Sex, Breastfeeding, and Birth Control
Your doctor or midwife will probably give you clearance to start having sex again at this point if everything's healing normally. Even if you aren't having a period yet, you may still be fertile during this time, so you should be thinking about birth control. Depending on your personal and religious beliefs, you may want to space your children closely, or rely on breastfeeding or other natural methods for child spacing. Or you may not be sure if you want more children, want to have kids a few years apart, or know for certain your family is complete. You should know about the options available to you so that, no matter what your family preferences and needs are, you'll feel prepared to resume your sex life.
If you're breastfeeding, your chances of conceiving again are already going to be reduced for a while. If your baby is exclusively nursing, nurses at least every four hours, doesn't rely on a pacifier for much of his sucking needs, and your period hasn't come back, your chances of getting pregnant in the first six months postpartum are around 2 percent; in other words, this lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) is more effective than many other methods of birth control. That's because the hormones released during frequent, exclusive nursing can keep you from ovulating and returning to fertility.
It's important to keep nursing at night if you're relying on LAM as birth control. The hormones that cause fertility are most abundant at night, so you'll need to keep creating the fertility-suppressing hormones released during breastfeeding at night as well.
After your baby is six months old, your chances of getting pregnant go back up, even if you haven't had a period yet and are still nursing a lot. You won't always be warned by a period before you start ovulating, so don't rely on your first period as a sign that your fertility has returned. If you won't be breastfeeding, you'll need to think about contraception before the first time you have sex postpartum.
Mothers who aren't nursing at all can be fertile during even the earliest postpartum weeks and have even been known to be pregnant already by the six-week postpartum checkup! If you're bottle feeding or supplementing breastfeeding with formula, or if your nursing baby sleeps long stretches at night, frequently sucks a pacifier, is older than six months, eats solid foods, or regularly goes longer than four hours between feedings, the LAM method may be ineffective or less effective for you, and you should use another form of contraceptive if you want to prevent pregnancy.