Sex after giving birth can be quite tricky, as you and your partner probably haven’t done it for months. Aside from the challenge of getting used to sexy time again, you’ll also need to consider the safety measures as post-delivery hormonal changes can affect the sensitivity of your vaginal tissues and libido. Not only that, but women also experience various changes in their uterus, vagina, cervix, and breasts, all of which need some time to revert back into.
Despite the changes that you may experience in your post-delivery journey, it doesn’t mean that your sex life is “doomed.” You can still have fun and fulfilling sex after giving birth, and we’re here to help you navigate those challenges.
This guide will discuss what you may expect during post-delivery sex and tips to keep it fun and passionate. There are also some essentials that you might want to check after this, so make sure to scroll down ’till the end.
Truths You Should Know About Sex After Giving Birth
If you want to have intense and passionate sex after giving birth, you’ll need to acknowledge your body’s changes after the delivery. Below are some things you may expect when having sex after giving birth.
Remember, every woman has a unique childbirth experience; you may go through changes that weren’t included in this list and may not experience some of the things listed below.
1It is common to have sex after four to six weeks following delivery.
There’s no exact duration that says how long all women should wait to have sex after giving birth. But, most doctors recommend to wait for four to six weeks following vaginal delivery.
The recommended waiting time applies for vaginal and cesarean deliveries, but the recovery process is different, so some women may extend their waiting time. For instance, if a woman delivers their baby through a c-section, they may have a tingling or uncomfortable sensation on their abdominal incision months after the surgery. This means they may not be interested in moving around and getting physical with their partners for months.
2Sex after giving birth will probably not feel great in the beginning.
As your body, particularly your genital and abdominal area, went through many changes during pregnancy and childbirth, it’s normal that sex may not be as pleasurable as before; this is temporary only.
Keep in mind that your body went through trauma from the delivery and/or surgery. Your estrogen levels may also drop after delivery, affecting the elasticity of the vaginal tissues. This means that your natural vaginal lubrication may be low during the deed, leading to irritation, discomfort, and even bleeding during vaginal sex. You may also deal with other issues such as:
- Thinness of vaginal tissue
- Pain in perineum due to episiotomy
- “Loose” vaginal muscles
- Pain during sex
3Don’t worry, there’s reason why you’re not into sex after birth.
If you don’t feel like having sex yet, even if the recovery period is over, don’t feel guilty, as several factors affect your sexual appetite. Aside from hormonal changes, you may also experience drastic changes in your routine as you have a newborn baby at home. You and your partner may be experiencing a lack of sleep and fatigue. And anthropologically speaking, having low libido is just your body’s way of stopping you from getting pregnant again.
4Using protection is important if you want to have postpartum sex.
People think that having sex weeks after giving birth minimizes the chances of getting pregnant again. However, that’s not the case. This is why it’s important to use contraceptives such as condoms when having sex after giving birth. Besides, getting pregnant just months after delivery will put you at risk for premature birth or congenital disabilities.
Doctors recommend at least waiting for 12 months before getting pregnant again. But for good measure, we recommend consulting your doctor on when you can go for another baby.
5Your breasts may tend to be tender and leaky.
After giving birth, your breasts may be bigger than usual, but they also tend to be more tender, extra sensitive, and leaky. You may also feel that your boobs are heavier, affecting your comfort while doing certain sexual activities. Don’t worry about this, though, as the state of your breast is only temporary. It’s also normal for your breasts to leak milk because of the letdown reflex, wherein the breast releases milk when it is being touched or stimulated.
If you don’t want your breasts to be leaking milk in the middle of the deed, you may try nursing your infant or pumping the milk out. You can also wear a bra or tank top to relieve some of the heaviness in your chest area.
6Your vagina may change too.
Whether you’ve undergone normal or c-section delivery, your vagina will temporarily change after delivery. Pregnancy hormones can widen the pelvic rim, minimize your vaginal lubrication, and weaken your pelvic floor muscles. Don’t worry, though, as these issues are temporary; they’ll revert to their normal state after a few months. But if you want to quicken the process, there are exercises, such as kegel exercises or pilates, that could strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
7Getting comfortable will take a while.
