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Advice – Intimacy after pregnancy. [NSFW]

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/u/throwaway309329 on /r/relationships writes…

“We’ve [29M] [27F] been married for 2 years. My wife just had our baby almost six months ago. I love our son so much, and I love my wife. Truly, I do. I expected changes to my wife’s body after pregnancy. I told myself and I told her that I will love her body no matter what, but I don’t. I don’t find myself physically attracted to her anymore.

After the doctor gave us the green light for sex again, she was very embarrassed and nervous to show me her body. My wife saw my face when I saw her body and she was mortified–I don’t remember what I did or said but clearly it wasn’t the reaction she was hoping to get. We didn’t have sex that night and I was completely turned off. I apologized later on and she forgave me, and she asked for some more time before we jumped the gun again. I agreed.

We tried to have sex a couple weeks after that and it was very disappointing. Her vagina wasn’t as tight as before and she was in a lot of pain. We stopped and she was crying from the pain. I consoled her but I was VERY turned off. I pushed her for exercise a couple days after that night, told her to do some kegels, etc.

She’s been exercising a lot more lately when she has the time and she’s slowly lost the weight, but she still has her stretchmarks and other loose skin. I tell her she looks beautiful, but I really don’t believe myself when I say it. She’s slowly regaining confidence in herself, but the other night I made a couple more comments about her stretchmarks and she is crushed again. I feel bad. She’s an amazing mother and has been a wonderful companion to me, and has stuck by me through thick and thin. But her body isn’t beautiful to me anymore. I don’t know how else to bring this up, or what to do in this situation. I’ve thought about cheating but I’ve been going back and forth on that.”

Dear Throwaway 309329,

What a hurricane.

Let’s start here. Consider that your wife just gave birth to your child six months ago. Cheating on your wife is a very bad idea.

Your wife has gone through an intense, body-altering experience in childbirth. It is very common that most mothers wait about four to six weeks before attempting vaginal intercourse. That usually gives enough time for the cervix to close up, uterus to shrink, and C-section wounds to heal. But the actual physical recovery process can extend can extend further into two to three months as well. The emotional recovery could take a bit longer than either of those timelines. Learning to re-associate sexual attributes to her organ that just extracted a brand new human being is quite a lot. According to BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 46% of women expressed no interest in sex six months after child birth. Motherly’s survey in 2019 found that 31% of women are having postpartum sex before they felt ready. All the signs and studies point in the direction that you need to be much, much more patient. Some of the common advice regarding postpartum sex suggests to use a lot of lubrication, especially at first, to reduce bleeding from unnecessary friction.

Now let’s talk about the your sexual disconnect.

Your wife’s body has changed. There is no denying it. She will have stretch marks at best case scenario for another twelve weeks. The way you describe sexual intimacy with your wife is so… self-centered and egocentric, so discompassionate from the pain she is experiencing and the efforts she has been making to feel reconnected with her own body. She is your wife. It is time for you to make some serious effort to reconnect with your wife’s body. It’s your time to do your emotional labor.

Why are you putting so much pressure on your wife to be comfortable with vaginal intercourse right away? Both you and your wife have to approach this sexual reconnect with mindfulness and patience. Start with mutual masturbation. If all of that goes well, then consider intensifying to oral sex and outercourse. Only if you both still feel comfortable at that point, consider slowly introducing vaginal intercourse into your sexual routine.

Commit to this reconnect with your wife. She deserves way more than just your best shot at this after what she went through the past nine months carrying your child to term.

Good luck.

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com.

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