Sex after baby: how long is too long to wait?

Sex after baby: how long is too long to wait?

I’m a new dad, so I know that sex isn’t exactly a priority, but I was wondering how long is too long to wait until getting back into a bit of rumpy pumpy? I thought it was six weeks, but my girlfriend gave birth five months ago and I’m still taking cold showers. Should I put any pressure on or just give her more time? Desperate Dad

Oh dear. Five months is rather a long time for any red-blooded male to settle for platonic cuddles and hand holding. Most men mark the six-week post baby sex date in the calendar with a red pen, so I’m not surprised you’re feeling a little desperate by now. Put it this way, if your baby is teething, it’s been too long between shags. Chances are mummy bear is probably so stonkered that she can’t even think about any action between the sheets that doesn’t involve a cup of warm Horlicks and a snore session, but it’s probably high time she got a little skin-to-skin intimacy that doesn’t involve a crying kid, too. Even sleep-deprived mums may miss sex and the closeness it brings, so it’s about getting back to basics without pressure.
If she’s nervous about actual penetration, suggest just playing around to start, giving each other orgasms without doing the deed. This’ll go a long way towards helping the two of you reconnect on an intimate level (while making sure you aren’t lugging around a couple of Santa sacks in your boxers). Then, when she’s ready to get jiggy with it – or at least try – it’s up to you both to set the mood. Put baby to sleep, change the sheets, light some candles and close the bedroom door … or better yet, farm the little tacker out for the night and hit a hotel. Then, open a bottle of plonk, give her a massage and go slow. Things might still be a little tender in that region (to paraphrase Kathy Lette, the experience of pushing what feels like a block of flats out of your nether regions can ensure it’s a loooooong time between drinks and a game of hide the sausage). However, with a little lube (breastfeeding mums can be as dry as the Sahara) and low expectations, you both may be pleasantly surprised by the result. Keep in mind that some new mums might feel more Supernanny than Bond girl (what with the baby weight, episiotomy scars and relaxed pelvic floor) so let her set the pace, dim the lights and give her loads of compliments about her body. You never know – she might even be chasing you round the bedroom soon.
Love, reality chick

*** Are you a new dad or mum in this situation? How long is too long before getting back on the hobby horse?


Got a question for RC or the Manswers team? Drop a line in

the RC Question Box! (Questions may be edited.)
Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

10 Comments

  1. Paris 9 years ago

    Men and women are very different when it comes to sex! I gave birth to my son 11 weeks ago, and we basically got back into the swing of things after 4 weeks. I was lucky to have a normal vaginal delivery with no tearing or stitches, which is why we gave things a go after only 4 weeks. This is not the norm though! From a woman’s point of view, the thing that made me want to try after such a short time was the fact that my husband and I are excellent communicators. He has always been so receptive to my feelings , especially during my pregnancy and after giving birth. At no time did he pressure me……but instead gave me plenty of hugs and wonderful compliments!

    Women derive intimacy from the “lead up” to sex as much if not more than from sex itself. Men on the other hand, derive intimacy from the physical aspect of sex (as a clinical psychologist I also have a little bit of back ground knowledge!). In other words, while men can get aroused at the drop of a hat….women need to get “in the mood” (generally speaking). This is really difficult when you are sleep deprived, self conscious about your body, sore “down there”, and have engorged breasts with tender nipples!! In a nut shell, your entire being is consumed by this little bub! This makes it almost impossible to “get in the mood”!! Not to mention all the worry about contraception etc…

    From the male point of view, many new dads feel left out and a little neglected which is completely understandable!! You are allowed to have feelings too! Sometimes this can lead to all sorts of insecurities such as “will our relationship ever go back to normal” “does she still find me attractive”. Even the most confident man can be worn down by constant rejection! This is normal. The most important thing you can do is talk to each other about your fears and anxieties.

    I would suggest that you both start really slow…..talk to each other about what feels good. Once she feels that you are listening, ask her to talk you through where it hurts, and then perhaps tell you what she is anxious or worried about. Help her feel sexy again, and set the ground rules: Go slow and stop as soon as she says so. Don’t even consider penetration the first time, try and help her rediscover what it feels like to be aroused. I can assure you, she has probably forgotten what an orgasm feels like!!

    Good luck!!

