Sex After Birth—a Doctor Answers the Questions You Were Afraid to Ask
Jumping back in the saddle after giving birth can be a wild ride. Your body is different, and your hormones are raging…not to mention that there’s a new (and demanding!) person living under your roof.
Some couples are ready for sex after baby just weeks after birth, while others wait months. Some couples experience a newfound passion. For others, it’s hard to get their groove back after childbirth.
So what’s normal when it comes to sex after birth? Normal is whatever works for you and your body, and for you and your partner. That said, there are solutions to a few common issues that you might experience in the bedroom post-baby.
How Long After Birth Can You Have Sex?
About 6 to 8 weeks after delivery, your OB/GYN will do a check-up and if everything looks good, she’ll give you the green light for having sex after giving birth.
What If Sex After Birth Hurts or is Painful?
Even after getting the green light, sex after birth can be uncomfortable, especially the first time back. You might feel sore, tight or tender, and it’s common to experience vaginal dryness (thanks to a post-partum drop in estrogen). Talk to your doctor about bleeding or sharp pain, but for mild symptoms, applying lubricant will often help!
What If I Have No Interest in Sex After Birth?
Exhausted? Check. Overdue for a shower? Check. Need a little personal space? Check, check, check!
With a new baby at home, sex might be the last thing on your mind. And for breastfeeding moms, it can be even less appealing, as milk-producing hormones are like an ice-cold shower for your libido. But sex isn’t the only way to be intimate. Gentle touch or massage can feel oh so nice when sex isn’t in the cards.
Did Having a Baby Boost My Libido?
Some women experience an unusually strong sex drive after giving birth—thanks to hormones and your new, more voluptuous figure. Other moms describe feeling empowered by their delivery and in touch with their physical side. Whatever the reason, listen to your body and bring it on!
Am I Leaking?
Yep, it happens. Nursing moms sometimes leak breastmilk during sex after birth. Arousal or orgasm can trigger a let-down. Other times, breasts just happen to be full and need to release. Nursing or pumping before you get busy will mostly stop this issue before it starts.
Am I Leaking…Down There?
Pee happens, too! Your pelvic floor muscles got quite the workout during delivery. And even if you didn’t have a vaginal birth, they withstood the weight of your baby for 9 months! It’s normal for moms to experience a little bladder leakage during sex after childbirth. The good news: Kegel exercises will rebuild your strength.
What If My Kids Walk In During Sex?
Mommy! Daddy! Whatcha doin’? It’s hard to get back in the swing of things when your little sweetie starts crying or an older sibling needs a glass of water. These interruptions can kill the mood fast, taking you from sexual goddess to mom-mode in a flash. It can help to schedule together-time when kids have a full tummy, an empty bladder, and are already snoozing soundly.
Lights On or Off?
Your body looks and feels different than it did before pregnancy...softer tummy, fuller breasts (especially if you’re breastfeeding), and for lots of moms, visible stretch marks. These changes may make some women feel self-conscious, while others feel more connected to their bodies than ever before (and their partners agree!). No matter what your body or sex life looks like after baby, opening up to your partner about your apprehensions is key. Because there’s nothing sexier than good communication!
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.