myself and work up to having sex again, or at least become more affectionate again, for both our sakes. I do have sexual desires now but whenever I start fantasising or thinking about being intimate with him, I quickly remember being ripped open, stitched back together, and then being examined so horribly by that doctor! 😣 I'm not sure how to get over this! Could it just be a case of pushing through and doing it anyway? We have had oral sex once, which was nice (but it didn't feel quite the same as before), but the thought of anything else frightens me.

    I still sometimes feel bruised down there too. When I clench my pelvic floor muscles it feels tender and uncomfortable. I've tried inserting a finger recently and it was quite uncomfortable and not pleasurable at all. They were no problems found at my 6 week check so I don't know why I'm still in pain. Is that normal?

    I've honestly been working myself up into a state about it for a couple of months now. I'm scared it will hurt, I'm scared sex will cause some kind of damage to me, or that it won't feel pleasurable for either of us because I won't feel the same inside, then he might not be attracted to me or want me anymore. It's ridiculous and I think I'm letting my fears get the better of me now.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Xx

    1471949255
    Alicia4Ever [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 1300
    • Joined: 27 Feb 2010

    It's only natural to go off sex after childbirth, you are focused on your baby. Thats what nature intended, few animals have recreational sex, they mate give birth and take care of their young, we are still animals when all is said. Now you seem to be wanting to get back to the way things were; start with being open to affection by teling your OH it will not lead to sex, he will know anyway to follow your lead, but I think it will reasure you, that there is going to be no sex.

    You have had your baby pass though your pelvic floor muscules, so you wil be tender for a while, and the tearing and poor manner of your Dr is making you not want to have anyone down there. Give your self some more time to heal, mentally as well as physically. just bring back some intamacy to make you feel a bit like a woman again, and not all baby focused.

    I'm sure some of the mothers on here will come to your support real soon.

    Take care xx

    1471950222
    Alicia4Ever [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 1300
    • Joined: 27 Feb 2010

    Sex won't do you any damage if your tear is healed, but your head is going to associate being touched down there with pain, maybe, you need to try more of the oral, and try to let go of the thoughs in your head while you are having oral focus you mind on what you do feel, you mind will try to dumb down the sensation because of the recent trauma, I think it's your mind thats getting to you, and as you say try to push through these thoughts.

    Keep trying to touch yourself down there, and I'm sure if you keep at it things will get better, like the phsyio people get after surgery, to get their body going again, it's wrong that they don't provid at least some advvice for new mums. I suppose they think women have been doing this for ever why should they need help, so wrong.

    Your OH is not going to go off you, things will get better.

    1471954125
    Scorpius12 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 6377
    • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

    Hi Boo, lovely to see you on the forums. I can totally understand how worried you are. Although I have never given birth, I had a large ovarian tumour removed, and after the surgery I was so scared of having sex again. I got myself into quite a panic about it both emotionally and physically.

    My best advice is to take things really slowly and talk about everything, your fears, how you are feeling, everything. The first time we had sex it was so emotional, but it was ok, and I had a really powerful orgasm too. I was so scared to orgasm in case it caused some damage to me internally, but it was fine. After that, it slowly got easier and easier, and we got back to our old selves. I am sure if you talk to your partner and take your time everything will be ok. If you can get through the first time, and take that huge step, it will get easier for you. You can always start by just doing romantic things for each other, like a massage or just having lots of cuddles, just to get your intimacy back, and then build from there. Even if it takes time, you'll get there Boo, sending you lots of hugs Hun xxx

    1471957523
    Boogaloo [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 2120
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    Thank you both so much 😘

    Alicia - My OH is definitely following my lead and not expecting sex from me, but when we start kissing I can tell he gets excited and I know that I'm going to have to let him down, which makes me feel awful. He's never made me feel guilty about it though, but he does say things like "oh I can't wait to have sex again" or "you're so sexy" etc which makes me feel uncomfortable but I know it's meant harmlessly.

