News Flash! Moms Want Sex
Six weeks. The magic number to wait after having a baby to have sex again. Or more precisely, penetrative sex. Though a lot of women aren’t waiting. Just start reading the comments here and you’ll see. The standard joke is that no postpartum woman in her right mind wants anything to do with what got her pregnant in the first place. Or the opposite of the woman going in for her six week checkup only to find herself pregnant again. Cue the laughter.
Lo and behold, a new study has determined that postpartum women’s sexual desire is driven more by psychological factors than physical, and there is a wide range of sex start-up dates. Duh.
I think it says more about our lack of comfort with sexual subjects as topics of everyday conversation (raises hand as guilty) that the results of this study comes as a surprise to anyone. Or maybe it was the term “interesting” that was used. Either way, this is what stood out for me:
“Health-care providers often don’t discuss too much about sexuality before that six-week period except to express that women shouldn’t be doing anything penetrative until after that timeframe,” [Sari] van Anders said. “But our data suggest that women are engaging in a host of behaviors and that they have desire.” ~ from this article
It’s been a long time since I gave birth, but I remember that very little, if at all, was discussed about sex during my pregnancy care. I didn’t bring it up (though I was thinking about it ) and my doctor (and later midwives) only covered the basics. I’d like to think communication has improved. Though reading through stuff makes me think it hasn’t that much.
What I do remember is that with my first child, I had such horrible heartburn the last six weeks of my pregnancy (no more pizza!), that any exertion, and anything near horizontal caused me such distress that we gave up having sex. I actually had to sleep propped up in a a sitting position most of the time. That combined with the six postpartum weeks added up to three months without sex. A period of time I hope never to have to repeat. But I didn’t talk about it with my doctor. And yeah, that’s my failing. But it would have been good if my doc had of brought it up. Just saying.
If I remember right, I was “good” and waited the six weeks (just mis-typed “sex” there, hahaha) before having “sex” when I had my other children. Mainly because of stitches. But also, if I remember right, I was masturbating as soon as I felt comfortable. In fact it was my understanding that orgasm was good in that it caused contractions that were useful for helping things return to “normal.” This is the first time I think I’ve ever mentioned that. Odd.
Why is sex and motherhood STILL such an issue? It takes one to get to the other (usually – nowadays there’s in vitro). Why do women face off across the divide of this issue? I see this in the comments of both the linked articles and I’ve seen it in person while in a conference panel about parenting and sexuality. It would be nice if it was just that everyone needs knowledge (which they do, but that’s beside the point). But I think the real issue is that most people have issues around sexuality that stem from myriad factors and there is no way to get around this.
I’m a case in point. Doesn’t matter how much I philosophically believe that open and honest discussion of sexuality can only be beneficial and healthy for all of us in the long run. Truth of the matter is that many of us are still battling the lessons learned over the years of our lives that sex is “private” and not to be talked about unless in giggle-whispered tones. All the juvenile tittering over 50 Shades is proof of that. What? Moms interested in sex? Heavens! Giggle giggle.
Again. Duh. Read about the coming baby boom?