Sex & Relationships

The Wait To Masturbate Postpartum May Not Be As Long As You'd Think

Guido Mieth/Moment/Getty Images

We asked experts.

There is no denying that having a baby changes your life in many expected and unexpected ways. One of the things that many new moms (and dads) think about is how a new baby will affect their sex life. Many couples are eager to get back to the bedroom after baby, but know that they must wait several weeks until receiving clearance from their doctor. But what about self-loving? For a new mom that enjoys her sexuality as much as she enjoys the new addition to her family, she may want to know how soon can you masturbate after giving birth.

In order to find the truth about postpartum masturbation and sex, Romper spoke with certified sex therapist and couple therapy expert Ashley Grinonneau-Denton. She first recommends a mom take things gradually when looking to reconnect with their bodies postpartum. Depending on your infant's sleep, cuddling, and breastfeeding schedule, she recommends starting with a bubble bath or getting a massage by one's partner.

Grinonneau-Denton also reminds new moms to "make a point to prioritize themselves during and especially after pregnancy" and that, although penetration is often off the table until four to six weeks after giving birth, other kinds of sexual stimulation can happen earlier.

Luckily for you, masturbation doesn't have to involve penetration. Instead, if you're looking to start immediately after labor and delivery, you should focus on clitoral stimulation during masturbation.

"There is no physiological need to abstain from stimulating the clitoris," Grinonneau-Denton says. "My recommendation to new moms is to take the first opportunity that they feel inclined to do so."

Additionally, Grinonneau-Denton says there are many physiological benefits to postpartum masturbation, including promoting cervical health and preventing UTIs, sleep regulation, a healthier heart, and a strengthened pelvic floor. For a woman who has recently given birth and who wants to start masturbating again, there is no reason not to delve straight back into your usual solo sex routine.

"Individual and partner observed or included masturbation are all appropriate and safe," Grinonneau-Denton concludes. "I think it is important to acknowledge that masturbation is emotionally useful, as it has been shown to improve mood, allow an opportunity to become more attuned with one’s body, and maintain a connection with one’s partner."

If you're postpartum and feeling sexual enough to masturbate shortly after baby is born, let your hands wander down and engage in (safe) clitoral stimulation to get you to the Big O or to just slowly reconnect with your own body.