    I think you're right that we maybe need to enjoy a bit more oral and see where things go. It's our anniversary next Monday so I ideally wanted to be able to surprise him with sex then, but perhaps I need more time to work up to it. I just feel like an idiot because every mum I know has started having sex again within a few weeks, and I wish I could have been ready sooner because it seems like the longer I leave it the more daunting it becomes.

    Scorps - thank you as well, it's reassuring to hear your experience. I remember feeling slightly like this after my shunt surgery too as my shunt was always poking me in my pelvic area and causing me excruciating pain, but it turned out to be fine, however at least then I knew that my vagina was the same! We will definitely take it really slow, I think I'd prefer to start on top too and be in control of the depth/speed etc. I feel like a virgin all over again! 😣

    1471958934
    Alicia4Ever [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 1300
    • Joined: 27 Feb 2010

    You are right the longer you leave it, the harder it will get to take those first steps, and the easier it will be to feel like theres no point trying. Forget what others have done, they may not have had tearing, or they may have had a wonderful supportive Dr.

    You OH is just trying to make you feel better, but he's a guy, and doesn't get it, so talk to him, explain what you are feeling and how you know hes trying, but it's just the wrong things to say. Tell him to show love and affection, for now, and that you need more time and support to get back to sex, but that you do want to get back to it, just in your own way and in your own time.

    I really think that working on your self will help, even if it's a bit painful. I know two people who had knee surgery, one did the exersizes and put up with the pain until they got better and got the knee moving again. the other would just sit and do nothing all day every day, because it hurt, now it still hurts to move and they are practically in a wheel chair.

    If you do it on your own, then you won't start to associate the pain, with having sex with your oh, just take it real steady and push yourself a little bit further each time. You will get there in the end, you just have to try, you won't do any damage, just see it as physio exersizes.

    1471963750
    RosyCheek [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 1525
    • Joined: 11 Apr 2016

    Glad to see you started a thread Boo. As I said before it's mainly a mental issue. I mean come on a tiny human came OUT of there. Its only to be expected. Plus you have had healing to do!

    After babies you kinda get this feeling of not being a woman anymore. You were a vessel, you've carried the tiny human in your belly, been sick for it, hormonal for it, ate for it then all of a sudden its an actual baby that needs all your care and attention. Boobs are no longer sexual as that's where the baby gets valuable nourishment. You're stressed and tired but still you couldn't be more in love with this tiny little lump. My advice is get dolled up. Make time for it get your hair done, do your nails,make up and find something nice to wear (do NOT try something that almost fit before pregnancy as if it doesn't fit you will quickly go downhill believe ne. Been there and done that)to boost your womanliness. Feel feminine again.

    Work slowly to sex. I bought 3 condoms when I felt ready thinking they would last a while. 2 days and we were at it 3 times. The first time is the biggest hurdle. X

    1471965777
    Peter Parker [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Colonel
    • Posts: 56
    • Joined: 9 Nov 2011

    You should know that the majority of couples will have gone through something similar. I know that might not provide much splice to you now, but things will get better.

    When my OH gave both she was given an episiotomy, which though preferable to a tear, still took some recovery from. She also ended up breast feeding for the best part of two years. When you throw in the lack of sleep and change in the relationship dynamic, we found that their was very little sexual intimacy between us, long after the birth.

    You shouldn't feel guilty, and it's important to keep talking to your OH. As I mentioned in my intro to this site, we found scheduling in time ordering toys and talking about our fantasies and preferences really helped (the spare room was turned into something of a dungeon, at least when family weren't around). Although we we were not having sex as frequently, the variety and quality when we did get together was amazing and has led us to having a much better understanding of one another's desires.

