Just 6 (or 8) weeks after having a baby, your OBGYN typically will clear you to have sex again! Woo! Right? Ehhhh. Not always. What they usually fail to tell you is it’s not exactly like it used to be (at first). In fact, no one really ever talks about just how awful it can be to get back into the swing of things. I wanted to shed some light on the shit no one tells you about sex after baby just in case you’re experiencing some unpleasant things and wondering if you’re normal! I polled moms in my mom Facebook group (who will remain anonymous) and have included their quotes below as well. Please know that everyone’s experience is different, but I hope in reading this you feel a little more normal!
It frigging HURTS. (especially if you had a vaginal birth) And you’re going to need a LOT of lube. Just buy stock in lube, I promise you it’s necessary! Depending on if you tore, etc, it might be really painful the first time and several times after that. LUBE, LUBE, LUBE, and go slow. It’s most likely not going to be all that enjoyable for a bit, but I promise it gets better.
It might not feel the same. I mean in general and certain positions. Things don’t always shift back into place like they once were (especially at first), which can result in positions that were once awesome being painful. Be patient and prepared to switch things up a bit to see what feels best!
Your sex drive might not be what it once was. ESPECIALLY if you’re breastfeeding. This is so so important to understand, and for your partner to understand as well. There needs to be a mutual understanding here that you literally cannot control your libido in this situation. Hormones are to blame! Breastfeeding usually (note: not always) kills your libido, so it’s not uncommon to have zero sex drive. And I’m talking ZEEERRROOOOO.
Along with that, you might feel “drier” than the Sahara desert down there. Again, super common. Again, hormones to blame. Again, lube is going to be your BFF.
You might want to punch your significant other in the face if they go near your boobs. I know I’m not alone when I say the LAST thing I wanted is my husband all over my boobs when my baby had been on them all. freakin. day. Totally not an uncommon feeling!
Your boobs might leak. Yes, for real. Totally normal, and not uncommon. Prepare your SO ahead of time!
It might be hard to get out of your head. Especially in the early days when baby is waking up like every 2 seconds, it might be hard to truly LET LOOSE and not be thinking about when the baby is going to wake up. There might be a lot of “shh, wait did you hear crying?” and less dirty talk 😉
It might be hard to feel sexy. You just grew a baby for 10 months, then had your vagina or abdomen ripped open for delivery, you’re freakin exhausted from not sleeping, you’re “touched out,” things are more jiggly, a bit looser, and boobs might be leaking and flopping everywhere. Sometimes it’s hard to feel confident doing something that’s super intimate and vulnerable when you aren’t feeling like the hot mama you really are! You might be feeling like “seriously? I just took care of a baby all day, and finally have 2 seconds to sit down, and now I have to please my husband too?” You aren’t alone! My biggest tip for this? Communicate with your SO. Because truthfully, they don’t care what you look like if they’re getting action! But you might need some encouragement, so let them know to remind you how hot and sexy you are 😉
All of this might last a long time…or not long at all. Everyone is different. Everyone’s body is different. Everyone’s labor and delivery experience is different. This might last a very short time, or go on for longer than you expected. What I cannot stress enough is if this DOES last for a while (several months), PLEASE GO SEE A PELVIC FLOOR THERAPIST. They will make a world of difference. In fact, we ALL should be receiving pelvic floor therapy after having a baby. It’s mind boggling to me that they clear us at only SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS POSTPARTUM to actually stick things back up in there. I don’t know about you, but I barely felt human at that point! It’s not uncommon to need some therapy, and you’ll be grateful you did it. DO NOT HESITATE. Do not be embarrassed. That’s why there are pelvic floor PTs 🙂
Here are what some of the moms in my mom group had to say about sex after having a baby.
“I was shocked that it was so painful after my Csection. I assumed that since I didn’t give birth vaginally, that my sex life after wouldn’t be effected- boy was I wrong! It literally felt like he was sticking a knife up there! I wish someone had prepared me more for this. When people say lube is your best friend postpartum, they ain’t kidding!”
“I felt like a virgin again. First time was not fun. I don’t know if I did too many kegels or my baby just wrecked my vagina.”
“My milk letsdown when I orgasm. Sexy.”
“I am 5 months postpartum and still so dry that sex is not enjoyable. Even with lube, things don’t feel right in there. My husband says he can see my face wincing and that makes him uncomfortable and ruins the mood.”
“Lube city. No more doggy style. It’s a whole different feeling. It was a good 10 months after until it started to feel good again. Still have mild discomfort where episiotomy was.”
“It took us multiple (unsuccessful) tries to just get it in. I told my husband that it felt like a beaver had crawled up in there and built a dam. Even now at 8months PP, the end result is great, but the truth is that the actual sex still isn’t comfortable. And with breastfeeding, my desire is nonexistent – top it off with caring for twins and the fact that infertility and trying to get pregnant for 2.5 years totally took the fun out of sex……..and I think we’ve attempted sex less than 5 times in the past 8 months. I never thought it would be this bad!”
