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Duration of sex break after delivery

How do pregnancy and the first year after birth impact a couples sexuality?
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Twue_Wuv
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by Twue_Wuv »

We try to last the fully recommended 6 weeks but I don't think we've ever made it that far.  And when we do, we take it nice and easy as to not tear any stitches.
Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
mgc73
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by mgc73 »

I'm not sure that abstinence postpartum/on the grounds of healing was what was in view when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 7... ;o)

I'm getting the feeling this is your first? - so it's also worth factoring-in the exhaustion of new parents.  Whether your wife is breastfeeding, whether you're working - what pressures and stresses your job already brings with it, and how hands-on a dad you're going to be... these will all have a part to play :oO
MoreBlessed
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by MoreBlessed »

We were told to wait 6 weeks back in the day and we usually lasted that long before intercourse. I would give him Os from oral or manual, though.
sd595
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by sd595 »

Back in the day we were told 6 weeks as well.  Something I found interesting at the time is that from the medical community (hospital and doctor advice), they were extremely concerned with couples getting back to normal as soon as possible.  It was as if they knew that a lot of problem develop between husband and wife after childbirth because of the lack of sex and they were trying to encourage people.  That could be totally in my mind, but it was my instinct at the time.

Not minimizing a woman's experience in any way, but a family having a child is a weight on all involved including the husband.  The idea of taking 3-4 months seems excessive under normal conditions, but maybe a medical concern could justify that.  I think the time is a difficult one and how well a couple navigates it probably depends on how their marriage bed was beforehand.

I think there is a big risk that can occur if a couple is not being sexual with each other at all.  Even if PIV is off the table, regular sexual encounters involving something are good and important for a marriage.
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by MQ »

Just thought I'd add in a comment on something regarding your opening statement: "As Christians we are admonished not to defraud our partners."

I agree with @mgc73. I do not believe that Bible is at all referring to the postpartum period as defrauding. To be honest, the way it came across when I read your original question was that perhaps you feel your wife is possibly using the opportunity to defraud you? I understand that this may not have been your intention at all, but I did get that kind of vibe from reading what you wrote.

I think there's two different aspects of this to consider.
1. The physical healing required - hence, the advice of no PIV for 6 weeks (or whatever the recommendation is).
2. The ability/willingness of the wife to 'be sexual' during the recovery time (excluding PIV).

For number 1, as I said previously, the recommendation is there for good reason. There's plenty of information online that can explain the details of what happens to a woman's body during childbirth and the process it goes through to recover from that. It takes time. There's no way around this. It's how God designed our bodies. Refraining from PIV during this recovery time is wise and necessary. It is not defrauding.

In terms of the second point (ability/willingness of the wife to 'be sexual' during recovery), this will vary from woman to woman. I would say it's heavily dependent on the state of the marriage relationship (including the sexual relationship) prior to the birth, which is what @sd595 also suggested.

In my own case, I've been on both sides of the spectrum, so to speak. I've gone through the postpartum period multiple times when our marriage bed wasn't in good shape. I've also been through the postpartum period multiple times when our marriage bed was much healthier. I can tell you that the difference was like night and day.

When our marriage bed wasn't doing too well, being sexual during the postpartum period was probably the farthest thing from my mind, and definitely was not a priority for me. (Not in a vindictive, controlling way, but just because I was overwhelmed by exhaustion and merely trying to survive.)

When our marriage bed was in good shape, being sexual during the postpartum period was very much on my mind, and was something I happily prioritised.

For most (possibly all) women going through the postpartum period, most days are a battle to simply survive. I'm not exaggerating. I don't know if it can adequately be explained with words, but it is an experience like no other. The physical exhaustion is unbelievable, and also relentless. Like @Wheat48 said, falling asleep sitting up (or even standing) is common. Your whole existence is 'giving to others', and 'doing for others' (mostly the baby), and it seems like it never lets up. She can feel completely drained physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In this state of utter exhaustion, for some women, the idea of being sexual can feel like this:
"I'm struggling just to survive, and I feel like I'm only barely hanging on. I'm completely exhausted physically, and YOU (the husband) want me to spend what little energy I have to give you the pleasure of an orgasm... while I am left even more exhausted than before."

The husband can do a lot to help his wife not feel like this. Part of it is taking the physical load off her as much as possible (cleaning, cooking, washing, etc), letting her rest/sleep, being available to help out with the baby, etc. This is all about ensuring she has enough physical energy available to use in a sexual way. The other part is making her feel loved and cherished - speak her love language, do things that fill her love tank, make her know that you treasure her, that she is important to you, and that what she is doing matters to you. This is all about drawing closer to her emotionally, and drawing out her desire to be closer physically.

That's how I see this issue. It's a physical thing, and an emotional thing. Both need to be considered in order to successfully navigate through the challenge of sexual intimacy during the postpartum period.
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SongOfAngels
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by SongOfAngels »

i have to agree about the 1 Cor 7 reference.  I take that verse as to not "beat" the spouse over the head with it and that it would not specifically refer to something like illness, distress, childbirth, etc. but to a chronic gatekeeper or a refuser and then it would brought up  in love and respectfully.
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by Link+Zelda »

@MQ: Thank you for the extremely well-written and well-thought-out answer!
-Link+Zelda
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by jude700 »

In the 1940s, my mom told  of a couple having coitus as soon as s
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Re: Duration of sex break after delivery

Post by jude700 »

In the 1940s, my mom told of a couple having coitus as soon as she returned from delivery.  They just pulled the curtain around their bed.  They had ten children.

 

We had 5 children between 1965 and 1971.  The last two were 4-5 months premature,  born within minutes of each other.   After the first was delivered the doctor ordered sutures for perineum tear.   My wife delivered the second twin and they forgot the sutures.  My wife healed within a few weeks,  BUT we had to contend with her mother living with us.
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