    I wish you the best of luck Boogaloo x

    1471965988
    Boogaloo [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 2120
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    Thank you both ☺️

    I have told my OH that sometimes when he compliments me in that way I feel uncomfortable, that I know he's just trying to be nice and I don't mean to seem cold. He assures me that he's just trying to boost my confidence and show me how he feels about me, and he's not expecting it to lead anywhere. I really can't describe the way I feel about him now, I love him to pieces and still can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him but something has definitely changed, I think it's probably just me. I feel like it's really hard to be romantic or affectionate with him now, through no fault of his own, because I feel like a mum first and foremost. But that's silly, and I'm kicking myself for letting it change me so much. I'm hoping I can get out of that mindset. Yes, I am a mum, and I really love it, but I'm also my own individual person and somebody's girlfriend, I need to be better in those respects.

    RosyCheeks I never have time for glammimg up, I'm lucky if I've taken a shower, and bonus points for shaving my armpits! 🙈 My son is very demanding and feeds very frequently and for a long time due to his tongue tie. I have bought 2 packs of the FSOG condoms as I remember them being good, not expecting to get through them all soon but it's good to be prepared! Plus I'm terrified of getting pregnant again, before we were TTC I wouldn't have minded an unplanned pregnancy but now I don't want our lives to change just yet! Haha.

    1471966230
    Boogaloo [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 2120
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    Thank you Peter, sorry I missed your post! It's nice to hear from a male perspective 🙂

    Our son is still sleeping in our room, we have one of those chicco next to me cribs so he's practically in our bed! So sex is definitely out of the question there. For the last few nights I've finally been able to put him up to bed by himself, we don't have a spare room (except his nursery), so that pretty much leaves us with the lounge. Not the most comfortable place to lose my post partum virginity though... 😳

    I'm glad that you were able to bring back the spark with your OH! 😀

    1471967026
    Peter Parker [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Colonel
    • Posts: 56
    • Joined: 9 Nov 2011

    I choose to describe having a child to my childless friends as like having a bomb go off in your life. Nothing is ever the same again. You can just about make out some familiar elements through the flaming wreckage. In such circumstances you really need your OH.

    Me and my wife were very close before she fell pregnant and as soon as our daughter was born it was as if she'd take a portion of our love off one another. Eventually as you get your brains back and you realise that you're not doing a bad job and you start having good times together you just fill the love tanks up again and realise there's no finite amount of love and there is loads to go round.

    You've rebuilt your life after the bomb blast and although it's not the same as it was, you might even find its better.

    Ha. I'm not sure you needed it hear about bomb blasts and love tanks but it's hard to express into words.

    1471967521
    Boogaloo [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 2120
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    That makes total sense Peter! I do feel as though sometimes I'm portioning out my love and affection and my son is getting most of it and not leaving much for my OH. I know deep down that's silly because I don't love my OH any less than I always have, in fact I probably love him more, it's just so hard getting used to having another little person around who you love so much and balancing the two.

    1471969242
    Peter Parker [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Colonel
    • Posts: 56
    • Joined: 9 Nov 2011

    It's also still really early days.

    I know from my own perspective I found the lack of intimacy frustrating, but ultimately understandable.

    Compare my adjustment to the one my OH had to make. There's no comparison. She had everything I had and then some. The physical transformation of her body into a support system for life. It's just amazing what women can do.

    1471994645
    illtakethehighroad [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Lieutenant
    • Posts: 42
    • Joined: 11 Jul 2014

    Boogaloo, i read your post and i had dejavu.

    I can completely relate. My OH had a large episotomy, and we had difficulties with feeding and other medical issues with our children. Even for me for the first four months i didnt have a sexual thought i was so stressed and tired so i can only imagine how my OH felt.

    Take it slowly, build it up one step at a time, sounds like you are doing the right thing. it may not just be mental it may well be that you have taken a long time to heal. You may have a bit of scar tissue which will make things feel slightly different until you get used to it. As my doctor mate says, child birth is like traumatic surgery it takes 18 months for a womens body to fully recover.

    i would be honest and talk to you other half and tell him how you feel. I tried to make my OH feel sexy and she felt the same as you.You cannot force it, It will take time, making you feel loved and supported is more important at this stage. As peter parker said it is like a bomb going off and it wont be the same (well until the kids leave home!). But ultimately the sheer exhaustion stage you are at, does get easier and you will have more time together but it is slow.

    we are much better now our kids are older but its always a struggle to find time but you have to make it. Spontaneous sex is out of the door but i dont regret anything. Children are the best thing i have ever done. I am dreading teenage years when they can stay up as late as us, no idea of what we will do then.

