ONE in eight new mothers are waiting for at least half-a-year before resuming having sex with their partners after childbirth, a poll suggests.
Some 13pc of mothers said they waited at least six months before they started to have sex again, according to the survey by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas).
Almost a quarter (23pc) said they resumed having sex within six weeks after giving birth.
Bpas said the barriers that stopped women resuming their sex habits were pain and exhaustion, but body image anxieties were "widespread".
The poll of 1,350 mothers found 45pc said they felt uncomfortable about their body after having a baby, which put them off resuming sex.
"There is no set time to start again - all that should matter is that it feels right for them and that they have access to the contraception best-suited to their needs if they wish to avoid another pregnancy straight away," said Bpas's director of external affairs Clare Murphy.
"We see women experiencing unplanned pregnancy in the year after giving birth, sometimes because of confusing information.
"The sexual health needs of new mothers will be diverse and we need to find innovative ways to support them. This may mean ensuring more information is provided antenatally, enabling those women who want to leave hospital with contraception to do so."