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BACK IN THE SACK

From 24 hours to one year, four couples reveal how long they waited to have sex after having a baby

GETTING back into sex after having a baby is daunting for a lot of new mums.

So how long should you wait to enjoy a romp after giving birth?

 There's no right or wrong time to start having sex again after giving birth
There's no right or wrong time to start having sex again after giving birthCredit: Alamy

There are no rules on when is the right time but one thread on the discussion site Reddit has had mums flocking to divulge their own experiences.

Here, four women tell Lynsey Clarke when they first got the loving feeling after childbirth.

24 HOURS - 'I was high on post-birth hormones, it felt right'

PHOTOGRAPHER Amanda Dowdall had sex with her husband Mike, 32, a tattoo shop owner, within 24 hours of giving birth to their third child.

The couple live in Manchester with their kids Darwin, seven, Bishop, four, and Rayne, two. Amanda, also 32, says:

 Amanda Dowdall and her husband Mike only waited 24 hours to have sex as a range of hormones left Amanda feeling 'euphoric'
Amanda Dowdall and her husband Mike only waited 24 hours to have sex as a range of hormones left Amanda feeling 'euphoric'Credit: Paul Cousans - The Sun

"We are a highly sexed couple. Being close and intimate is important to us. We always have time to have sex – including during pregnancy.

"We made love a week after our first son and two weeks after our second. Once I got the hang of two children, being a mum and a wife was empowering.

"When we discovered we were expecting baby number three, in July 2016, we were both excited. Being pregnant never stopped us being adventurous in the bedroom.

"When Rayne came screaming into the world after a five-hour labour in March 2017, it was a joyous moment. After two boys, we had a little girl and Mike and I were overcome with emotion.

 Amanda says 'after two boys, we had a little girl and Mike and I were overcome with emotion'
Amanda says 'after two boys, we had a little girl and Mike and I were overcome with emotion'Credit: Paul Cousans - The Sun

"During birth, your body releases a range of hormones and the short labour left me euphoric. I may have still felt flabby with baby weight but to me, it was beautiful.

"I went home a few hours after her birth and despite being exhausted, I was still high on post-birth hormones.

"After putting Rayne down in her cot, Mike and I started cuddling and soon we were making love. It was amazing and, for both of us, a celebration of a new life and our love for each other.

"I wasn’t sore from the birth and having sex seemed the right thing to do. Mike was incredibly gentle and I felt amazing.

 The couple say that being close and intimate is important to them but they hadn't planned to have sex, it just felt right
The couple say that being close and intimate is important to them but they hadn't planned to have sex, it just felt rightCredit: Paul Cousans - The Sun

"We hadn’t planned to have sex so soon but I listened to my body and knew what was right for me.

"There is no right or wrong time to make love after having a baby. Mike and I talk about how we feel and body issues all the time.

"We want to show parents that whatever time they decide to have sex is the right time for them."

Mike says: “Post-pregnancy sex is often difficult for a man to navigate. My advice to other dads is to check with your partner and ask how she is feeling.”

THREE WEEKS - 'Reclaiming my body was a big factor in us doing it'

ANNIE Forber, 24, a mother of two from Morley, West Yorks, waited three weeks to have sex with fiancé Adam Smith, 33, a security officer, after baby Ivy was born in January 2018.

Annie, who works in a bank’s call centre, says:

 Annie Forber waited three weeks before she got intimate with fiancé Adam Smith again
Annie Forber waited three weeks before she got intimate with fiancé Adam Smith againCredit: Glen Minikin

"Sex was something Adam and I discussed before doing it. We both wanted to make sure I was comfortable. Adam couldn’t have been more supportive.

"I was really lucky and didn’t tear giving birth, so I had no stitches. We had sex when Ivy was three weeks old. With my first baby, Hazel, I tore badly and needed 27 internal stitches.

"I was so uncomfortable I couldn’t walk up the stairs for weeks properly. But my then-partner wanted to have sex.

"We waited around five weeks but I wasn’t healed properly and it was really painful.

"I learned from that experience. I wasn’t in pain after having Ivy and the fact I felt no pressure from Adam was really important.

"Once we decided we were both ready, we also had to find the right opportunity, as Ivy would only sleep on me when she was tiny.

"One night, we managed to put her down to sleep in her Moses basket so we seized our chance.

"Having sex did feel a bit strange but we took it slowly. During pregnancy my body ballooned because I carried a lot of water.

 She also wasn’t in pain after having Ivy and says that feeling no pressure from Adam was really important
She also wasn’t in pain after having Ivy and says that feeling no pressure from Adam was really importantCredit: Glen Minikin

"I didn’t feel sexy at all, although Adam kept telling me I looked gorgeous. After the birth, I felt better about myself, more attractive.

"Reclaiming my body was an important factor in having sex soon after the birth. When you’re pregnant, your body doesn’t feel like yours.

"And when I was breastfeeding, my boobs were Ivy’s! So I wanted part of my body to be mine again.

"After we had sex the first time, we went back to our pre-baby routine of sex perhaps a couple of times a week. Logistically, though, having sex with a baby in the room is tricky.

 The couple say there is no 'normal' sex life, before or after babies, so every couple should just do what's best for them
The couple say there is no 'normal' sex life, before or after babies, so every couple should just do what's best for themCredit: Glen Minikin

"You have to be really quiet and if the baby fidgets, you both freeze. It’s definitely very different to pre-baby sex!

"But for me, it’s important that Adam and I nurture our relationship as well as being “Mum and Dad”.

"I believe there is no “normal” sex life – before or after babies – and every couple should do what is best for them."

Adam says: “I always made sure Annie knew it was on her terms, when she was ready for it, and she knew that I would support her whenever that was.”