  2. reality chick 9 years ago

    I’ve heard those stories too, about couples leaving it well over a year before having sex again so you’re not abnormal in the slightest. But that said, there’s never going to be a ‘right’ time in between the breastfeeding, settling and changing a million nappies a day so maybe it’s just about waiting til the baby’s asleep and you’ve had a semi-decent stretch of sleep, as one of the other anons said… then suggesting a quickie on the couch? Also if you don’t want to get naked you could just wear a sexy little cami or something so it takes your mind off the bits you don’t like…

  3. Anon 9 years ago

    Our baby is 3.5 months and to be honest I’m just too scared to even contemplate! Not helped by feeling fat and unattractive with all the new baby wobbly bits. I’m not sure if hubby is bothered anyway, hasn’t shown any interest, though having a baby in the room probably is a passion killer! Having read all these comments I am feeling abnormal and yet I’ve read before that it isn’t abnormal for it to be a year. In two minds now whether to get it over and done with (not very romantic I know) or wait until it feels right???

  4. Anon 9 years ago

    I think we tried to get back on the wagon before the 6 week postnatal check-took it slowly and was pleasantly surprised..breastfeeding can do wonders thanks to the steady flow of oxytocin through your veins!Ifound if we didn’t have the 6 week mark as a “goal” to work towards;we could have easily let it slip and I reckon that’s what happens to a lot of couples.It’s just as easy not to make it a priority -it seems the longer you go without it the less you crave it .Certainly with kids the frequency of sex changes ,but we’ve found the intensity has increased.I definitely agree that a switched on domestic boy is extremely sexy and I feel much more inclined to want to jump my hubby’s bones when he’s being a thoughtful ,helpful boy.We as women need to take the initiative a bit more-especially post birth when we may be feeling more vulnerable.

  5. Author
    reality chick 9 years ago

    Interesting feedback guys. Would love to hear from others who’ve been there, done that – don’t be shy!

  6. anon 9 years ago

    My mum actually gave me some advice on this one in the hospital as I lay recovering from pushing the block of flats out! She said wait for the docs all clear then have sex every day for a week. Eeeek! I didn’t take her advice, but I did launch at the 6 week mark, and although it didn’t set the world on fire and there were positions I couldn’t even contemplate (which were once my speciality) it was okay. In a sort of fumbling teenage way which was quite sweet and brought us back together after a long stretch of no sex (we didn’t get busy during the final month of my pregnancy).
    But yeah, I agree with the housework thing as a form of foreplay and finding the right moment is key. When the baby is asleep and you’ve had more than a couple of hours yourself, then give it a go!

  7. anon 9 years ago

    I can’t understand what all the fuss about but obviously i was one of the lucky ones (someone i am v close to has gone right off sex and she really enjoyed it before her kids).
    I waited for my – i think six week check – and then was more than happy to jump back on the hobby horse you mentioned.
    When you are in a loving and committed relationship and have just had a baby with your man of course you want to have that intimacy again. I had missed the physicality of it you know.
    That said i did hear an horrific story about a guy who witnessed the birth and he didnt want to have sex for a long while again. He thought it was all stretched and gross.
    Horrible isn’t it.

  8. anon 9 years ago

    I think we waited 3 months and even then I was sore. To be honest, I succumbed because I thought I should not necessarily because I wanted to, but I was pleasantly surprised (endorphins do good things for pain). However, I had no stitches and our daughter had been having a good 6 hour stretch of sleep for a while. I was breastfeeding and expressing though…

    I totally support what ‘Reality Chick’ says about this and would add that doing the house work that normally falls to her and doing anything you can that takes the load off a new mum (e.g. cooking & managing visitors) should win you some points and may be enough to get you back in… so to speak.

  9. Mumof2 9 years ago

    My husband would relate to this one. I didn’t make him wait five months but we just don’t have the sex life we used to. We said we would never be one of those couples with kids who never shag but it happened. (well maybe not never but certainly not like the rabbits we were!) I think RC is on the money with the romance. We just want a little effort and to feel a bit special. That being said I do think we women can use the kids as a bit of an excuse and should realize that once we get down to it we love sex too!

  10. anon 9 years ago

    Sigh. I’ve recently given birth to our second child, and it’s been three months since any intimacy whatsoever with my partner. I really miss it but we seem to be out of the habit and it’s become almost too embarrassing to broach so I know how this guy feels 🙁

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*