    Good luck

    1472037456
    Boogaloo [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 2120
    • Joined: 22 Apr 2014

    Thank you everyone 😊

    I have spoken to him a few times and each time he has told me it's ok, we'll take it slow and go at my own pace, and there's no rush to have sex (he's used to not getting it now I think!). It sounds silly but I just don't want to fall into that trap of not even trying because it's already been so long so 'what's the point', if you know what I mean. Sex isn't everything but I do think it's important and without that intimacy we've definitely lost a bit of our closeness.

    I'm sure when LO goes into his own room it will get easier as we'll have more of an opportunity to relax and experiment. I think at the moment it's a case of ripping off the band aid as I'm always going to be scared!

    It doesn't help that my body confidence is at an all time low. I've gained weight since I've been breastfeeding (who knew that was possible! 😮), I'm covered in eczema (even on my boobs, bum & nipples), I'm wobbly and covered in cellulite and stretch marks. My boobs used to be my best feature and gave me confidence in the bedroom, but I'm really surprised how awful they look now, apart from when I'm full of milk in the morning there's hardly anything left of them now except skin 😔 I'm really selling myself here aren't I... 😂

    1472040519
    wildflower [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 3816
    • Joined: 17 Jul 2013

    Everything you're describing sounds totally normal to me . Despite everything you hear about celebs ' pinging back into shape !' for most of us that just doesn't happen . You're body is never completely the same again but it does get better given time .....believe me !
    I breastfeed for 8 months and my boobs virtually disappeared too .....something I wasn't expecting at all but within 6 months of weaning they started to come back so don't try not to get too down about it ,it's usually just a temporary thing .
    As for stretch marks ,they don't ever go totally but they do fade in time .
    Every woman is different and it's not unusual to hear about no sex at all for up to a year after the birth so don't think there's anything strange about the way you feel .It's lovely to read how understanding and supportive your OH is and you've obviously had a vile experience with that doctors exam too which I'm sure hasn't helped the situation but you will get there in your own time ,something will just click and you'll know that you're ready . Try not to get too wound up about it ...I was going to say try to relax but with a young baby I know that's virtually impossible !
    Sending you my best 😃 x

    1472045283
    matnem [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Major General
    • Posts: 49
    • Joined: 29 Jun 2008

    Hi. Well done you for being so brave! My son is 10 weeks today, and my so is going through exactly what you are. Everyone here has given some ace advice, and It's been good to read another guys perspective.

    Let me say first off, you are doing a great job. Breast feeding IS NOT as easy as midwives and antenatal say it will be, and even though I now help out with an expressed bottle as frequently as I can, it's you that your baby needs. Good job mommy!

    My SO had a little cut which is better than a tear imho. This did heal and her 6 week went fine. It sucks that your doctor was so coarse, but on the flip side some people may have been upset by a more sensitive (sometimes confused with sexual) investigation. The bottom line is that you are fine. Your body did exactly what it was supposed to and it is now healed and ready for the next one!!!!

    My so and I are being intemate. It's not the same as before and it was difficult to start with. It's definitely lost its kink! Here is some advice that helped us:

    Chill

    The first few times really hurt her and we got not a lot further than outercourse. She got really stressed about scarring and wounds and everything else. In the end I did this. I ran a nice bath (with lavender salts in). I got her to cluster feed the little monster so that he'd get a good 2 to 3 hours and I plonked her in the bath. In the mean time I tidied the bed room and had a shower. After bath time I proped her up in bed with a hand mirror. She was amazed that everything looked 'normal'. We didn't had sex that night, (little monster == little cock blocker) but the next time was a lot easier for her.


    So here are some other advisy bits.

