Pregnancy and babyhood truly do change everything. Some people can’t wait to get busy after baby, but for some, it’s the last thing on their mind. No matter which camp women fall into, it’s perfectly okay to have mixed feelings.
The body goes through absolute hell growing a baby and nourishing a new little life. And then pushing the baby out takes its toll in a major way. It can take months or even more than a year for the body to return to normal, and some people never do.
Intimacy after birth does not have to be a bad experience. As long as you wait until you’re ready, you’re on the same page with your partner, and you have open lines of communication, you can have as good of an experience or even better than before.
For many, the biggest issue with post baby loving is self-consciousness or fear that their partner will look at them differently. While this is totally understandable and it might take quite a while for the body to bounce back, your partner undoubtedly admires you for giving life to your little baby and isn’t focused on your supposed flaws.
It’s important to remember that every relationship goes through evolution and different stages, and that this tumultuous time is just one of those stages that will pass. Make every attempt to keep the love and romance alive and remember that you’re a force to be reckoned with!
So here are 15 things most women do wrong in the bedroom after bringing baby home.
15 Not Waiting Long Enough
There are a few times in a woman’s life when it is absolutely crucial to wait for something. Post pregnancy intimacy is one of those special times. Every pregnancy is different but all women do require at least some healing time when it comes to having relations after the baby is born. How much time that requires, exactly, is determined by how the birth went, how your body feels, and what the doctor or midwife advises.
Even if you had a totally natural childbirth and you’re feeling good the day after the baby is born, you should absolutely still give your body a minimum of 8 weeks to heal and recover. The delicate female parts might seem okay, but they have undergone a tremendous strain and might have a bit of tearing or injury not externally visible.
I have a close friend who did not want to wait any period of time after vaginal delivery, even though she had multiple stitches down there. Hard to imagine, I know. Against her doctor’s advice, she went ahead and had sex days after the birth, and her stitches tore. She had to get re-stitched and it was not a fun or pleasant experience.
14 Not Feeling Attractive Or Confident
Why do women let post-pregnancy weight and stretch marks stop them from feeling beautiful and sexy? It might sound easier said than done, but having confidence in the bedroom is a must after childbirth. If anything, women should feel badass and powerful to have brought life into this world!
If you need a pick-me-up for the baby body blues, a long soak in the tub or new lingerie set might just do the trick. Whatever it takes to make you feel good about your new mama status is what you should do. A good man will appreciate each stage you go through, and understand that you might not be back to “normal” for a while.
13 Not Getting Enough Sleep
Most moms will laugh at this, as good sleep is rare and precious during babyhood, but trying to get good sleep is really important for mom and her relationship. Try to get baby on a schedule as early as possible, incorporating naptime and an early bedtime. While most young babies won’t do this, eventually they will reach a point where they thrive on routine.
If you can’t improve the quantity of sleep, try to improve the quality. That means putting down your cell phone BEFORE you get into bed, putting the stress of the day behind you, and having a plan in place for tomorrow. You can use lavender essential oil in a diffuser or in lotion to add some serenity to your nighttime routine.
When baby naps, mom should take advantage and take a nap, too. My biggest mistake as a mommy is always feeling the need to clean or do laundry or work while my little guy snoozes. Never underestimate the power of a nap, the laundry can wait!
12 Squirting Hubby With Milk
Most people know there’s a possibility of leaking milk while lactating. What you might not think about, however, is accidentally squirting someone with milk. While this can be prevented sometimes with the use of those super fun boob shields they sell in baby stores, there might be a few occasions where it happens in a different context.
True story… a friend of mine gave her hubby a mouthful of milk when he forgot she was lactating during their adult time. Now, he wasn’t necessarily upset about this- he actually cracked up laughing. There are some guys who are more squeamish when it comes to bodily fluid, though.
It’s the funny and unexpected moments of motherhood like this that that provide times of comic relief and lightheartedness. If you laugh together as a couple, everything seems to go better in the relationship. Don’t ever be embarrassed when these types of things happen!
