They typically say a woman can be physically intimate about six weeks after delivery. That doesn’t mean she wants to do it, it just means her body will not explode if she does at this point. Let’s cut to the chase – it can suck after having a baby. It’s not just that you still look pregnant, your nipples are leaking and you’re freakin’ tired, it’s that it can actually hurt. It’s ironic as doing it is what got you here in the first place. And unless you’re Olivia Wild hitting the red carpet 11 days after giving birth, sporting tight black pants, your body won’t even feel like your own.
Even once you get the green light from your doctor, the idea of your husband’s stick entering anything close to your stretched-out, sewn-up, raw hoo-haa may not excite you at all. And quite frankly there isn’t much out there to prepare you for your first time post-baby. Unfortunately, losing one’s post-birth virginity is only a subject to be discussed between girlfriends. In hushed whispers. Like some big secret.
Doing it after giving birth will get worse before it gets better (if it gets better at all). Not only are you sleeping on your feet (which are still swollen by the way) but it will also hurt… a lot. And there will be fights about doing it even if you’re actually doing it. So if you’re scared (and just want to forget that that part of intimacy even exists) read on to get a blow-by-blow account. Here’s your cheat sheet for doing it post-baby.
15 The Extra Stitch
New moms who had a vaginal birth and tore naturally or if they needed an episiotomy (when the doctor cuts the skin between your vagina and anus) will most likely required stitches. And if they had a really REALLY old fashioned doctor, then it’s likely that they got “an extra stitch”. This extra, unnecessary, stitch at the perineum is supposed to make the vaginal opening smaller. Now it’s possible that it’s the woman who asked for it, but more likely the doctor thought he was doing them a favor – for their sex life.
How thoughtful, right? Some women don’t even know they got this, all they know is that their vagina feels smaller and they have “no idea why”. This can cause pain while doing the deed, especially the first time after having baby. If this is the case for you, it’s important to go at your own pace and it’s a great excuse to get extra foreplay to prepare you.
14 Dry As A Desert
Surprise! Even if she is completely aroused, a new mom might not produce any lubricant at all during intercourse. Breastfeeding can lower your natural hormone levels, making the inside of your vagina very dry making it feel like a cactus down there. It creates a burning sensation and will make you wince every time your partner goes in and out. These unbalanced hormones effectively reduce the woman’s natural lubricant and doing it becomes very painful. To top it off this can last several months or even years.
But don’t worry; all you need to do is invest in bucket loads of lubricant. Introducing lube into your relationship may seem awkward at first if you’ve never used it before, but it can make doing it more enjoyable for both partners, especially after the birth of a child. Some of the gentlest lubricants to reduce burning sensation are coconut oil, olive oil or something water-based like Slippery Stuff. Some pharmacies even sell female lubricants that rebalance the PH level in the vagina (this will become your new best friend).
13 Sprouting Leaks
Imagine…you’ve shaved your legs, baby is finally asleep, and you’ve been looking forward to getting down and dirty all day when you all of a sudden your breasts start leaking and making a mess. Some women are surprised to hear that you might lactate when you’re excited, especially when you orgasm. Scientifically speaking, when women orgasm it releases the hormone oxytocin, which is linked to the “milk ejection reflex,” commonly called “milk letdown.” Milk can start dripping, or in some cases even actively start spraying from your nipples — and all over your partner.
For a new mum, it can be incredibly embarrassing to experience this reflex when you’re supposed to be having a fun time. There is a lot of stigma surrounding nursing and breastmilk, and some partners are not big fans of the substance and smell. Perhaps it’s because it reminds them too much of the baby.
12 Does Baby Know?
So you’re new parents, you’ve patiently waited for the all clear from your doctor, and you’re ready to go wild like before (or even settle for a quickie)? Think again….you now have a tiny human who instinctively knows when mommy and daddy are about to relax and have fun. Your new bundle of joy will start crying or become fussy, the second you hit the mattress. And even if they are sound asleep, you’ll constantly worry that they are going to wake up or if you’re going to scar them by doing it in front of them (whose idea was it anyways to put the baby in your room?).
I suggest that you put your baby in their own crib or the electronic swing in another room, and turn off the baby monitor. I assure you that your baby will be fine for a little while. It’s important that you and your partner also find intimacy. Not only is it a good stress reliever but you need a bit of “me” time.