    Get the little one to sleep the first stint in their own room and use a monitor. The 9 to 11 one. This will give you (a little) time for you. You can use that for reading, washing, tidying, films, sex, whatever..

    Buy yourself some sexy maternity lingerie (mothercare did one nice set)

    Get a hair cut and a manicure. He will take the baby because he will want you to feel pretty

    Get some new nice maternity clothes (not a lot, just some) primark do some nice bits.

    Go to debenhams and get one of the £30 makeup sessions where they show you how to do your makeup. My so did Mac, and they then give you £30 off your order.

    Buy him some sexy pants!

    Take it slow. Don't worry about finishing.

    Give your so a kiss and a handy every so often. Intimacy doesn't have to meet new sex. Right now he's worried that nothing's comming back, and he's resenting the child for changing your life. Remind him that you love him, find him sexy and still want some intimacy.


    With regards to pain. There should be none. It can be in your head, but it may not be. Visit the gp again and ask for a different doctor, also ask for a chaperone . Tell them if it doesn't feel right.

    Pelvic floor exercise is essential. You should be doing about an hour a day. My so clenches 10 times and then holds at traffic lights until the lights go green. But find yourself some routine. Same if walking at the crossings. Guess this is different if you live in a city!

    Use some moisturiser . My so uses e45 shower wash and this seems to be really helping. Whatever you use, make sure it's Unperfumed

    Keep in touch with your antenatal girls, and talk to them about your feelings. It will help you to know you're not alone. And you are not alone.

    Keep coming back here and telling us how you get on! Community is key!

    1472058766
    matnem [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Major General
    • Posts: 49
    • Joined: 29 Jun 2008

    By the way - I forgot to say this:

    A lot of people say that breast feeding is a natural birth control. It is true - to a degree. When your body is ready for the next baby, breast feeding or not you can get pregnant. Some woman this can be a year, some this can be weeks after birth. I know a couple of my friends whos kids are litterally 12 months appart - and they were convinced that breast feeding meant no new babies.

    Be on the safe side and get some birth control. If you don't like the sound of being on the pill and breast feeding - there is the coil, cups, condoms etc.

    1472073663
    Alicia4Ever [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 1300
    • Joined: 27 Feb 2010

    Boogaloo wrote:

    Thank you everyone 😊

    I have spoken to him a few times and each time he has told me it's ok, we'll take it slow and go at my own pace, and there's no rush to have sex (he's used to not getting it now I think!). It sounds silly but I just don't want to fall into that trap of not even trying because it's already been so long so 'what's the point', if you know what I mean. Sex isn't everything but I do think it's important and without that intimacy we've definitely lost a bit of our closeness.

    I'm sure when LO goes into his own room it will get easier as we'll have more of an opportunity to relax and experiment. I think at the moment it's a case of ripping off the band aid as I'm always going to be scared!

    It doesn't help that my body confidence is at an all time low. I've gained weight since I've been breastfeeding (who knew that was possible! 😮), I'm covered in eczema (even on my boobs, bum & nipples), I'm wobbly and covered in cellulite and stretch marks. My boobs used to be my best feature and gave me confidence in the bedroom, but I'm really surprised how awful they look now, apart from when I'm full of milk in the morning there's hardly anything left of them now except skin 😔 I'm really selling myself here aren't I... 😂

    Bio Oil, is great for the stretch marks; and omiga oil capsules will help with the cellulite, and are good for you generally, I like the flax seed oil ones, rather than fish oil. They are totally natural and an important part of a healthy diet, but it may be wise to check if they are ok while breast feeding, as I think they contain vitamin E to keep the omega oil stable.. and I have heard that massage promotes circulation in the skin, which is said to help cellulite.

    1472074005
    Vanessa8 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Field Marshall
    • Posts: 3025
    • Joined: 7 Jan 2014

    Boo.... I will reply to this thread as this is a topic near and dear ot my heart and my life. I am just so tired I cant type much today.

    Post a reply to this thread

    Please sign in to post messages to the forum.