What we wish we knew about Sex after having a Baby
Sex after childbirth is something that not many women talk about. We will ask you endlessly about every pregnancy symptom. You may be pestered with questions about your birth plan and it seems that some women love to share their less-than-desirable birth stories with every pregnant woman they meet. What to expect in the bedroom after childbirth doesn't seem to be discussed often though. Just like you are learning a new life with a baby, you need to learn a new life as a partner. I asked a group of Birth Boot Camp Doulas and Childbirth Education Instructors what they wish they knew about having Sex after having a baby and here is some great information and tips!
Your Breasts may not be play things anymore
This can be an issue on more than one front. If you are breastfeeding you should be prepared that milk will spray upon orgasm. Milk will spray and leak other times too. Some women find this upsetting, messy or uncomfortable and choose to wear a bra or shirt in sex while they're still breastfeeding. One woman suggested keeping a hand towel near by to catch or clean up any milk spray.
Since your breasts are feeding a small human, they may be rather sensitive or not sexualized for you in this season of life. Some women recommend wearing a shirt or bra to help manage these mixed feelings in the bedroom.
The hormones with breastfeeding can also complicate your libido. You might not have a lot of interest in sex for a while. Planning on sex so you're prepared mentally can help. Set the mood and keep your distractions minimal. Communication with your partner is key! Some people find that daily exercise is a great way to boost your libido, even something as simple as going for a daily walk.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural thing - all of these challenges can be overcome and you will find a new normal for your postpartum sex life!
You May be Dry... Desert Dry
Especially if you're breastfeeding, your body has reduced the level of Estrogen it produces which reduces how much natural lubricant you are producing. Lube is your friend! Many "crunchy" moms love using unrefined coconut oil - but be aware, if you're using condoms, it can damage them and make them ineffective. There are lots of great lubricants out there, don't be afraid to try different things! Being adequately lubricated can make or break postpartum sex!
Try different types of lubes. Some may be uncomfortable or have an undesirable reaction. Buy a variety pack and go slow. Slow and lots of communication!
Your Body Didn't Read the Calendar.
The standard six weeks or until bleeding has stopped is the usual green flag for sex to resume. Your body did not read the calendar. It may take more time for you to be ready to jump into the sack again, and that's okay! Beyond your physical readiness you may not be emotionally ready as quickly as you expected. Once you jump back in it still may take months for your "old favorites" to feel comfortable again. This is especially the case if you are dealing with scar tissue. This might be a great time to explore new things and find a new favorite!
where did that air come from?
Queefing - if you haven't heard of this term before this is when a trapped pocket of air comes out of your vagina. Your vagina has folds part of the way your body just made space for a baby to open up and exit your vagina! Air can get caught in one of these folds or wrinkles and it makes a sound as it passes. You might find that queefs happen more after birth in sex, or not during sex - this might happen in yoga or other workouts.
You have a baby now! If your baby is rooming in you might have to seek out a new location for your sexy time. Recommendations ranged from guest bedrooms, the nursery your child isn't using to bathroom floors. Use your imagination!
There is more to a baseball field than just home plate... re-explore the other bases, go back to basics!
Birth can complicate sex postpartum no matter how you give birth. It may take longer to be ready for sex again after a cesarean than vaginal birth. Your body has a lot of healing to do after major abdominal surgery and you should give yourself plenty of time and grace.
You might be "touched out" because you are being called on for so much of the day. Sometimes a break between mothering and time with your partner can help separate the two.
The bright side
Don't be discouraged! I have heard several times that sex is actually more enjoyable after birth for both partners! Your tight pelvic floor may have loosened enough for you to enjoy in ways you never have before. You may be tuned in to your body in ways that you never have before, that hard to reach orgasm may be much more attainable!
You just did amazing things bringing your child into this world and that my friend is sexy! Chances are your partner thinks so too and is more in love with you than ever!
You are not alone! There are challenges and differences, but everyone you know that has had a baby has worked through these things as well!
The most important piece of advice offered was if a problem persists - seek help! It is not normal for sex to be painful for a long period of time after birth. If you feel like your challenges are greater than the average adjustment then please seek out a good Woman's Health Physical Therapist! If you need help, a local doula will likely have resources!
Rebekah Lewis is a birth doula, professional belly binder and placenta encapsulator serving families in the North part of the Dallas Fort Worth area. She serves families in Denton, Cooke, Tarrant, Dallas, Wise and Collin counties.