Discomfort is generally normal, as long as the pain doesn’t increase and isn’t accompanied by symptoms like a fever. The area around your incision site might be uncomfortable, so it will be helpful to try sexual positions that don’t put any pressure on your abdomen.
The first time you have sex, you may be fearful of what it may feel like. Because sex is not just physical, it’s also mental, any hesitation or fear you have about having sex again is very real and may affect your sexual experience. Some women experience sexual dysfunction after cesarean delivery, so if you find sex is abnormally painful, be sure to speak to your doctor.
8 Sex after giving birth is a great way to maintain intimacy.
Sex after giving birth is one of the great ways to maintain intimacy in a relationship. Though sex shouldn’t be the focal point of any relationship, not having sensual intimacy can cause resentment on both parties.
If you’re not ready for vaginal sex yet, you can just start with foreplay activities, such as kissing, hugging, sensual massages, oral sex, and more. Not only does it strengthens your bond as a couple, but the release of feel-good hormones will also relieve stress.
9It may be different, but it can be more enjoyable than you think.
As we mentioned earlier, your sex life is not doomed after giving birth. In fact, some people have enjoyed sex more after having a baby. A theory for this is that women who have given birth may have opened their bodies to a new range of sensations, increasing pleasure potential. Maturity also plays a role. Most women also feel more confident, resulting in better sexperiences.
10Quickies will be your new best friend.
If you and your partner’s schedules are packed, a quickie is your best friend. You can have a quick sesh while the baby is sleeping. It gets the job done without the fluff, making it a great way to keep the intimate connection you have with your lover.
Tips For Healthy Sex After Giving Birth
You’ve waited out and healed from the delivery, and you’re ready to have sex again! Here are the tips that may help you get healthy sexcapades:
1Take it slow.
Even if your doctor has already given you a go-signal to have sex, your body may still be in its healing process, and certain activities can still feel uncomfortable. It’s okay to take things slow and see what your body can achieve at the moment. You can start with hugs, massages, making out, cuddles, and other activities to warm you up.
As discussed earlier, you can still get pregnant just months after childbirth. It’s better to get protected from pregnancy before doing the deed. Most doctors or midwives will talk about contraception at the six-week checkup for the mum and baby. Don’t shy away from the topic and discuss it thoroughly with your doctor; ask the best options for your body.
There are different birth control options for women; common hormonal options are the pill, implant, and IUD (hormonal type). While common non-hormonal options are condoms, diaphragm, and IUD (copper type).
3Communicate with your partner.
If you want to ensure comfortable and fun sexcapades, keep an open dialogue with your partner about the activities that you like and activities you’re uncomfortable with. Remember that your body is still healing; you and your partner deserve to experience romance and pleasure again, but don’t compromise your comfort just to do it again.
4Focus on foreplay.
Foreplay is the key when having great sex after giving birth. Remember that your vagina may not lubricate as much, so it’s better to spend more time warming up before you go for penetration.
5Lube will save the day!
As for quickie sessions, you can always grab a bottle of water-based lube and use it as a replacement for vaginal lubrication. It’ll keep the penetration smooth and comfortable, minimizing the risk of vaginal pain or bleeding.
6Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s hard to have sex when your mind and body are tired. This is why you need to make healthier lifestyle choices, not just for your sex life but your overall health.
Take some rest during the day if the baby keeps you up at night. Eat healthy meals; don’t just go for convenient canned goods and other processed food. If hubby is around, ask him to look after him for a couple of minutes and just take a brisk walk in your area. You can also hire a nanny or babysitter, then just meet with your friends and family.
7Make time for rest.
One of the common challenges of caring for an infant is that babies have different time clocks. Newborn babies will usually wake up every three hours, on which they’ll be needed to be fed, changed, and comforted. If you’re a first-time mother, you might get overwhelmed with the schedule change. You may also have difficulty in getting that 8 hours of sleep.
We recommend taking turns with your partner or someone at home to tend for the baby to combat this challenge. If you have the means to hire a nanny, go for it. In that way, you’ll still be able to fulfill your motherly duties and still have enough time to rest.
8Try out a simple, new self-care routine.
