Sex After Baby: What Do a Quarter of New Moms Have in Common With Jessica Simpson and Tori Spelling?

Do you remember when Jessica Simpson spilled the beans about having sex a mere 3 weeks after she gave birth to baby Maxwell? And Tori Spelling revealed that she got pregnant with baby #4 when third child Hattie was, um, a month old?

Turns out, they're not the only new mamas feeling frisky so soon. Researchers at University of Michigan recently determined that sexual desire returns to pregnancy-levels within about three to four weeks postpartum -- causing many to hop back in the sack!

Their other conclusions: First, 40 percent of moms masturbate in the early weeks after-baby. Then, even though most docs recommend nixing intercourse for 4 to 6 weeks postpartum to avoid infection and promote healing, 26% have do it before their six-week checkup. (At 7 weeks, 61% of women are back at it.) One of the biggest buoys to a new mama's sexual desire was her feeling closeness to her partner, found researchers. And you know what went a long way in fostering that closeness? Having her other half in the delivery room for all the pushing and grunting. Researchers found these women had stronger sexual desire post-birth than women who's partners were AWOL.

Of course, as all moms know, you can have all the desire in the world, but certain new-parenthood obstacles can often fizzle your fun. Researchers noted that fatigue, the newborn's sleep habits and the absence of any free time were the top sex-drive squelchers. Plus, postpartum blues -- which the study doesn't cover--has been shown to hinder desire.

According to The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), about 2 to 3 days after birth, many new moms cry for seemingly no reason and feel anxious about properly caring for their baby. While those initial feelings tend to dissipate after a week or so later, for up to 18% of women these feelings linger and interfere with normal life -- sex life included. Interestingly, breastfeeding, vaginal trauma and body image did not seem to play a part in how quickly new moms got back into pre-baby sexual habits.  

Me? I had tears (TMI, I'm sure) and I was most definitely not one of the 26% who had sex before the doc-recommended time fame. Heck, I may have even tacked on a couple weeks for my own nerve's sake. But reading these stats doesn't make me feel like a lesser woman or anything like that. It actually makes me smile. Good for you ladies! Empower yourself! Embrace pleasure! Be a couple, not just a mom! The thing is, whenever you reunite with your partner -- whether a few weeks after birth or a few months -- it's a big deal. And it's your deal. Who cares what everyone else is doing?

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