10 Things No One Will Tell You About Postpartum Sex, But I Will

Ad failed to load

Sex, though something I enjoy, isn't something that I talk about all that often. It's not that I'm a "prude" or that I think talking about sex is dirty, because I'm not and I think talking about sex is healthy. It's just that I keep my personal life, you know, personal. So when I started to feel physically ready to have sex again after giving birth, I was nervous. No one seemed to talk about postpartum sex, so I had to find my own way "back into bed" and rather blindly. That's why I'm here; because there are things no one will tell you about postpartum sex but I will, because being left in the dark, for me, was oddly enlightening in a round about and somewhat difficult but eventually helpful way.

I didn't expect sex to feel like it did before I had kids. I knew it would be different, I just didn't know how. It felt sort of like my first time all over again, if I'm being honest. I was nervous and I didn't know what to expect from myself or my partner. Although sex can be better after baby, it's not going to be immediately amazing and, honestly, it may take some time to get back to feeling like your "sexy" self.

The changes our bodies go through during pregnancy and birth are incredible, sure, but they inevitably change a bit. Our emotions, our mentality, our entire life is different after we have a baby change as well, so physical changes are not the only manifestations pregnant women endure and get, for lack of a better sentiment, "used to." A different body, a different meaning, and different circumstances all mean that postpartum sex is going to be a different intimate experience. Yes, it can and will still be an amazing experience, but it probably won't be the same as it was before.

Ad failed to load

Part of finding your way back into bed is understanding some of the ways that postpartum sex might be different. So, in the spirit of sharing secrets, here are ten things no one will tell you about postpartum sex, but I will. You're welcome.

Ad failed to load

You Might Not Feel Physically Up To It For A While...


If you had a vaginal birth (and even if you didn't, because you're still going to feel uncomfortable and in pain), it's going to take some time for your body to heal.

If you had an episiotomy, you're going to be especially aware of exactly how sensitive your body is, and having sex, well, isn't going to sound all that appealing for a while. Give your body time to heal.

...Or You Might Feel Up To It Pretty Quickly


On the other hand, perhaps your mind will be ready to get in between the sheets long before your body is physically prepared. Trust me, I get it. Again, let your body heal before you have sex and listen to your doctor and/or midwife. They're not trying to ruin your sex life, I promise. They're trying to take care of you.

Sex After Baby Can Be Painful


Even after you've been cleared for sex by your doctor, the first time is still going to hurt a little. Sorry, there's just no way around it. It's not horrific pain or anything, but it is a little uncomfortable. It might take some time for your body to adjust to having sex again, so don't get discouraged if your first time back in bed isn't quite as, um, sexy as you thought it would be. Also, lube.

Ad failed to load

The Pain Should Eventually Subside


I promise the pain does go away eventually. Exactly how long that takes is different for everyone, but in my experience, practice makes perfect and the more you practice, the better your body will adjust. Have fun.

You Might Not Feel Mentally Or Emotionally Up To It


After I had my first son, I was mentally and emotionally ready to be with my partner much quicker than I was physically ready. However, with our second, it was a very different story. Having a baby is, you know, a big deal. It changes your life in so many ways, and sex can definitely still be an equally amazing part of that life, but it might take some time to get in the mode for sex again. Take your time, mom.

It's Hard To Find Time For It


So, babies are pretty needy. I mean, they need you pretty much every minute of ever hour of every single day, which can obviously throw a wrench in a couple's plans to get some alone time. You might have to get creative with your intimacy, and take advantage of any windows of opportunity that your baby gifts you with. There's no shame in this game.

Ad failed to load

You Probably Won't Have It As Often As You Did Before You Had A Baby


Even if you do find the time for it, the odds are that you're going to be pretty exhausted. Most parents are so sleep deprived that a quick nap sounds a lot more alluring than an actual quickie. In this case, quality is better than quantity. Just because you might not have sex as often as you once did, that doesn't mean that it's any less important in your life.

Your Body Might Do, Um, Weird Things


If you're breastfeeding, your breasts might leak during sex. It's a little weird, but it's perfectly normal and your partner should be flattered, rather than grossed out because it's ultimately an indication that you're enjoying yourself.

Your orgasm might feel different, too, maybe even better than before. Sex in general is also probably going to feel different, especially if you had your baby vaginally. Also, if you're worried that your vagina won't ever be the same after giving birth, don't because it will return to its normal state eventually, but it's going to take a little time.

You Still Need Birth Control


You can get pregnant if you're breastfeeding, so don't believe the rumor that you can't. In fact, you can get pregnant as soon as you ovulate for the first time after giving birth, which can happen quickly. The term "Irish twins" exists for a reason. It's used when a mother has kids who are less than a year apart in age, which means that she got pregnant very quickly after she gave birth. How you want to space your kids out is obviously up to you, but if you're not in the market for kids close in age, consult your doctor about a birth control method.

Ad failed to load

You Shouldn't Feel Obligated To Hop Back Into Bed Before You're Ready


If you aren't physically or emotionally ready to have sex again, don't. Your partner shouldn't pressure you to have sex before you're ready ever, but especially after you've just had a baby. I get that women are inundated with this idea that we're supposed to turn into "MILFs" after we have kids, that we're supposed to play the role of some sexy housewife who wants to jump her partner's bones five minutes after giving birth. Please, don't buy into it. Have sex when you are ready, no matter how long it takes for you to feel ready. Your partner should support you, not pressure you.

I promise that the wait it worth it. Sex after a baby is different, yes, but it's still pretty damn amazing.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills