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Sex after childbirth - can't bring self to do it

(10 Posts)
wobblyweeble82 Sun 17-Jul-11 08:34:28

DD is nearly 9 weeks old. We had quite a traumatic pregnancy, and I tore badly during labour (over an hour of stitching) and have been left with nerve damage in my bum (its numb!). Bar the numb bum bit, recovery has gone well I think.

Anyhow, DH and I had a rather lovely kiss and cuddle last night and I just knew he wanted more but I just can't bring myself to do it. He was flicking all the right switches but for whatever reason, I've got a great big mental barrier there. I'm EBF and also rather repulsed by my saggy body still and as for down there, I think the word cavernous springs to mind. I don't want to have a sexless marriage! I want to have that closeness and intimacy with DH again. I know its relatively early days, but then I feel I want to have that part of my life back too. I guess I'm just after advice really blush confused

RitaMorgan Sun 17-Jul-11 08:46:02

Relax, 9 weeks is pretty early! Give it a couple of weeks and try again.

aStarInStrangeways Sun 17-Jul-11 08:49:26

Aw, I felt like that for quite some time after DS's birth and I didn't have as harsh a time of it as you have. Motherhood is such a massive mental shift; you are still in the early stages of defining a new part of your identity, with all the physical and mental changes that involves. It's hard to just switch on teh sex with so much other stuff buzzing around your brain.

Relax, give it time, it will come. In the meantime keep kissing and cuddling with DH and perhaps more importantly, keep talking to him about how you feel.

pinkytheshrinky Sun 17-Jul-11 09:00:15

Like the others say please give it time - this is early on even when all has gone well but if things were difficult then it takes longer. I too have nerve damage and it is very strange getting used to feeling different in yourself.

Please do talk to your DH about it though, don't just brush it under the carpet as the longer you leave it to talk the harder it gets. Be honest with him and perhaps (if you feel up for it) some 'alternative' play rather than intercourse might be nice?

PrettyCandles Sun 17-Jul-11 09:06:16

I completely agree with Rita and aStar.

Take your time. After one of my births I don't think we had sex for a few months, yet we had sex only 5w after another. One of those labours was long, distressing, and I had an extensive 2nd dgree tear. The other was quick, almost exhilarating, and I did not tear. Can you guess which was which? Equally as important, after the harder of those births it was pretty much dh and me doing everything, whereas after the easier birth I had several hours of paid help every week. Makes quite a difference!

I was told that the first sex after childbirth is a bit like losing your virginity all over again. There was something in that, I think. The same sense of nervousness, certainly. You're rediscovering yourselves, after all. You didn't know what it would feel like then, and you don't know now.

Keep talking and cuddling!

MummysTooTightToMention Sun 17-Jul-11 09:17:57

It took us 7 months and DD's birth was pretty straightforward with episiotomy, so some stitching and pretty traumatic. By that point I'd got myself into a bit of a state about it and didn't think it was ever going to happen.

We've done it a couple of times now and it's more enjoyable than before, but getting in the mood is difficult (still bf through the night, so tired).

ShowOfHands Sun 17-Jul-11 09:29:35

Oh gosh 9 weeks is early. It took us 9 months. Also following a traumatic labour, episiotomy and emcs.

I think there are several problems when you've had a baby. Exhaustion doesn't help a bit. Breastfeeding plays havoc with hormones which are already up in the air from the delivery. You feel physically in demand as a mother so making the switch to the physical demands of sex is really flipping difficult. You also feel like it's somebody else's body and one that you don't quite understand anymore in the way it looks or feels. And let's face it, the last time something passed through that way, it didn't feel great did it?

I decided not to think about having sex. I told dh it wasn't about to happen but worked at all the other things. So sleep to combat the exhaustion, time with dh just laughing and enjoying ourselves so I had a role as a partner again as well as a mother. Gentle exercise to feel better about my body. And in the end I have to admit there was a small amount of gritting my teeth and getting on with it, not because I felt I had to but because I realised the first time wasn't about brilliant sex but about making that leap physically and mentally. I think it's probably okay for it to feel weird and foreign when you finally do get back to it. But don't rush it. Talk to your dh. My dh was utterly lovely about the whole thing and in the end that made the biggest difference. He never, ever 'expected' it and we talked and talked about things so nobody misunderstood what was happening or felt it was about anything other than the massive adjustment of having a tiny baby.

wobblyweeble82 Sun 17-Jul-11 13:47:08

Thanks folks. Got a big lump in my throat reading your replies - its a highly emotive issue for me I think. I've not spoke to DH about it yet - I will, I just don't want to say mid kiss 'you do know we're not going to have sex'. Bless him, last night we fell asleep in each others arms ad we've not done that in months. Like you all day, give it time. I do jaw a DS who is 7 and never had any of these emotional issues - he was a ventouse baby too. I wad only 21 then though - soon bounce back at that age blush

I just need to keep up re pelvic floor exercises too. And start getting a bit of self confidence again. My body doesn't yet feel like my own - it's still very much DD's. I just need to learn to share smile

wobblyweeble82 Sun 17-Jul-11 13:47:58

Pardon typos, on iPhone in back of car hurtling down the M56!

Changing2011 Sun 17-Jul-11 20:59:06

Hi OP I did the deed just three weeks after DD was born and I had a really bad tear that could not be stitched. It was painful, but only for a moment. Much like the first time! I think if you build it up to be something bigger than it is you will create fear around it. Sounds like you are still physically close so thats good. My DP was only 20 when I had DD and I think he was more in shock than me about seeing the birth, so I wanted to get us back on track pretty quickly to maintain what I felt was a fragile bond. Looking back I should have waited a couple more weeks. But once I was "back on that horse" so to speak, it was just one less thing for me to mull over and I got on with "owning" my body again. Apart from BF of course!

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