Giving birth? Hard enough. Adjusting to motherhood after giving birth? Even more difficult. Finding ways to ease back into sex after giving birth? Sounds nearly impossible, right? But just like with giving birth and adjusting to motherhood, the thing to remember about postpartum sex is that you can do it. (Insert suggestive eyebrow wiggle here.)
Look, it doesn't matter how sexy you felt during pregnancy or how much your partner says they want you, those hormones can really screw up your libido. According to Baby Center, one study found that 20 percent of postpartum women had little to no sexual desire three months out from giving birth. Whether it's from fatigue, your hormonal changes, or just the overwhelming experience of motherhood, it makes sense that sex may be lower on your radar than before.
But there's also a healthy dose of fear that many women experience, especially after the trauma of birth. Maybe you want to have sex, but you're terrified. You're scared it will hurt, you're scared that everything will be different between you and your partner. And let's be honest — you're also scared that you're going to pass out two minutes into your romp.
Sex won't be the same, I can tell you that much. But that doesn't mean it won't be enjoyable or even better than before. With these 11 ways to ease back into sex after giving birth, you can be sure that the intimacy was worth the wait.
1. Take Your Time With Foreplay
I know, you're worried about how much time you'll actually need, but foreplay is a necessity when you're trying to ease back into postpartum sex. Not only do you need it to figure out what you like and if anything hurts, but according to Parenting, 27 percent of moms say they find it harder to climax after having a baby. It's hard enough to jump into regular sex without foreplay, but postpartum sex definitely deserves that extra attention.
2. Talk To Your Partner
Communication is key to a happy, healthy sex life. Parenting noted that you have to talk to your partner to let them know what you like, what you don't like, if anything hurts, and how you want to proceed.
3. Remember That It Might Be Different Than Pre-Pregnancy Sex
You have to keep this in mind or you'll never be able to get back into sex. Everyday Health suggested that there are so many factors affecting sex like breastfeeding, fatigue, and pain, that you're bound to go at things a little differently than before.
4. Use Plenty Of Lube
Especially if you're breastfeeding. Vaginal dryness is a huge issue for many postpartum women, according to Parents, and breastfeeding hormones can exacerbate it. Even if you never needed lubrication before, be sure to pick up a bottle so you can make sure you're enjoying that ease back into sex.
5. Try Different Positions To Find What Works
Your old positions may not be a favorite anymore. C-section scars, vaginal tears, and back or hip pain can mean it's time to find a new position that helps ease you back into sex.
6. Wait Until You're Truly Ready & Excited
Forcing sex won't work for anybody. If you're truly concerned about your libido, you can see a doctor, but it's normal to not be ready for sex months after giving birth. According to The Bump, if you're tense about postpartum sex, it will make it even more uncomfortable.
7. Talk About Birth Control
Unless you're ready to be pregnant again, talk to your doctor about birth control as you ease your way into postpartum sex. According to Fit Pregnancy, you can get pregnant as early as four weeks after giving birth and since most doctors don't give you the green light until six weeks, you'll want some sort of birth control to protect you. Having that off your mind will make sex way more enjoyable.
8. Don't Wait Until You're Exhausted To Get It On
Just don't. Set an alarm, do it when the baby is napping, or turn Netflix off 20 minutes early. According to Parenting, you should think of sex as a way to better sleep and make time for it before bed so you can not only enjoy sex, but turn yourself into Sleeping Beauty a little faster. Also, let's be honest, if you wait until you're about to fall asleep to have sex, that's most likely what's going to happen.
9. Do Something That Makes You Feel Sexy
Giving birth doesn't always make you feel sexy, but you shouldn't let any insecurities or body image issues stop you from great postpartum sex. Everyday Health suggested taking time for yourself to make you feel good before sex like exercise or eating right, but also feel free to slip into some sexy lingerie if that makes you feel in the mood.
10. Go On A Date
Hey, intimacy comes in all forms. Dropping the laundry basket to run off to the bedroom isn't always very romantic. Parenting suggested having a date night before sex, even if it's just a picnic in your bedroom, to really set the scene and get you both in the mood.
11. You Don't Have To Hit A Home Run On The First Night
There's no law that says you have to have full-on sex to ease yourself into postpartum sex. Oral sex, a lot of foreplay, and even cuddling can all count as intimacy and make you feel sexy and ready to pounce your boo.