11 Need To Be Creative With C-Scars
If you had a caesarean section, this also comes with challenges. Don’t forget that a c-section is major abdominal surgery and your scar will hurt. You will also need to be extra patient for the outside of the scar to heal. I cannot stress enough the importance of working your scar (yes that’s right knead it like bread). If you don’t work your scar, the scar tissue will grow down into the layers beneath it and really create problems. This can cause bladder problems, bowel problems and…pain during intercourse.
Some positions will pull on your scar creating pain and reducing your endurance. Although you might now be limited in the positions, it’s also a great opportunity to try new things. Not only will this alleviate the pain but it will also spice up your intimate life.
10 Oh The Smells
As new parents there will be a lot of firsts –among them, having different bodily fluids end up on you. And the kicker…after a while you won’t even care. Whether its urine, saliva, vomit or even poop, one or both of you will be filthy at the end of the day. This new eau de parfum you’ll be sporting on a daily basis will definitely put a damper on your fun time. If by some miraculous chance baby is sleeping and both of you are horny at the same time, you’ll definitely have to hit the shower first. And once you’re clean, that you’re sore muscles have had a chance to relax, and the sleep deprivation sets in, getting hot and sweaty will be the last thing you want.
Instead, take the action into the shower. Not only is this a great opportunity to show each other affection and decompress together but you can definitely get creative in the shower. Make the bathroom your new favorite place for hanky panky.
9 Jungle Growing Downstairs
As moms there are many things that we let go of: Brunch with the girls, drinking a hot cup of coffee, showering on a daily basis…so how are we expected to maintain our pre-baby grooming regiment? It requires a very delicate touch to groom in the nether regions, and you certainly cannot be interrupted by a baby crying or a toddler who wants to know what mommy is doing. Besides, is it not completely normal and quite frankly expected that a jungle grows down there? However for some men this is a turn-off and even a big no-no in some relationships.
If your husband ever wishes to do it again then he needs to give you time to pamper yourself. He needs to alleviate the pressure and take something off your never-ending to-do list while looking after the kids so that you can get this much needed time to find your inner (and outer) goddess.
8 It Won't Be So Kinky
Numerous women who, pre-baby, enjoyed it very active and “rough” report no longer enjoying it. This might stem from the fact that they are now “moms” and they need to disassociate from the more kinky side of intimacy. For example a friend of mine could not tolerate any dirty talk after she had her first child. She would say: “I wouldn’t want my girls to be called a dirty little slut, so it needs to stop here”. Also, many women suffer from postpartum depression and are left emotionally raw after the birth of their child. They need more TLC from their husbands and respond more to gentle lovemaking as opposed to rough BDSM kind of stuff they enjoyed previously.
There isn’t a hard and fast rule or reason for this, either. It might be that you just don’t have the time to set up those elaborate role-playing scenes you used to enjoy. When baby only naps for half an hour and you still need to eat lunch, a quickie sounds a lot more manageable.
7 "My-Wife-Is-Now-A-Mom" Syndrome
You and your husband have always enjoyed an active intimate life even during your pregnancy, so wait why is he suddenly shying away from doing it now that baby is here? "Some men are raised to believe that mothers are placed in a separate category," says Hilda Hutcherson, MD, a New York–based gynecologist and the author of What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex. This can be particularly harder for men who were present in the labor room and saw the delivery.
You're a mother now, and while it can be a turn-on for some men, for others it's not. If you fear that your husband is shying away from being physical because he sees you in a different light, talk to him about it. You have to remind (preferably show) him that you're still the same attractive woman that you were before the baby. You may be someone's mother now, but you're still his lover.
6 It's Too Loose
Some woman, who had vaginal deliveries, report not feeling their partner’s member as much anymore. Your vagina stretched so much that your secret canal now feels like the Grand Canyon. This becomes frustrating for both parties, as there isn’t that oh-so-yummy friction you both used to enjoy. This is why doing kegel exercises and strengthening your pelvic muscles is so important post-birth.