11 Waiting Too Long
Ok, this might seem like a no-brainer, but sex is kind of important to keep a relationship passionate and alive. While you should always listen to your body and most medical advice you’ve been given, there are times when people wait a really long time to have sex post-baby.
Sometimes, when you stop doing something for a long time, it falls out of your field of consciousness and ceases to seem important. Sometimes the fear of doing the thing (or anticipation) stops you from doing it. Sex can be one of those things, for certain people.
Some ways to overcome falling out of the habit are to spend time doing a fun activity together, like a hobby you both enjoy, or to see each other in a romantic light again. This might require getting a babysitter or making time after the baby has gone to sleep, and having a date night.
10 Expecting Things To Be The Same
A lot of things will change when the baby arrives. Your household might feel more tense or stressed, you might feel like you have no time for yourself, you might not think of yourself the same way. Expecting things to be the same in any area of life, even the bedroom, is often unrealistic.
If you’re overtired and stressed, you might shortchange yourself when it comes to intimacy. This is totally understandable, as this is a really exhausting time in life. You might be uncomfortable with how you look or feel (which you shouldn’t be!)
The trick to overcoming change is to look at this as a new chapter and new stage in the relationship. Open communication is key for growing with your partner, so don’t be afraid to lay it on the line. Express your feelings, concerns, and let them know if anything makes you uncomfortable. Things don’t have to be the same to remain good.
9 Letting Yourself Go
This does not mean what you think it means, at all. Letting yourself go can mean not doing things for yourself that you used to do, or not feeling great about yourself because you’re a mom now (or have another child now).
It’s really important to still take a few moments for yourself, whether that means applying your favorite lotion or buying a cute new pair of pajamas or lingerie just because. Everyone feels better when they feel like they are still treating themselves to the little things that perk them up. You should talk to your partner if you feel like you don’t have a moment to yourself, and let them know that your personal sanity depends on it. It’s amazing what a few minutes can do for you.
If you already feel like you’re too far-gone, it might take more than a few minutes to get you back to feeling like yourself. This could mean an afternoon at the salon, a girl’s night out, or even a quiet hour at the bookstore. It really just depends on what you do to feel good about you. I know for myself, getting just a trim and blowout makes me feel as good as new.
8 Not Having Open Communication
Having good communication shouldn’t be underestimated. There might seem like not enough moments in the day to breathe, let alone talk to your mate about the important stuff, but good communication is absolutely necessary for a healthy sex life and great relationship.
Good communication falls into the bedroom category because if you have a lot of issues bottled up inside and aren’t getting those frustrations out, you can’t expect the rest of your relationship to go well. Even the silliest little things that might be bugging you could be affecting things without you even realizing it.
It might sound really ridiculous but a good idea is to set aside a few minutes of a certain day just talking about where you’re both at and how things are going with you and the new baby. You can do this at the beginning of the week when you’re planning out your schedule for the next day.
7 Skipping The Kegels
One of the biggest post-pregnancy complaints about sex is that things don’t feel the same anymore. This is to be expected because you did just push a tiny human out, after all. There is a way to return things close to how they were before, however.
Kegel exercises are easy to do and can tighten things up down there. All you have to do is sit or lay down and pull in the same muscles you use to push out when you go pee. Do this as many times a day as you can, and you will soon notice a difference.
You can do kegel exercises anywhere, when you’re in line at the store, when you’re driving, or when you’re sitting down watching TV. You really couldn’t ask for a safer and more effective (and easy) way to rejuvenate your lady parts!
6 Skipping The Lube
Vaginal dryness can happen with any hormonal changes, but post-pregnancy is a time when it’s really likely to occur. This obviously has nothing to do with not desiring your partner anymore, so all you need to do is tell them this and make sure you have some good quality, water-based lubricant nearby when things are about to go down.