Aside from making healthier lifestyle choices, don’t forget to upgrade your self-care routine. Have a day all by yourself every now and then; you can go to a salon, spa, or catch up with your friends. We also recommend getting a new love toy that could help you get off if hubby’s not around— you deserve it!
It’s also best to join forums and talk to other moms who may have been going through the same journey; it alleviates the stress as you get to have someone to talk to that can relate to your situation.
9Go for easy sex positions.
When having sex after giving birth, go for comfortable sex positions that don’t put so much pressure on the abdomen area and allow you to have control over the depth of penetration, such as cowgirl, reverse cowgirl, or spooning. We get that you might be tempted to try out those complex sex positions that you’ve been doing before, but just for good measure, refrain from challenging positions.
10Strengthen your pelvic floor with kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises can help with common post-delivery issues, such as urinary incontinence and weak pelvic floor. It also makes your orgasms stronger and longer-lasting. If you’ve just heard about this, Kegels involve contracting the pelvic floor muscles, the muscles that support the bladder, vagina, uterus, and rectum.
Enjoy Healthy Sex After Giving Birth With These Essentials
Getting back into humping and grinding with your boo is great and all, but why not spice up the bedroom play even more? Here are items and toys that will surely intensify your steamy sessions!
1Satisfyer Double Whale
Yearning to have great climax with your boo? Say no more; we’ve got the ultimate couple vibrator for you. The Satisfyer Double Whale brings a surge of pleasure for you and your boo. It features an ergonomic u-shaped structure and powerful vibrations.
Indulge in exhilarating pleasure from all angles with the We-Vibe Chorus! It features a sleek and adjustable massager with 10 pulsating vibration modes, providing dual stimulation for you and your boo!
3Orgie Tighten Gel
This gel is your best bet if you want to experience a tighter feel during the deed. You will receive amplified sensations with the Orgie Tighten Gel. It features a mild and non-sticky formula, giving a temporary tightening sensation during sex.
4Satisfyer Strengthening Balls
Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with this set! The Satisfyer Strengthening Balls (Set of 3) is a pelvic floor training set consisting of three kegel balls in varying weights.
Indulge in sweet post-delivery sexcapades with the Lauvette Honey Lube. This water-based lubricant has an edible, non-staining, non-greasy, and long-lasting formula, ensuring a safe and fun experience with every use.
Sex After Giving Birth: Frequently Asked Questions
You probably still have more questions to ask, especially now that you are about to experience tons of life changes. So, we’ve made an FAQ below to answer common queries regarding post-delivery sex:
1When do I see my doctor?
You may feel discomfort while having sex after giving birth but consult your doctor immediately if you feel extreme vaginal pain, vaginal discharge, continuous vaginal bleeding, or fever. This could mean that something internally is wrong and needs an assessment from a professional.
2Is it true that breastfeeding prevents pregnancy?
If you exclusively breastfeed your baby, your body will naturally stop ovulating. But for this to work, you must nurse your infant every 4 hours during the day and 6 hours at night.
3I had a cesarean delivery. How long do I wait to have sex?
This depends on your body and how fast your incision heals. Though the vagina wouldn’t be as impacted post-delivery compared to someone who had normal childbirth, you may still feel uncomfortable down there. We also recommend talking to your doctor to know when you can resume sexual activities.
4How soon can I get pregnant?
Doctors recommend that mothers wait at least 12 months before getting pregnant again. Several studies have reported a risk for premature birth or low birth weight for your baby if their gap is shorter than 6 months, compared to infants born after 18 to 23 months. Also, it’s best to consult your doctor for these kinds of topics, as they would know the best option for you, considering that they know your health history.
5What is the best birth control to use for post-delivery sex?
There’s no “best” birth control method for women who just gave birth. What works for someone else may not work for your body. This is why it’s best to consult your doctor regarding contraceptives. As for efficiency, the best type would be long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) devices, which include hormonal implants and IUDs.
Sex after giving birth can be tricky, especially considering all the changes you will face moving forward. We hope you learned a lot from this article, whether you’re a new mom, expecting, or simply looking into the prospects of bearing a child. If you are interested in learning more about sexual health, click here for more. And you can always ask Dr. Sex for more specific sex questions.