You should wait until any bleeding after the birth (lochia) has stopped, which should be by about three weeks after your baby’s birth.
This is because the wound left in your uterus (womb) by the placenta coming out is still healing. If you have sex before the bleeding has stopped, you may get an infection.
When will I feel like having sex after the birth?
Everyone is different. There’s no norm, or set time, when you should aim to have sex by. The most important thing is to wait until you are physically and emotionally ready.
A small number of couples start having sex within the first month after the birth, but about half wait until at least six weeks, as do most women who have had a tear or episiotomy. By three months, most couples have tried sex again, though some couples prefer to wait until after six months.
If you both feel ready to have sex before your postnatal check at about six weeks after the birth, you can go ahead if you want to. Some health professionals suggest trying sex with your partner before your postnatal check, if you both feel ready, so they can address any problems at your appointment.
You’ll need to consider contraception when you do start to have sex again. Even if you are still breastfeeding and your periods haven’t returned, you may still get pregnant again.
If you’re not yet ready to have sex, continue with kissing and touching and being physically close to each other. Try to do this, even if it seems a lot of effort when you’re tired and preoccupied with your new baby. Returning to sex will then feel less daunting and more like a natural progression.
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