Now that you and your partner are adapting to your new roles, you can start to think about how to make time for each other.

Your baby today

It’s inevitable that your baby will be exposed to viruses and some believe this reduces the risk of allergies later on. However, small babies can be quite sick with a cold so try to avoid people with colds at first. Breast-feeding provides protection against viruses.

Adapting to family life can mean learning to juggle your time to meet each other’s needs.

Finding time alone together can be hard and resuming your love life can take time. Some women resume their love life without any problems, but for many it takes a little longer, especially if they had stitches and are sore. Also, a difficult birth can affect you emotionally, as can fatigue from lack of sleep. It’s recommended that you wait two to three weeks after giving birth before sexual intercourse to let your uterus reduce in size and for the bleeding to stop. Many women prefer to wait until after their six-week checkup . Initially, cuddling and nonpenetrative sex can help you and your partner experience closeness. When you both feel right you can resume sex, but the first time needs to be gentle and you may need a lubricant since your hormones can cause vaginal dryness, especially when breast-feeding. If intercourse is painful, talk to your doctor who can make sure you’re healing.

You will need to consider contraception now. If you’re undecided as to what to use and want to resume intercourse, it’s a good idea to use condoms until your six week checkup when you can discuss the issue further.

Getting your figure back

Most women lose around 10–15 lb (4–7 kg) in the first two weeks after the birth since, in addition to the loss of the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid, you will lose the water that you retained in pregnancy. This water will be mobilized from your tissues and reabsorbed back into your bloodstream, and you’ll eliminate it through your urine. Often women can feel more swollen after the delivery than they were before, but this extra fluid will be eliminated naturally in the next two weeks since you will probably pass large amounts of urine.

After two weeks, your weight loss will slow down. It’s important to not try to lose weight too quickly after the birth, especially if you’re breast-feeding, when you need around 500 extra calories each day. If you don’t meet these extra nutritional needs, you will probably find that your energy will be low from a lack of calories. Eat a balanced diet that consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein and drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation.

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