BODY

Sex After Birth

13 July, 2021

Becoming a mother is life changing. Your priorities change. Your relationships change. You are a different person than you were before birthing an entire human. And you’re doing it all on very little sleep. Your body stretched itself (literally) to make this little person.

You might wonder, “whose breasts are these?” as yours change shape to prepare for breastfeeding. Your muscles have loosened up — particularly your pelvic floor. The brain is a whole other “what’s happening here?” moment, as the hormones rush in and then retreat. It’s a lot. Your sex life is bound to change too – at least in the short term. Your body, your emotions, your routine – your whole life can become unrecognizable after baby, and it can be jarring. Give yourself time to adjust.  

Remember, the timeframe for postpartum sex will be different for every person and there are many factors involved. Some women return to sex after their six-week postpartum visit, others take weeks, or months even. 

“The timeframe for postpartum sex will be different for every person and there are many factors involved. Some women return to sex after their six-week postpartum visit, others take weeks, or months even.

There is no mandatory wait time, but most health providers recommend waiting six weeks after delivery to have sex again – regardless of how you delivered. This gives your body time to heal. If you had a vaginal tear that was surgically repaired, the wait time for returning to sex might be longer. However, some women go for it as early as two to three weeks after baby. It’s ultimately up to you, your body, your desire, and your doctor. There is no right time to start having sex after baby and you should never feel pressured to do so.

There are also the psychological changes that occur after pregnancy that can really tank your libido. Your hormones have been all over the place, so feeling weepy after childbirth is normal. It is a highly emotional time. Let it out, momma! Many women experience something called ‘the baby blues’ – a period of sadness and moodiness the first couple weeks after birth. More severe yet still common, postpartum depression affects many women, whether it’s a short-term or long-term situation. Be gentle with yourself during this time and do not hesitate to talk to your doctor and seek help. If sex is the last thing on your mind while you work through the postpartum period, that is 100% fine.  

And know that postpartum sex might not feel great at first. Partly from the trauma of delivery, but also from those low estrogen levels, which drop after giving birth. Estrogen keeps vaginal tissues healthy and elastic. Low estrogen leads to pain and vaginal dryness. Yes, keeping your sex drive low is Mother Nature’s way of preventing another pregnancy before you’re ready for it. But intimacy is important, particularly during this adjustment time. Find ways to connect with your partner, even if it’s just a touch or light kissing.

On the flipside, some women feel incredibly powerful and sexy during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. Many women actually enjoy sex more after giving birth than before it. Again, your body just did something INCREDIBLE, and it deserves some TLC. If orgasms are the TLC you need in your postpartum life, then heck yes - you do you. Some days you might feel sexy and some days you might feel like a stranger in your own body. It might be hard to believe when you’re in it, but your body will feel like yours again one day. Your orifices will stop leaking milk and urine and blood. You will not be covered in spit up. You will get multiple hours of sleep in a row. The bottom line is: sex is always about you, no matter your age or life stage. The postpartum life stage can be pretty wild and every woman’s experience varies both emotionally and physically. And the experience can be vastly different from pregnancy to pregnancy. Listen to your body and take your time easing back into sex. And we say this as the people who support you having and enjoying a lot more of it!

“The postpartum life stage can be pretty wild and every woman’s experience varies both emotionally and physically.

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