Sex after the Birth: What You Should Know


When we talk about sex after childbirth, the first rule is that there are no rules at all. Every couple has their own rhythm and reacts differently. After having a baby, I spent weeks trying to get used to the fact that I became a mother. I was like a robot for weeks, and it seemed that I needed all day long for endless running around the house and satisfying all baby’s needs.

Feed the baby – change diapers – bathe the baby – dress the baby – talk with the baby -, take the baby on the fresh air – put the baby to sleep. Plus, I had to finish all housework. Wash the dishes – wash your baby’s bottles – wash and iron your baby’s layette – cook a meal for working husband and me – boil the water for the baby.

Just when I finished everything, the circle started again and again, without pause. I had read everything about maternal instinct during pregnancy but, honestly, when I once became a mother, I had no time for it. I had no time for anything! I had no time for myself and my husband at all! No time for eating, going anywhere, reading, talking, even sleeping. The baby took all my time. I was only thinking about few hours of decent rest.

My Life Had to Continue in The New Circumstances

Finally, after a few weeks, my baby caught her own rhythm, and somehow both of us found a way to harmonize our needs and activities and all weeks-long-torture turned around to excellent time which we were spending together. Yes, nothing really changed. I still had dishes and clothes for washing, and even had to start with mixing homemade baby food after a few months, but I just learned to organize myself better.

And, the issue of my life came up and all the habits that were implied before my daughter was born needed to be established again. Well, one of the central questions was related to my sex life. Suddenly, a bunch of new and new questions appeared. I had no mother to ask, and I made a lot of conversations with my friends about the subject. The first problem was that there were no many of them with babies at that moment. Few of them who gave birth had different experiences and opinions, of course.

Then I started to read. There were a lot of articles, but many of them were controversial. My basic conclusion was that all of us were different, with unique needs. But, there were some answers which were general and could be applied to each of us.

Let’s start!

When Is It Safe for Us to Start to Have Sex Again?

Sex after the Birth

One is crucial – don’t do it during until at least two weeks after delivery. You will still bleed, and you don’t want to catch any uterine infection or something worse. The recommendation is to avoid sex during the first six weeks. Well, it’s not pretty hard for a new mom in any way. With all problems and lack of sleep, you will want only to have a rest. It can kill all the desire, believe me.

[Recommended: Sex after Baby, Common Questions]

There is one more problem. Some moms don’t want sex at all in the beginning. Your baby is whole your world, you are exhausted due to a new situation, and reproductive organs are too sensitive. It’s not rare if you have a low libido during the first weeks. Sometimes your body needs time to heal completely, and this situation can last months after having a baby!

Keep in mind that conversation is everything and that your husband needs to get used to new terms too. Even though your adjusting to motherhood is more stressful for you, he has his own worries. Men can be very confused about this situation. Some of them are completely lost! It’s the hard truth that you have to help him more than he can help you!

Problems You Have to Face With

Lack of self-confidence due to overweight

sex problem after the birth

Many women have problems with feeling less attractive. That can kill women’s self-confidence. After nine months of pregnancy, your uterus needs about two months to return to pre-pregnancy size. Because of that, you can look bigger than you really are. Unfortunately, it can sometimes take up to a year to lose your pregnancy weight. With stretch marks, cellulite, bigger feet, and a C-section scar, it is normal to be unhappy due to your post-pregnancy body.

It can be serious! A new mom is often under the stress and anxiety about her appearance, and she may feel worried and ashamed about what her partner thinks of her body. Husbands, remind your wives how much you love them and how beautiful they are in your eyes. You will see, it will make a difference, and a miracle will happen in front of you immediately.

※ Lack of sleep

Believe or not, the most significant reason against sex is a lack of sleep! There are severe studies which show that each additional hour of sleep a new mother has, increases her will for having sex by 14%. Can you imagine that? The father is the one who has to help a beloved wife even though he is tired and under stress about his work. The good news is that this state won’t last forever.

If tiredness is the most significant barrier, share housework and baby care during the first months. You also can try to make love during baby’s nap time. If your baby wakes up at the inconvenient time, try to laugh the whole situation and wait for the next opportunity. And remember – your happiness is in the patience!

