Things I Wish I Had Known About Postpartum Sex

**My intention for writing about this topic is to prepare soon-to-be mothers about possible experiences they may encounter after having a baby that will affect their sex life (both good and bad). If you are sensitive to any conversation about sex or get easily offended and feel this is a private topic that should never be openly and educationally talked about, feel free to skip this one.

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You’ve had your baby and the healing process has begun. Doctor’s orders usually say wait 6 weeks to resume intercourse with your significant other. Some couples get so worked up that they decide to go for it a few weeks early while other moms (like me) prefer the guilt-free time off! But no matter when you decide to resume your sex life after having your baby, postpartum sex is something to prepare for, especially if it’s your first child.

Here are a five things I wish I had known about postpartum sex before I actually experienced it:

It will feel different. I’ve heard some women say their sex life was even better after kids. That’s awesome for them and I pray to all the gods that you will experience similar fortune. But that’s not exactly how it has been in my experience. After my first baby, sex was incredibly painful due to some scar tissue that formed from my stitches. Intercourse stayed pretty uncomfortable until I got pregnant with my second, despite all my efforts to fix the problem. While not as painful after having my second baby, there was still an extended healing time required. This was way different than our pre-baby sex life and it took me a long time to accept my new reality.
Whether your sex feels better or is harder, it’s going to be a different experience than pre-baby sex. The first time after that 6-week healing period will feel the most different. Use lots of lubrication and go slow. That area went through hell so you need to treat it with respect and give it time to stretch, as it should.
***If sex is still painful after months of healing, speak with your doctor about options. It shouldn’t hurt too long after you’ve healed so getting a professional opinion about what’s going on will help. You deserve to enjoy your sex life and having babies shouldn’t ruin everything!

You may not want it as often. And that makes sense! You’re figuring out how to be a mother, how to breastfeed, how to survive on very little sleep, and how to balance your new, exciting life. All the (good) stress a new mother feels after bringing baby home will understandably take its toll in some way. Often, we don’t want to be touched and just need to take every chance to sleep that we possibly can. But don’t worry—the first few weeks (months?) are the worst, when it comes to low sex drive. Many moms experience their drive rise after they feel they’ve got the hang of things, after they stop breastfeeding, or when they make an effort to focus on their significant other more. Every woman’s libido is different so again—I pray to all the gods that yours will come back hot and ready!

Have a lot of lubrication on hand for it. Don’t feel bad if you’re really turned on but your body just isn’t responding like it should. Our hormones after baby are all over the place and breastfeeding can make many moms… drier… than usual. There’s no shame in needing lubrication help, and honestly, you’ll probably need a lot of it at first. If it means you’ll enjoy yourself more, then lather that stuff on!

Be patient with it. If things are too dry, if it still hurts too much, if your sex drive is at an all time low, if you feel too self-conscious about your post baby body—be patient with yourself. Just because it may be different right now doesn’t mean it will forever be that way. Things were rough for me after my first, so I was dreading what sex would be like after my second. But just as with most things, everything was different this time around, because each pregnancy, baby, and postpartum healing is different. Be patient with yourself. Communicate with your partner so he is patient as well. Don’t be so hard on yourself. And before you know it, the “old you” will come peeking back.

It will mean more to you. Now that you’ve got a kid who relies on you for pretty much every single thing, getting moments alone with your spouse is that much more special. It may feel rushed sometimes because you’ve got to squeeze it in before the baby starts crying again. Or maybe you hear the baby start to fuss just as things get interesting so a quickie is all you’ll get. Other times, you’ll have the chance to really focus on each other like you used to. But any time you get together will still feel more special. It’s special because you MADE time for each other. You chose to focus on your relationship, which will help strengthen you both to get back into the thick of diapers and breastfeeding and sleep deprivation, working as a team.

 

What other tips would you share to a new mom about preparing for postpartum sex?

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Heather lives with her husband, daughter and son and has learned to accept that Utah is now her permanent home. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she taught elementary school and loves to use that background to create fun activities to entertain her children. Though staying home with the kids is great, Heather has always enjoyed finding more ways she can keep herself sane, including elaborate cross stitch designs and playing with any puppy she can find. She particularly loves to read and write and prides herself in always remaining honest in her posts about life as a wife and mother, even when the truth is sometimes embarrassing.

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