EIGHT MONTHS - 'Kevin knew I had to lead the way in the bedroom'

BIBA Tanya, a university student, from Clitheroe, says she and her partner, engineer Kevin Lyncheshaun, 60, waited eight months to have sex after the birth of their third child.

The couple live with Sebastian, 14 – Biba’s son – Tabitha, five, and Lola, one. Biba, 38, says:

 Biba Tanya and her partner Kevin Lyncheshaun waited eight months as Biba suffered with post-natal depression
Biba Tanya and her partner Kevin Lyncheshaun waited eight months as Biba suffered with post-natal depressionCredit: Paul Cousans - The Sun

"When I discovered I was pregnant with my third child in May 2017 I was determined to take control of the whole birthing process.

"I knew I was having a girl and I planned a home birth using a birthing pool.

"I did pregnancy meditation and focussed on what I hoped would be a serene and wonderful water birth at home, surrounded by my candles and music.

"But on January 6 last year my whole birthing experience exploded. I woke up at 9am already 8cm dilated having contractions every two minutes.

 Biba couldn't handle even the thought of sex, so waiting until she was completely ready was important
Biba couldn't handle even the thought of sex, so waiting until she was completely ready was importantCredit: Paul Cousans - The Sun

"I managed to make it into the birthing pool literally as Lola slipped out – and she was caught by myself and Kevin. It wasn’t the chilled-out experience I had planned.

"I felt I hadn’t been able to properly control her birth and that made me think I was unable to control the rest of my life.

"The shock of the super-fast delivery, the needs of the other people in my household and what I felt were my failings as a mother saw me shun affection.

"I sunk into post-natal depression. I focused only on the baby and shunned even hugs from best friends wanting to congratulate me.

 After a while she sought help from her health visitors and the couple started being affectionate again
After a while she sought help from her health visitors and the couple started being affectionate againCredit: Paul Cousans - The Sun

"I couldn’t deal with the thought of sex, let alone the practicalities of it. When Lola was seven months old I started feeling more comfortable with my body and with other people.

"I had spoken to my health visitors and Kevin and I started cuddling again. By now, he knew how I was feeling and understood I needed to lead the way in the post-birth bedroom.

"It was eight months after my daughter’s birth but I knew my body and mind were finally ready. I realised I missed the intimacy and the gentle gestures that come with sex.

"It’s important people recognise the right time is when you feel right after a birth.

 Kevin says it's 'key for any man is to be considerate and understanding, never demanding'
Kevin says it's 'key for any man is to be considerate and understanding, never demanding'Credit: Paul Cousans - The Sun

"I know many mums beat themselves up because they don’t look like a sexy Victoria’s Secret Angel seconds after having a child.

"Never be afraid to ask for help and talk to your partner – each birth is different, too."

Kevin says: “Lola’s birth was fast and scary. Biba is an amazing mother and puts up such a brave front.

“We did what was right for us and the key for any man is to be considerate and understanding never demanding.”

ONE YEAR - 'He began to question whether I still loved him'

EXECUTIVE assistant Jessica Lungu and husband Marian, 34, who works in construction, live near Walthamstow, East London, and have been together seven years.

Their daughter Zara is aged 18 months. Jessica, 32, says:

 Jessica Lungu and husband Marian reveal that they were almost driven to divorce as they waited a whole year to have sex again
Jessica Lungu and husband Marian reveal that they were almost driven to divorce as they waited a whole year to have sex againCredit: Louis Wood - The Sun

"Before we had our daughter, we had a very active sex life, at least twice a day.

"Things started to go wrong when I fell pregnant. I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which means you suffer with extremely severe morning sickness.

"I was vomiting 30 times a day. It was a struggle to even take a shower and our romantic life vanished. Then I had a Caesarean section and was left with a severe 2cm wound.

"I had to wait for that to heal. I was told it would take six weeks but I was in pain for a long time after that. I was tired with the new baby too, and the last thing I wanted was to have sex.

 Jessica says they had a very active sex life but after Zara was born intimacy was the last thing on her mind
Jessica says they had a very active sex life but after Zara was born intimacy was the last thing on her mindCredit: Louis Wood - The Sun

"We had no sexual life at all during the pregnancy so after the baby was born, Marian was quite keen to get back to normal, but intimacy was the last thing on my mind.

"He was patient at first and understood that I was feeling low after the baby, but as time went on he became less understanding about it.

"I was breastfeeding and found it easier to have the baby in the same room as me. I didn’t want to wake her, I worried she’d be watching.

"He still kept trying with me but I would say no all the time. After a few months went by, he questioned whether I still loved him and thought I was interested in someone else.

 Things slowly got back on track after the couple opened up to one another
Things slowly got back on track after the couple opened up to one anotherCredit: Louis Wood - The Sun

"He suggested splitting up and we even talked about divorce. We spoke with our godparents, who convinced us we needed to talk more openly about our relationship.

"He became more understanding and I agreed to try. My libido was low so we started watching erotic films together to try and get me in the mood.

"It was nearly a year after having Zara before we had sex again. Slowly, things are getting back on track.

"It’s not as often as it was, but we are happy and our relationship is in a good place."

 Marian says he has no regrets as 'having a baby is a blessing and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to us'
Marian says he has no regrets as 'having a baby is a blessing and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to us'Credit: Louis Wood - The Sun

Marian says: “I was really excited to become a father and for the first few weeks, I forgot about having sex. But then every time I tried to touch her, she would tell me to get away.

“Things have changed a lot since having the baby. Having more children wouldn’t worry me though, even if I did have to wait that long.

“I understand the situation now and would know how to react. Having a baby is a blessing and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to us.”

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