I won't lie, I love sex. Go ahead and judge me if you want, I'll just be over here having orgasms. I just, you know, love sex. Which is probably why, while my husband and I had a great sex life before I got pregnant and during my pregnancy, I was completely scared about how sex might change after childbirth.
There are things no one tells you about sex after childbirth, but I will, because, I honestly don't think we don't talk about sex enough in our culture. Because, even in 2017, sex is essentially a "taboo" topic, this perpetuated silence can create a lot of fear, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy about something you are supposed to enjoy. (unless you don't enjoy it, and that is totally OK, too)
In case you wanted to know, postpartum sex with my husband turned out to be awesome, and totally different than I expected. We were so excited to give it a shot, that we didn't even wait the typical six weeks to try. We have definitely had to learn different ways to please each other (for us, that means more foreplay, more lube, and more scheduling), my postpartum body has changed, sleep is scarce, and stress levels are high, so we've had more than a few hilarious and awkward moments in our sleep-deprived attempts at sex. However, for us it's been totally worth the effort.
I honestly wish someone had told me postpartum sex could be so good. So, I'm telling you, dear mom-to-be readers, because you deserve to have great sex after childbirth, too.
It Might Hurt At First
It might hurt or feel uncomfortable the first couple of times you have penetrative sex after having babies, especially if you delivered vaginally or are still sore at your incision site following a c-section. Take things slow, engage in foreplay, and for goodness sake, use lube. Another hot tip? Get creative. There are thousands of ways to have sex that don't involve a penis in your vagina, so if penetration works try another way.
You Should Definitely Use Lube
Trust me, even if you didn't use lube before, you might find that you want to add some to your nightstand, next to the extra diapers and wipes. After pregnancy and childbirth I was definitely drier than before, and sex is way more enjoyable with lube. Invest in some good water or silicone-based lube. You'll thank me.
You Might Not Want Sex As Much & That's OK
After my first child was born, I completely lost interest in sex. I am a bit embarrassed to admit how rarely my partner and I had time, energy, or the desire to get it on. It was so rare an occurrence that I knew exactly when our second child was conceived. Yep, it was that obvious because it was the only time we'd had sex in weeks.
To be honest, I felt like there was something seriously wrong with me. However, it turns out lots of people lose interest in sex after becoming parents, because being new parents is hard AF.
You Might Want Sex A Lot More & That's OK, Too
This time around, my experience has been totally different. We didn't even wait until my six week postpartum appointment. (Shhh, don't tell my OB-GYN). Luckily, I soon after got my tube tied, so now we are free to have as much sex as we want. Well, as much sex as our kids will let us have anyway.
It Can Even Be Better Than Before You Had Kids
I loved sex with my husband before we had a baby together, and I really love it now. I don't know if something changed physiologically or psychologically (perhaps the intimacy of having a child together), but whatever it is, I'm totally not complaining.
You Might Have To Schedule Sex To Make It A Priority
Babies are kind of needy. They keep you up late and make you get up early and might even wake up several times in between. On top of that, you might be busy, are probably overtired, and can find yourself wanting to sleep or eat or have some damn alone time without someone touching you more than you want having sex. That's where a schedule (and possibly a babysitter) can be helpful. It sounds hokey or unromantic, but if it helps the magic happen, I'm all for scheduling sex.
You Might Discover You Like New Things
My sexual desires and preferred positions are totally different. It's like discovering a new side of myself and my partner that I didn't know existed. Amazing.
It Might Be Weird At First
The first few times I had sex with my partner after having babies were so weird. Not necessarily "bad" weird, but different weird. I was apprehensive, tired AF, felt insecure about my body, and doubted my ability to enjoy sex. My breasts hurt, my nipples were more sensitive and leaked, and I was rocking a few extra stretch marks and pounds. It was like having sex in someone else's body.
It Might Be Difficult To Prioritize Sex Over Other Things
Honestly, sometimes sex takes a back seat to other things. Like sleep. So sure, as a new mom I love sex, but on the days when it's a choice between sex and sleep, sleep wins that contest hands down.
You Should Still Use Birth Control
You might want to use birth control, even if you just got the green light to have sex again after your baby is born. Despite what you might read on the internet or heard from other moms, breastfeeding is only somewhat protective against pregnancy. Your best bet is to find a method that works for you if you don't want to get pregnant again right away.