“They say wait six weeks, more like six months until I felt a little normal down there! After a year I was back to my regular happy vagina.”
“After one delivery I formed granulation tissue and even trying to have sex was EXCRUCIATING…like I screamed and he stopped. So, listen to your body! It shouldn’t hurt! I had to have multiple visits to remove all of it postpartum. It’s ok to feel nervous or even hesitate about having sex after baby – and your partner should RESPECT that – no matter what.”
“Slow and steady… After each of my four kids the healing and recovery time seemed to get less… Maybe because we knew what to expect and had more grace for ourselves and each other….”
My go-to for whenever anyone asks about sex after baby: “So. Much. Lube.”
“Go slow! Listen to your body. If it hurts, try LUBE! No one tells you this but when your breastfeeding you might be drier down below, so lube is your friend!”
“I hated sex after my first because no one tells you it’s going to hurt or be uncomfortable. Your husband sees you in a new light as well… I swear they become more attractive to you and want to do it more. I was once told, by a mother of 5, nothing is more beautiful than a mother’s body after having a baby. I truly think every husband agrees with this! Even if you don’t a first, you need to remind yourself of what you created and what your awesome body went through!!”
“The physical part of sex hasn’t changed for me. I had c-sections with both kids so my lady bits luckily never suffered, but the emotional/mental part is a mess. I made an appt with my primary care doctor and towards the end of the visit she asked if I had any concerns and I brought up my 0 sex drive. She kind of laughed (in a relatable nice way) saying if she had a dollar for every mom who asked about it, she’d be able to retire now. I felt like something must be wrong with me because my drive was non-existent and she said it is extremely common to feel this way. Because sex can be so mental for women, now that we have a whole new set of responsibilities with our kid(s), it’s difficult to get in the mood. I felt so much better after talking with her. Just hearing that took some of the guilt and stress away from it and I already felt more inclined to give it a go.”
“I had zero interest until I stopped breastfeeding. As soon as I stopped breastfeeding it felt even better than before pregnancy.”
“First, prepare your husband that he’s going to be waiting 6 or 8 weeks or even longer. He may not have thought about this! Due to tearing, the first six months were hard, but progressively got easier until things were back to normal. Sex was very painful, and I would end up in tears because I didn’t want to reject my husband but I hated that I didn’t want it and didn’t enjoy it. This was tough for us, but we reminded each other that it would pass — and it did! Having a new baby to raise together brought us close in other ways, and we just kept trying.”
“Sex still hurts, I’m 14 months postpartum with a c-section. I think labor really effed me up so now I’m seeing a pelvic floor therapist. Also still have zero desire, which is probably breastfeeding coupled with the pain. I have a lot of guilt about it because I just feel so bad for my husband.”
“What I didn’t realize is even with a c section it can hurt!!! I didn’t expect that, I don’t know if it’s extra sensitivity, dryness, etc…but the first few times were so painful!!! Also mentally it was weird, not just body image wise, but feeling like a sexual human and not a mom was a switch.”
“I had a vaginal birth, minor tearing and sex didn’t get “normal” for months after. Extra dry and sensitive. It took months before it wasn’t “wait, go slower… okay stop… okay try again… more lube… okay just do it…”
But not all hope is lost!!! Here are a few mamas who noticed NO change (or change for the better!)
” It’s been better than before and really never hurt to get back into!”
“Am I the only one who was actually obsessed with sex afterwards? Probably why we had our youngest two so close together!”
“We were a lucky couple who had no tearing and had sex 5 weeks after giving birth. Probably every few days and then back to our normal daily dose!”
“I was really worried about sex after birth. I’ve always had a high sex drive and I had heard horror stories about women who lost all desire for sex after having a baby. The prospect really freaked me out. So when sex was painful not just the first time, but for months after, I grew more and more anxious. I thought I’d never enjoy sex again! But, finally, after six months, I became pain free and back to my old self, with sex drive fully intact. Maybe it was the breastfeeding, maybe it was just time, but I find the female body to be an amazing and miraculous thing.”
“After my first child sex hurt for MONTHS. We had to start SO SLOW every time. Eventually it felt better but it always hurt the first few minutes. I was so scared after having baby #2, but with her it was complete opposite. It all felt super sensitive in a good way and I was like wanting to not finish so the good sex could keep happening. Lolol”
As you can see, everyone is different! And I promise, eventually, your body will get back to a new normal. I hope this post helps you feel MORE normal with how you’re feeling. If you want to chime in in the comments below, please do (just know it might not be anonymous). I’d love to hear your experience, and I know other mamas would too!