You’ve just given birth to your bundle of joy. And while sex is possibly the last thing on your mind, there will come a time that you crave that intimacy. We give you a low down on everything you need to know to make your decision and hopefully life a little easier
BY STEPHLINA DCUNHA
SURE you are exhausted! Your body is slowly coming to terms with the trauma it has been through, your breasts are leaky, you are hardly getting any sleep and postpartum blues may be making you feel dejected and detached from your baby, not to mention a little cranky as well. In short, you are a mess! And, in such circumstances, the thought of getting intimate with your partner might make you break into a cold sweat or even annoyed. However, this won’t be the case forever and you would want to get physical with your partner soon.
Make note, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, experts suggest that couples should start having sex as early as four weeks after childbirth. This is believed to help the partners connect not only on an emotional level, but also, on a mental level and help understand each other’s responsibilities as parents.
Besides, with all the happy hormones that fl oat around in your body post the act, sex has been rightly touted as a stress buster. Believe us, you need it! However, you don’t want to get pregnant again this quickly, which is exactly why you need to think about birth control options. Post pregnancy contraception is a decision which needs to be thought long before even your baby is born, suggest experts.
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH
When you’re trying your best to fill in the shoes of parenthood and fulfi ll your motherly chores, getting pregnant again is probably the last thing on your mind right now. The earliest days of parenthood may not make you feel the sexiest, since your body is recovering from childbirth. However, you and your partner might just want to get reacquainted after about six weeks. In this case, birth control may seem like a non-negotiable option. There are several misconceptions which often misguide women on when they can start getting pregnant again after having a baby. “As a general rule, most women don’t start ovulating immediately after having a baby. The return of menstrual cycle and fertility, after you have given birth to your first child, may vary from person to person,” says Dr Shilpa Ghosh, senior consultant and head of birthing, obstetrics and gynecology, Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka.
After giving birth, your uterus returns to its normal cycle, meaning that you can get pregnant again within a month. Most women think that they cannot get pregnant again until after they’ve had their first post-pregnancy eriod. But, that’s not true. You can get pregnant before having your first period after child birth. “Women often start ovulating in less than 25 days after having a baby, which implies that there is a solid chance of them conceiving again within a month after childbirth. It is often common for women to miss the symptoms of ovulation, especially if you are not expecting them. So, it is advised to stay extra cautious during this particular time,” explains Dr Ghosh.
And since your ability to bear another child can return as quickly as a month, it is advisable to think about postpartum birth control in the weeks before delivery. When considering birth control options, many women also realise that their earlier choice may not be the most suitable one for their new lifestyle. In such an instance, being informed of all the available options is a good idea. Your newly-acquired routine may not be the most suited for your previous mode of contraception; for example, taking your daily pill might easily slip your mind when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks. Similarly, a contraceptive pill might not be the best option in case you are breastfeeding your baby or condoms which used to feel fine before might now be uncomfortable. “There are several methods of contraception available. However, choosing the one that works best for you depends on the mother’s health and largely on circumstances.” confirms Dr Ghosh.