New mums have a hell of a lot going on. So it's not hard to understand how sex could slip to the bottom of their list of priorities.
It goes without saying though, that some women will absolutely want to get back into the saddle after giving birth. I've heard those extra hormones can make you very, very horny indeed!
I really don't know how you mums do it. Sometimes, after eight hours at work and a hellish tube ride home I shudder at the thought of dropping my knickers.
So this week, I'm joined by Annabelle Knight, Lovehoney's Sex and Relationships Expert. She is here to provide new parents with post-pregnancy sex tips as there is an awful lot to consider!
Don't stress about post-birth sex
"Some women can't wait to hop back in the sack and may feel hornier than normal but for most it's entirely the other way around. After having a baby your hormones are going to be all over the place, mix that with sleepless nights, dirty nappies and schedule that'd make Beyonce weep and of course you're going to go off sex.
"You'll probably also forgo washing your hair, eating properly and replying to texts. At this point anything that isn't a necessity will just naturally take a back seat.
"The most important thing you can do is not stress about it, don't make it a big deal so when it feels right again you can enjoy it," Annabelle says.
Your emotional changes probably will affect your sex drive
"The changes women feel about sex after having a baby stem from a deep chemical and emotional change within the brain during and after pregnancy," Annabelle explains.
"Activity increases in regions of the brain that control empathy, anxiety, and social interaction, which is caused by the flood of hormones you get whilst pregnant.
"Very few women pick up their normal sexual routine after having a child, for some it could be within weeks but for others it may be much longer."
Indulge in some mutual masturbation
"It's really important to stress that how soon you start having sex after childbirth is entirely dependent on the couple. Very few women pick up their normal sexual routine straight away after having a child.
"For some it takes six weeks and for others it's six months.
"Don't underestimate what your body has been through, it takes time to let everything heal, especially if you've had a C- Section. You may have residual soreness for several weeks, my advice will always be, do what makes you comfortable and happy.
"If your sex drive is creeping back but your body isn't quite ready then indulge in some mutual external masturbation, you'll feel satisfied without putting any additional strain on your body," she says.
Take into account your post-birth physical changes too
"Sore, swollen, leaking breasts, a healing C-Section, stretched vaginal muscles and an engorged uterus. Sounds fabulous right?
"Don't fret all of this is entirely normal and to be expected, also, none of this is permanent so don't worry," Annabelle says.
Breastfeeding can cause vaginal dryness
"This is true, although it doesn't affect all women in the same way," she explains.
"However, in general when you breast feed your body suppresses ovulation, think of it as a natural form of contraception. It's your body's way of preventing you from falling pregnant again too quickly.
"The suppression of ovulation causes Estrogen levels to dip, which can lead to vaginal dryness.
"Fortunately vaginal dryness doesn't have to mean the end of your sex life. There are absolutely loads of fantastic lubricants out there to help ease the problem.
"For regular sex try a silicone lube, it's nice and thick and long lasting. If you're using toys opt for a water based lube and if you're indulging in something a little more taboo a high quality anal lube is the one you'll need."
Sharing responsibilities will make sex more appealing
"The reality of having a newborn isn't finding the time to have sex, newborns sleep for around 17 hours a day, it's finding the will. Your baby may be asleep for the majority of the time but you'll be inundated with new jobs.
"A recent study showed that new mothers have 26 new tasks to undertake every single day with a newborn in the house. So by the time bedtime comes you're more likely to choose sleep over sex.
"The tip to overcome this is teamwork," Annabelle advises.
"Women with a partner who actively takes joint responsibility for the housework, feeds, nappy changes and all the other things that come with having a baby report that their sex lives return to normal far quicker than women who shoulder most of the responsibility on their own.
"After all, what could be sexier than a man in marigolds!"
Top tips for new Mums
1. Accept that your body has changed and that sex is going to feel different. If this bothers you wear something that makes you feel great in bed, dim the lights and choose a position in which you feel more comfortable.
2. Invest in some lubricant, all the women I've spoken to have lube as a staple of their sex lives now. Wetter sex is better sex!
3. Keep the noise down!
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