Sarah Workman Checcone, founder and executive director of the Postpartum Society of Florida, asks “Sex? No, seriously” in this excerpt from her new Praeclarus book.
I had a small 2nd-degree tear and that puppy didn’t heal until 9 weeks postpartum. Separate from that, I had zero, and I mean ZERO, libido for damn close to 6 months. Thankfully, my husband is a patient man.
Another lovely postpartum surprise for new moms (and dads): postpartum hormones are designed to get you focused on taking care of the baby you have, not having another one. If your libido tanks in every possible way in the weeks (and months) after birth, please know that it’s normal and you’re not the only one. Aren’t surprises fun?
I love what a friend and mother of three had to say about postpartum sex (or lack thereof):
The last thing on earth you will want with lochia oozing from your vag, milk shooting out your nipples, and a critter constantly hanging on you, is to get jiggy with The Mister. Your OB is your willing scapegoat. He/she will tell you ‘No nookie ‘til the first postpartum visit,’ which won’t be for at least 6 weeks (maybe 8). Feel free to tell the spouse after that appointment that OB says you need to heal for another 2 weeks. It happens, especially with episiotomies and tears.
The lack of remotely satisfying intimacy (or any intimacy) in the postpartum period can further strain the relationship of two already thoroughly exhausted people (or one thoroughly exhausted person, and one person on the first person’s shit list). But it seems to be worse if you and your partner think you are the only ones.
Feel free to grab the man for this next bit. I’ll wait …
Okay, ready? Ahem …
You are not the only ones not having sex like you used to. You are rght in the dry-spell mainstream. If both people (okay, usually the guy) can be patient, helpful, and understanding, things will start heating up again a lot faster than if he’s frumping and moping around, basically needing as much attention as another child.
Here’s a newsflash, dads:
FRUMPY + MOPEY + NEEDY = NOT SEXY
Now check this out:
COMPLIMENTS + HOUSEWORK + BABY CARE = SEXY
I understand this formula is the higher math of monogamy, but I believe you fellas can handle it. Study, review, make flashcards if you must, but this is the one thing new dads wish someone had told them. You don’t want to end up so far out in the cold that you see on the back of your wife’s pajamas, “Closed for Business–please call again. Next Year.”