Mum had sex just TWO HOURS after giving birth and jokes it ‘must have been all the drugs I was on’

DECLAN Donnelly maybe a new dad, having welcomed his daughter Isla in September, but that hasn’t stopped him enjoying a bit of nookie with wife Ali Astall.

When questioned by Britain’s Got Talent co-star Stephen Mulhern how long it took them to have sex post-baby, the 43-year-old quipped, “As soon as possible – you’ve got to get back on the game straight away!”

 Dec and his wife Ali with daughter Isla


Dec and his wife Ali with daughter Isla

But while the TV presenter clearly had no qualms about discussing his sex life, the question ‘When is the right time to get intimate again?’ is still taboo among most new mums.

Here, four women reveal how long it took them.

Two Hours

Debbie Hodge, 44, is a writer and lives in south-east London with her children Felix, 20, Ella, 14, Izzy, 10, and Amelia, four.

 It was mere hours after giving birth to Amelia that Debbie was back having sex with her 24-year-old partner


It was mere hours after giving birth to Amelia that Debbie was back having sex with her 24-year-old partner

Debbie says: “As a woman, pregnant or not, I’m someone who is comfortable in my own skin. I enjoy sex, and after each of my first three pregnancies I made love again with my partner within a fortnight.

My fourth child Amelia was a happy surprise. In 2012 I was single again and then started going out with a guy who was 15 years younger than me – I was 39 and he was 24.

I didn’t actually think I could get pregnant again as I had such irregular periods, but then just before Christmas I discovered we were going to have a baby.

Being pregnant didn’t change the sexual aspect of our relationship. Throughout the nine months, we were having sex three or four times a week and remained physically affectionate with one another.

 Debbie reveals she never stopped feeling comfortable in her own skin, even during pregnancy


Debbie reveals she never stopped feeling comfortable in her own skin, even during pregnancy

I went into labour on July 25, 2013, four days after my due date. Everything was going well at the hospital, but then a routine check on the baby’s heartbeat revealed it was dipping.

Suddenly, there was a team in the room and I was being wheeled into theatre for an emergency C-section. It was a real shock, as everything happened so quickly – up until then I’d only been on gas and air.

After Amelia’s sudden arrival at 8pm that evening, I was given a private room to recover in.

As Amelia lay in her cot, my partner and I were having a cuddle on the bed, when before I knew it we were having sex.

There was just this incredible closeness between us. I didn’t feel sexy, but I did feel special.

It was over so quick that I don’t remember feeling any discomfort, but that could have been because I’d had an epidural.

I couldn’t believe we’d done it – I put it down to all the drugs I was on!

When I returned home three days later, we made love again.

It felt OK and we experimented with different positions to avoid putting pressure on my stitches.

We were quite inventive in order to avoid the risk of them splitting.

However, although we were compatible in bed, we didn’t have that much in common outside of it, and our relationship floundered as we tried to adjust to being parents rather than just partners.

Sadly, just a few months after Amelia was born we decided to split up. It rocked me a bit and I felt quite vulnerable being a single mum with a young baby.

I somehow muddled through, and now that Amelia is starting school I’m finally ready to get back on the dating scene again.

I do think new mums should get back into the saddle when it comes to sex – putting it off isn’t a good idea.”

Three Weeks

Emma Applegate, 27, is a support worker for adults with learning disabilities. She lives in Gillingham, Kent, with her partner Tom Wheatley, 27, who is an electrician, and their 13-month-old son Henry.

Emma says: “After a year of dating, in October 2015 Tom and I decided to try for a baby, and within just two months I was pregnant.

It was far quicker than we expected, but we were both thrilled and saw no reason not to carry on having sex as we did before, which was two to three times a week.

 Emma explained that the changes to her body during pregnancy left her feeling unattractive


Emma explained that the changes to her body during pregnancy left her feeling unattractive

However, as the weeks went by and I began to put on weight, I stopped feeling so good about my body. Before I was pregnant, I was 9st 2lb and a size 10, but slowly my weight crept up.

When I hit the six-month mark, I refused to have sex as I felt so disgusted by my shape.

As well as putting on weight everywhere, I also had a lot of bloating from water retention.

Being big brought back lots of negative feelings I had from my childhood, when I’d been overweight until the age of 17. At my biggest, I weighed 15st 7lb.

