Dads have all sorts of questions and concerns after the birth of the baby, especially about sex. Your partner will need time to heal from the birth. Most experts agree that couples can resume intercourse once a woman’s lochia has stopped, typically 2-3 weeks post-birth, and everything is healed. Women often wait for the first physical checkup 4-6 weeks after the birth of the baby before attempting intercourse.
Through the years, I have helped many dads and moms resume intimacy with a simple 4-step process:
In the first step, just kiss and hug in a non-sexual way to reconnect.
The second step is more sensual, with either taking a shower or a bath together, or giving each other a comforting non-sexual massage.
In the third step, sexual non-genital activity is resumed. This means caressing each other all over but completely avoiding the genital area. Sexual desire is slowly built up.
In the last step, sexual intercourse is attempted. At this point, using a lot of lubricant will be important, as is going slow and using the right position.
If the area where she had a tear or an episiotomy is still sensitive, use a woman-on-top or side-lying position to relieve pressure. Vaginal penetration from the back is an option. If your partner has had a cesarean, it’s better for her to be on top. Put a rolled towel between her abdomen and you to protect the incision. Pelvic thrusts should be gentle at first.
Most couples need 2-3 weeks as they go from step 1 to 4. Others do so in one encounter, yet others need 2-3 months or even more time. Go at a pace that is comfortable for you both.
Or try sex without intercourse: this involves lubricating the woman’s thighs, and the man sliding in and out of her thighs as she tightens her thigh muscles. Some men find it difficult to approach their partner after the birth, especially if there were problems. Communication is key: sharing thoughts and feelings to help each other reconnect or to stay connected. Be kind and gentle with each other.
Some men do develop sexual problems after the baby’s birth. This is still a hidden and taboo subject as everyone assumes that a man who is virile can’t possibly have such problems. For most of them, they resolve on their own with time. Men who experience such problems need support and love from their partner. If the problems do persist, seek professional help. There is no shame in this. It will only strengthen the relationship that you have with the love of your life!
New Dads Can Have Postpartum Depression, Too Some 10% of men worldwide suffer from Paternal Postpartum Depression or PPPD, and experts believe that could PPPD could affect as many as 1 in 4 (25%) of dads.