Our bodies go through hell with making and pushing out a baby, and it’s only natural that it will take time for everything to normalize. Lube is not only something to be unashamed about, but it can actually spice things up. There are all different kinds of lubes on the market, so you can feel free to get adventurous and pick a kind that flavors or tingles if you want.
If you find that things haven’t returned to how they were after a good amount of time, you should not feel embarrassed speaking to your midwife or OBGYN about it. They are very used to fielding these kinds of questions.
5 Ignoring The Girls
Your chest is another part of your body that has gone through a lot during this whole baby ordeal. Your chest might feel completely alien to you during this time, with dryer skin, stretch marks, or leakiness making life a little awkward.
The bedroom is one place where you want to feel great about your chest. You should moisturize with some creamy body lotion or body butter that has restorative ingredients such as cocoa butter or shea butter. You can even use the same product you used on your growing tummy during pregnancy.
Wearing a nursing top or bra in the bedroom can help keep the girls in place and ease soreness that might otherwise occur. Lucky for us, there are lots of cute options to choose from, so we don’t have to look matronly instead of sexy. Shop around and pick something that suits you.
4 Skipping The Foreplay
Men and women are both guilty of this sad mistake. Skipping the foreplay for the sake of speeding things up will not do you any favors when it comes to feeling close and intimate. This doesn’t mean you have to make out for hours or anything like that, but taking a second or two before rushing into the act can help rekindle the way things were pre-baby.
Take time to do something nice for your partner, even if it’s a small thing like kissing their neck or rubbing their scalp. Your sex life will thank you for it! We all get a little tied up in making sure everything is going perfectly with the baby, the home, and the bills, but that doesn’t mean we have to neglect one of the most important parts of being a happy couple!
If you feel too much pressure trying to sneak some time together during the day, wait until baby is asleep at night or napping to attempt a romantic interlude. Timing is really everything and you might have to take advantage of the few spare minutes you have.
3 Not Peeing After
This probably seems like an obvious one for most people, but you should truly force yourself to use the restroom after intimacy.
Going to pee after sex is the best way to prevent UTIs and it is very important for vaginal health and cleanliness.
You might be really exhausted or have a million other things to do, or not even have to go pee and forget- but this step should not be overlooked! Some people like to jump in the shower right after the act so that is another way to kill two birds with one stone. It might sound gross but hey, you’ll be saving a lot of water in the long run.
If you have ever had a urinary tract infection, you know it can be extremely painful and a real hassle. You might have to go to the doctor, take meds, or deal with weeks or days of this burning burden. Trust us, it’s not worth it!
2 Not Cleaning Up After
Not cleaning up after sex goes hand in hand with not using the bathroom after. The best way to protect yourself from extra bacteria and infections down there is to make sure you wash away any sweat, body fluids, and lubricant that might have happened.
Taking a quick shower after sex is the best way to make sure you are clean and ready for a good night of sleep. You don’t have to use any fancy female products or anything, either. A simple bar of Dove soap will do.
It’s actually better for your female parts to not use heavily scented soaps, sprays, or products with dyes down there. There is a natural balance (pH) that you don’t want to throw off. There is a such thing as being overly clean, too!
1 Laying Down With Hips Up
If you’re not trying to conceive (which you really should not do directly after giving birth), you don’t want to lay like this after having sex. This is the best way to get pregnant, because it makes it easier for sperm to travel up the uterine canal.
It’s best to find an effective method of birth control post-pregnancy. This could either mean condoms, birth control, or the rhythm method. Some people even time their cycles and take their temperatures, but a seasoned mama usually knows that pregnancy can be a “mind over matter” type of thing. If you have sex with the intention of not getting pregnant, and don’t let ejaculation happen internally, you can greatly lower your odds of getting pregnant.
The female body should ideally have an 18 month break between childbearing. This is because birth and pregnancy take a huge toll on the body and there needs to be ample time to heal and for mom to nourish and replenish what the baby has taken. Most are too exhausted to even think about another pregnancy at this time but it’s important to stay aware.