Fortunately, I had lost 6st by the time I turned 20, working really hard to diet and exercise.

 Tom thought after months without sex during pregnancy that Emma had gone off him


Tom thought after months without sex during pregnancy that Emma had gone off him

But with my pregnancy pounds, I was left feeling so uncomfortable in my skin and convinced myself I was deeply unattractive.

I refused to discuss it with Tom, though, which started to push us apart as a couple.

He was really patient, but eventually, when I was seven months pregnant, Tom sat me down and asked what was going on – even suggesting I’d gone off him.

I had to explain that it couldn’t be further from the truth, but I just didn’t like what was happening to my body and didn’t feel attractive any more.

Thankfully, Tom was very reassuring and told me how proud he was of me carrying our child.

Once we’d got past this, during the last few weeks we did make love again. While I did feel a tiny bit self-conscious, it felt special to get the closeness back.

After a grim three-day labour, when our baby Henry was born on September 9, 2016, weighing 7lb 1oz, I was badly torn and needed several stitches.

When we got home from the hospital two days later, I couldn’t even sit down comfortably. But despite being in such pain, I took to motherhood immediately.

Tom took a week off work, and it was such a special time for the three of us. The following week, he started to snuggle up to me in bed.

He didn’t have to say anything, but I knew what he wanted.

 Emma and Tom decided to have a baby after just a year of dating, and she fell pregnant within months


Emma and Tom decided to have a baby after just a year of dating, and she fell pregnant within months

Although I was nervous, I felt like I should just bite the bullet and go for it.

Tom didn’t pressure me one bit, but I knew that the longer I left it, the more awkward it would become, so during the third week we had sex.

I was so conscious about my belly I kept my top on and turned the lights off.

I was worried it would be painful, but it wasn’t. In fact, it was fantastic and I felt really good about myself afterwards.

By the time Henry was six weeks old, we were having sex twice a week.

Since giving birth, I’ve lost the 4st I gained and I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

I make more of an effort than I did before, too, as I realise how important it is to show your other half you love them.

Just because I’m a mum doesn’t mean I don’t fancy the pants off Tom – and he needs to know that.”

Eight Months

Angela McGinn, 32, is a chef who lives in Blackburn, Lancashire, with her partner Joe Lunn, 37, who is a construction worker, and their 18-month-old daughter Betsy.

Angela says: “I discovered I was two months pregnant in autumn 2015 after seven years of trying for a baby, having been diagnosed with endometriosis.

Joe and I were so excited, but then the morning sickness kicked in and the nausea was practically 24/7 for the first six months.

I was hospitalised on three occasions to replace the fluids I’d lost through vomiting.

 Angela had been trying to get pregnant for seven years when she finally found out she was expecting


Angela had been trying to get pregnant for seven years when she finally found out she was expecting

Amazingly, at first our sex life didn’t suffer, and we were still doing it three to four times a week up until I was six months pregnant, as my libido had rocketed from all the hormones.

But Joe was worried about hurting the baby, and by the last trimester he was very reluctant, so we didn’t have sex after that.

Betsy arrived via emergency C-section on April 9, 2016, after six horrific days of labour.

I was so traumatised that when I got home I refused to even let Joe near me.

He was the perfect partner, getting up to do the night feeds, but neither of us knew what to do, as silly as it sounds.

I don’t feel naturally maternal, and we didn’t know how to get into a routine with Betsy, so we would end up arguing over how to look after her.

I also experienced bleeding continually for the first four months, which put a stop to any intimate relations.

When I discussed it with my doctor it turned out it was down to a vitamin K deficiency.

To make matters worse I was diagnosed with postnatal depression and prescribed antidepressants by my GP.

I didn’t undergo counselling for the depression but I saw my doctor regularly.

 Angela and Joe with Betsey, at her Christening


Angela and Joe with Betsey, at her Christening

Joe was such a great support. He never once mentioned having sex, which stopped me from feeling pressure on top of everything else.

But eight months after giving birth, I still didn’t like my post-baby body. My boobs weren’t where they used to be and I still had a jelly belly.

However, Joe had begun to make gentle hints about us getting intimate again. I agreed on the condition we took it slowly.

The night we did it, I was petrified.

Because we hadn’t had sex for ages, it felt like we were doing it for the first time. Joe was so tender, though, asking if I was OK.

