How Long Should We Wait After Our Baby’s Birth Before Trying To Conceive?



There are a variety of factors that will go into the decision to try to conceive again after your baby’s birth.  These factors fall into three categories.  First, you need to be aware of when your body is able to conceive again.  Second, you need to think about when you will be able to have sex again to try to conceive.  Finally, you need to consider the implications of how much space will be between each of your children.

When you will be able to get pregnant again will vary from woman to woman. It may take a little while before your body gets back on track, hormonally speaking, after you give birth. Having said that, some women return to their normal fertile state within a couple of weeks if they are not breastfeeding. If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby, it could be quite a while before you start ovulating again.

It is possible to start ovulating even without the return of your period. You need to realize that getting pregnant is a possiblity whether you are breastfeeding or not. If you are really opposed to getting pregnant too quickly after giving birth, you will really want to find a birth control method that will work for you.

Next, you need to make sure you’re waiting long enough after birth to have sex.  While advice will vary from one health care provider to the next, most health care providers recommend that you abstain from sex until after your six-week postnatal checkup.  There are a variety of reasons for the wait.





During delivery, your uterus and your cervix go through tremendous changes.  Accordingly, they need time to heal. Specifically, the lining of the uterus may be particularly prone to infection during this time.  Not just sex but douching, the use of tampons, or the placement of anything in the vagina can introduce bacteria and cause a uterine infection.  Lochia, the material that flows from your uterus after delivery, is a sign that your uterus is healing.  When the flow of Lochia is not red in color any longer, it indicates that the uterus is nearly healed.  This can take anywhere from three to eight weeks for most women.

A variety of things can happen during delivery that can also affect the safety of having sex after delivery.  If you have an episiotomy, for example, it may require stitches.  Having sex could reopen the tear and pull out the stitches.  The same danger can occur if you have a vaginal or rectal tear or laceration, as well.  In addition, many women find that they have a reduced sex drive after delivery.  Some women complain of pain during intercourse, even long after delivery.  More common is the fear of pain that a woman may have after delivery.  The use of lubricants and the woman-on-top positioning may make a woman more comfortable, and allow her to take more care with areas that may still be sensitive.

Finally, you need to consider the spacing of your children.  If you conceive within the first few months after giving birth, it is likely that you will have more than one child in diapers, more than one child who needs daycare, and a variety of other issues.  You may even think far ahead, such as how you will be able to save for college for your children if they are spaced very close together.  Talking with other parents and parenting experts can help you to think through these implications, as well.


Last modified: February 10, 2013

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