※ Feeling of unworthy

Nowadays, the most moms are all alone during the day and isolated in the house. It can be a huge problem especially for moms used to work and mingle with people. Suddenly they find themselves unnecessary and feel that they waste precious time sitting in the house. It is a reason why some of the moms are struggling with postpartum depression. You mustn’t ignore this problem!

 Fear of painful sex

Very often a woman can be afraid of painful sex, and this can even cause a psychological issue. Don’t forget a possibility that she maybe has ‘Dyspareunia’, the pain during intercourse. Both vaginal and cesarean births can lead to it. Partner is crucial here, and he can help.

For a start, sex doesn’t need to be vaginal and penetrative. Find a way to love each other without that part. Advice for him – touch her, talk to her, kiss her a lot, use organic lubricant, do experiments with various positions, and control the depth of penetration. All in all, be sure that she feels good. During the time, everything will come back to normal. The process requires the husband to be patient!

 Influence of breastfeeding hormones

Influence of breastfeeding hormones

During breastfeeding, hormones work to secure that there is enough milk for feeding the baby. They also prevent the next pregnancy from coming too soon but, that means one more thing. Apparently, they are not pro-libido hormones. The truth is that sex will probably not be good in the beginning. There is a possibility that it will hurt because all the area is too dry and hypersensitive. Plus, it’s maybe harmed during the delivery of the baby.  One thing is certain. Postpartum hormones won’t make things easier for you.

Well, the level of Estrogen normally affects the elasticity of woman’s vaginal tissues. After delivery, the level of Estrogen decreases, and it remains low all the time while breastfeeding. With a high level of Oxytocin (a hormone which suppresses your libido) and Prolactin, some kind of mimic menopause may occur. This state will last about two to three months. One request for fathers – please, don’t ask her to give up breastfeeding because of earlier sex life!

※ Anger due to painful delivery

Sometimes it can be expected that a new mom feels irrational rage and to be angry with her partner. She can blame him for all the pain during delivery. Occasionally, this leads to a refusal of sex.

Luckily, it’s not a permanent condition. In most cases, this feeling of anger will fade away over time, and it will be replaced by the joy which a new baby brings into your home. In extreme cases, this situation can last much longer. If it’s your case, you should look for professional help after a while and try to solve the problem.

In any case, take your time and give yourself a break. You need to be completely ready. It’s the only way to enjoy sex thoroughly.

What You Can Expect about Sex after Birth

 It will not be the same

When it comes to the first postpartum sex, count on unpleasant and uncomfortable intercourse at first. Be prepared that it will be completely different in the very beginning. You need to be more careful and gentle during a few months. Both of you will feel a particular dose of fear because of the ‘different’ body of your wife. She has now more pounds, and her body is of a different shape with a round belly.

But, believe me; it’s very likely that you will have hot sex after delivery, sometimes even better than it was before. The truth is that having kids make you get creative. You may discover new positions or get the desire to do some experiments until you uncover what works in the new circumstances.

 Respect the body’s changes

 New mom’s vaginal muscles are temporarily stretched-out, and her genital area won’t revert to its normal state immediately. But, the pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened by practicing Kegel’s exercises. These exercises will be your best friend! They can help your vagina get back in the previous shape much faster.

My advice is to exercise wherever and whenever you can. For example, while you are driving, eating your meal, or on the waiting line. The secret of good sex is – practice! But, the mystery of good postpartum sex is – Kegel’s exercise!

◎ It can be exciting on the new way

sex after the birth

Giving birth to your baby will change your breasts. One more time!  They will be firmer and fuller. Oh, and bigger too. Well, it won’t be unpleasant for your partner at all. On the contrary! If you are afraid of postpartum sex, think twice. Maybe it will be stimulating, and you can expect more fun in bed.

But, sometimes mom’s breasts can be sore and heavy, especially during the period of nursing. Discover a tank top or use a nursing bra during sex. Feeding a baby or pumping before sex can be helpful if your breasts are too achy. During the time your hypersensitive nipples will become less sensitive, and you will enjoy more very soon.