Before having Betsy, we had been a very tactile couple, but the past 18 months have been the most difficult of my life.

Thankfully, we’re slowly getting back to our old ways.

I’ve been working out and I am now feeling better about my body.

We’re also finally back to having sex a few times a week again, which we’re both very happy about.”

Two years

Sara Collins, 48, is a stay-at-home mum and lives in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, with her husband Graham, 50, who is a carer, and their children Ella, 17, Jude, 13, and Jake, nine.

Sara says: “Graham and I have been together for 24 years, and before we had kids we’d make love three or four times a week. But when Ella arrived in April 2000, our priorities changed.

Sex lessened, and it was me who instigated it when we had it. Graham was worried he was pressuring me if he was the one asking for sex.

At one point I was dealing with two children under five, and we were lucky if we did it a couple of times a year.

 Sara thought that she had lost Jake during a very difficult birth


Sara thought that she had lost Jake during a very difficult birth

I went into labour with Jake on his due date of May 15, 2008, but after six days I was still only 2cm dilated.

Then the doctors discovered my cervix had rotated backwards, and told me it would be impossible for me to give birth naturally.

The last thing I heard before being wheeled into theatre was the anaesthetist shouting: ‘We’ve got three minutes to get him out.’

The C-section and the moments leading up to it left me so traumatised that I hadn’t realised my son survived.

Even though my perfect 6lb 6oz baby had been brought to me and I had breastfed him, I was so high on morphine that it took me 24 hours to realise he was alive and he was mine.

We took Jake home a week later, and at first I was suffering from shock.

While he was gorgeous, he had a tongue tie and struggled to feed.

It seemed as though everything that could go wrong did, and I quickly fell into severe depression and was diagnosed with PTSD that July.

On top of the emotional cost, there was the physical aftermath to deal with.

My C-section scar wasn’t one of the neat ones that sits under your knicker line – it was as though Freddy Krueger had been at me.

For 18 months I was in a lot of pain with the scar tissue – I couldn’t even sit down or stand up without noticing it, and it hurt to cuddle the children.

I couldn’t go to the gym, as I was convinced I would do even more damage, and sex was also out of the question because I was so scared that the scar would open – I wanted to forget about having sex ever again.

Fortunately, Graham was incredibly understanding.

He’s my best friend, and I never worried he would leave me because we are such a strong couple.

I didn’t confide in anyone, though, and shutting down emotionally meant it took me two years to find the courage to have sex again.

 Sara, Graham, Ella, Jude and Jake have all come through the other side of their struggles stronger


Sara, Graham, Ella, Jude and Jake have all come through the other side of their struggles stronger

The night it happened, there wasn’t a big seduction routine or any sexy underwear, but it was my decision to go for it.

Graham was incredibly loving and kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to go ahead. I was, but I was also very nervous, and while it wasn’t full of red-hot passion, I did enjoy it.

After that, our sex life did pick up again and we were having sex every couple of months.

However, it’s dwindled again over the last couple of years, becoming pretty infrequent.

I’m still hung up about how my body looks – I can’t let Graham see me naked any more, so when we do get intimate, I’m a lights-out girl.

I’d have loved another child, but we miscarried five years ago.

If things hadn’t been so traumatic, we’d have had sex sooner after Jake’s birth.

But there’s no point dwelling on ‘what ifs’. I’m lucky to have my kids.”

How long would you wait? The medical view

So how long should you wait?

“Each woman has her own set of psychological and physical circumstances to deal with

after childbirth,” explains gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr KAREN MORTON.

“Plus, what you want and what your partner wants can be totally different.

“The vagina has got to be comfortable, and if you’re breastfeeding, oestrogen levels will be low, meaning you’ll be quite dry.

“Lubricant can help, especially if you have scar tissue after an episiotomy or a tear.

“One in five new mums in the UK suffer from postnatal depression, and women are less likely to feel sexy if they’re depressed.

“Also, a new mum will often be exhausted and overwhelmed.

“While sex is important, it’s a difficult time for couples.

“But leave it too long and men can feel pushed out.

“My advice is to get practical, physical and emotional help if you suspect you need it.”

Stacey Solomon admits she didn’t know what a placenta was as she remembers ‘traumatic’ first birth on Loose Women


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