Resuming sex after childbirth not easy

By Jenny Zhang Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/16 0:25:54

Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

When I visited the gynecologist nearly four months after giving birth to my daughter, she asked me if I had resumed sexual relations with my husband.

"What? No!" I responded hotly.

"Well, you can," she said after completing her examination.

"What's wrong with her?" I thought, "Sex is the farthest thing from my mind right now." My daughter's birth was a little difficult and the doctors had to make an incision to create enough room for me to deliver her naturally. It has been slow to heal and has made simple things like sitting upright somewhat painful. Add to that nursing a newborn 24/7 and one can see what I mean.

A part of me thinks the doctor suggested resuming intercourse because she wanted to sell me some birth control pills. To be honest, I became a little paranoid after giving birth.

"The doctor suggested something ridiculous to me today," I started off telling my husband.

"Maybe it's not that ridiculous. Maybe you should listen to her," he replied calmly.

I lost it. I did not expect him to say, "Ignore her. Rest and don't think about it until you feel you are fully recovered." But I expected more from him. He saw what I went through to deliver our child. Shouldn't he be worried about my stitches? What if they tore open during sex?

Touching other parts of my body is also out of the question. Since giving birth, I see my breasts only as my daughter's food warehouse. I should keep them clean, and my husbands' caresses might indirectly spread germs to my daughter. I cannot risk my daughter's health for the sake of sex.

The talk with my husband made me realize once again that men think with their lower body. So, I called two of my best friends who are mothers with kids in kindergarten.

One friend shared how she had initially refused to have sex with her husband for fear that he might be unhappy with how much her body had changed after giving birth. They suggested that I talk to my husband about how I feel emotionally and physically before resuming sex. They surprised me by assuring me that all of my concerns would go away after I resumed sex and said that I would soon start to enjoy sex again.

I took their advice, did some research and talked to my husband. I showed him evidence that breastfeeding moms often have little desire for sex after giving birth and told him my concerns.

We agreed not to rush into it. Then two weeks later, on the night of our fifth wedding anniversary, we went out for dinner and had some wine. Walking in the light rain and breathing in the fresh air on our way back suddenly reminded me of our romantic days. When we got home, sex just came naturally.

I should be honest and say that having sex for the first time after giving birth was not entirely comfortable for me. But having it in a relaxed mood could really disperse your worries. At least, it's a good beginning.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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