◎ All his fears

Keep in mind that you are not only one who is afraid. Your man has his own hidden fears. He knows and expects that your body will go through significant changes during pregnancy, but men are actually utterly unprepared for the physical changes which women experience after baby birth. He is filled with awe by the miracle of birth but, you can’t imagine how shocked he is by your pain during delivery. Luckily, it’s a temporary phase. Give him time, and everything will be just fine.

◎ He is ready for sex, but you are not

It is natural that the male is prepared for sex earlier than the woman after delivering. On the average, the woman’s body needs about six weeks after giving birth to heal. Remember, your body went through the extreme changing during the pregnancy. Therefore it’s not unnatural if you need more time before you start with sex. Basically, everything depends on hormones which level has changed dramatically and made your libido lower. Plus, you are exhausted most of the time and overburden with a new situation.

Please, take it easy on yourself! Let your husband know about your feelings. There are other ways to be intimate until your body is ready and libido as before and both of you will have benefits from closeness. Don’t let him feel rejected if he wants sex and you don’t. In the same time, you definitely shouldn’t be under pressure to have sex before you are entirely ready. Sex is not a chore. It is a pleasure!

◎ You cannot wait those six weeks

sex after the birth

It is well-known that a woman, who wasn’t able to have sex as often as she wanted during the pregnancy, wants to be intimate with her partner as soon as possible after delivering. Sometimes she merely doesn’t want to wait all six weeks. Why not? If it’s your case, there are only a few preparations you need to make.

  • Well, it’s OK if you want to hurry, but you should talk with your doctor first to check out if all post-partum bleeding has finished. I believe that you don’t want to risk an infection. On the other hand, if everything is all right with your body, go for it! You just need to make things easier and more comfortable for yourself.

Unless you really want back-to-back pregnancies, try to take the birth control. Despite the belief that you can’t get pregnant while you are breastfeeding the baby, it’s a misconception. Amazingly, your body has the potential to make another baby almost immediately after you have given birth. Seriously, you need a backup.

Anyway, doctor’s recommendation is to wait at least twelve months to get pregnant with another baby. If you’re not nursing, hormonal methods are OK. In the opposite, use a condom, diaphragm, or a cervical cap. In both cases, you can use an IUD. It’s safe.

  • Tell your partner how you feel. If sex hurts, don’t suffer. There are plenty of methods which can make it more pleasant and painless for you. Use lubricate such as Astroglide or K-Y jelly until your natural secretions return. It will reduce potential pain and increase your pleasure.
  • Relax! If you are anxious and worried, you won’t become aroused. Maybe a glass of wine can help you. Or, let your partner massages you. It will also help to warm you up. You will also need foreplay more than ever. So, ask for it!
  • Pick out a right position accurately. You should experiment until you find the position which fits you the most. Try ‘side to side’ or ‘woman on top’ position. Both of them are an excellent choice for postpartum sex. Only be sure that you go at a comfortable and slow speed.

◎ The greater necessity for connectivity

Women are generally wired for connection, and they need to be connected with their partner before they have sex. For the males, it’s quite the opposite. They need sex to be connected with a woman. Well, forget about it for a while. A new mom needs more affection than ever, and she should spend enough quality time with her partner.

Try to turn the TV off and talk to one another for a start. Husbands, send loving SMS to your beloved wives during the day; make a call to ask them how they are going; leave a note on the pillow to show them that you are thinking about them even though you are not present at the moment. Make them laugh, give them a foot massage and so on. It’s not too much, but it will help them for sure. Additionally, it will help you too. A satisfied and happy woman will want sex. It maybe sounds horrible, but that’s how it is.

Go for it and enjoy as much as possible!

Be aware that sex is even more important in a newly created situation. If there is no intimacy, couples will start to feel like they are only roommates, and it can’t be a good thing. Of course, the start won’t run smooth. It will demand patience, a lot of understanding, and love. Maybe it’s a good way to pretend that you start an entirely new relationship from that moment. Begin with a kiss like new couples usually do. And go forward.


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