It is strange how men never worry that their penis will be ruined after they have an erection, but women routinely worry that their lady parts will be permanently stretched out after having a baby. But never doubt your capabilities. In reality your vagina is a freaking superhero. After being stretched-out, sewn-up and battered during childbirth, vaginas do eventually bounce back. In the meantime, enjoy other types of intimacy or explore using new and fun toys.
5 That's Not Attractive...
We women are notoriously harsh on ourselves, especially when we look in the mirror. Add to that nine months where your body goes through numerous changes, gaining weight and feeling like your body is no longer yours as an alien grows in your belly, and it’s no wonder we crumble in tears when we look at ourselves in the mirror. This lack of self-confidence puts major breaks on our intimate lives. If we’re not happy with what we see in the mirror, it’s darn hard to feel attractive in front of our partners. We feel self-conscious and might even prefer doing it with the lights closed wearing an oversized t-shirt.
But we need to learn to be kinder to ourselves. It took nine months for our bodies to change so we shouldn’t expect to get our pre-baby bodies back right away without effort. And who says we need to get our pre-baby bodies back? We should embrace our new curves and tiger stripes and celebrate them.
4 You Just Don't Want To
Many women lose their desire for sex after birth and unfortunately it can take many months if not years to get it back. Between lactation and the loss of your placenta, there are real hormonal shifts that can make you decisively not in the mood. But other factors may contribute to a low postpartum libido, too. Giving birth is like an emotional and physical marathon sprint: Just when you’re completely exhausted and can’t handle one more second of physical work, someone either pulls a baby out of your crotch or cuts you open. And before you can even catch your breath, you’re being wheeled out of the hospital and sent home with an infant.
Between the sleep exhaustion, postpartum depression, and recovery from birthing a human being, no wonder a woman’s libido goes down the drain. However, you and your partner should not be having once-in-a-while sex, which is really just a half-assed attempt to connect to each other. It’s important to carve out time for intimacy and once you get down to it, you might be surprised at what your body feels like doing.
3 These Are Off Limits
Women have many erogenous zones, some more obvious than others. Unfortunately, after giving birth it’s possible that some sensitive spots that heightened your sexual desire disappear –especially if you are breastfeeding. Many new moms no longer enjoy having their breasts stimulated because their breasts become a feeding mechanism and they don’t want to associate anything sexual with their tiny human. There’s something about seeing your husband’s hands and mouth there that just seems so wrong.
This can be particularly frustrating to certain men who are self-proclaimed “boob” men and if this was a spot his woman previously enjoyed, they might feel like they no longer know their partners body. But this doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing. Have fun re-exploring each other’s bodies and find new erogenous zones.
2 Scheduling Time For Each Other
Remember before the baby you would do it anywhere anytime, and the weirder the places the better? This will be a thing of the past. After baby, there is no such thing as spontaneously doing it (at least not for the next 18 years). It’s just not feasible anymore –there are too many things that need to be done and the baby needs you 24/7 (cue in the sleep deprivation).
Therefore, you need to have "despite" intimacy. Despite everything that's going on, you'll make an effort to make time for each other. You can't let excuses get in the way. It's way too easy to say, "I'm tired" because you genuinely are tired. Soon though it may turn into an excuse you automatically use without thinking. Therefore it is vital (for the survival of you both as a couple) that you schedule time for it. All your creative energy can't go into your kids. Some of it has to be reserved for your partnership.
1 So Many Sleepless Nights
Now that your precious bundle of joy is here, expect to get little to no sleep. He/she won’t be so precious at 3am, when you’re working with 2 hours of interrupted sleep. Everyone warns you about this and you think you’ve accepted it, but the fact is YOU JUST DON’T KNOW until you’ve experienced it. Now if you’re lucky, you’re baby will sleep through the night after only a couple months (or in my case 3 years). What mystifies me is how come in your 20’s you could go clubbing or bar hopping all night long, come home, get 2 hours of sleep and still go to work the next day? Now that baby is here, you will learn to sleep standing up.
Needless to say sleep deprivation will have an adverse effect on your intimate life (and marital) life. 9 times out of 10 sleep will win over doing the deed, effectively reducing the quantity of intercourse you are having. So my advice is take turns and sleep whenever and wherever you can. And even though you’re dead tired, find the energy to get horizontal with your partner. It will save your relationship.
Sources: Huffingtonpost.ca, Womansday.com, Scarymommy.com