Postpartum sex is a hot topic for new moms, but it's easy to forget about the other people affected by it, like your partners. If you're willing to give your SO a pamphlet on how to hold a baby and show them the best way to change a diaper, then you've got to be willing to share some postpartum sex tips for men.
Men, if you're listening, I get it — postpartum sex is scary for you too. No matter what kind of delivery your SO had, you may be freaking out about the fact that she once had a baby inside of her, the baby is now out, and you're expected to jump right back into sex like nothing ever occurred. There's a huge stereotype that all men are simply chomping at the bit to get back in the bedroom. Women worry that they are letting their guys down by saying they aren't ready, and so many new moms assume that you've got a calendar scratched into the wall, slowly counting down the days until her six week check-up.
But that's not true for every guy. And even if it is, that still doesn't mean you aren't nervous or anxious about having sex with your SO after childbirth. Whether you're wanting some advice on how to make it easier for her or eager to make the entire experience good for both of you, these 13 postpartum sex tips for men will give you what you need.
1. It's OK If Your Sex Drive Is Low
I know there's the whole stereotype out there that men literally can't wait until their wives are ready for sex, but that's not always the case. According to Healthline, hormone changes happen in men, too, and an increase in the hormone vasopressin, which promotes infant bonding, can actually repress testosterone and cause a decrease in your sex drive. It is totally normal to experience a low sex drive after your SO gives birth or to feel nervous about heading back to the bedroom.
2. Make Your Partner Feel Desirable
According to The Daily Mail, a survey conducted by a website for moms found that 69 percent of women thought the first word their husband would use to describe them would be "tired" rather than "feminine." I know it may seem like you're pressuring your SO when you call her sexy or kiss her on the neck, but you're actually building up her confidence and self esteem. Motherhood is wonderful, but it's not always sexy, and it's easy for a mom to feel like she's lost herself. When you don't take the time to make her feel desirable, she may assume that you no longer think she's attractive or that you may be unhappy in the relationship. Take some initiative and make her feel wanted, especially if you want to enjoy sex again soon.
3. Talk To Your Partner If You're Not Ready
Communication is key here. Whether your partner is ready to go or feeling ambivalent, too it's time you speak up and talk about how you're feeling. Your SO may be assuming that you're dying to get back in the bedroom or she may be fretting that you have zero interest. What to Expect noted that you have to be honest when it comes to postpartum sex, and while the suggestion was geared towards women, it's important for you, too. There is so much miscommunication that can happen when you don't speak up about how you're really feeling and the last thing you two need is drama and insecurity on top of a new baby.
4. Follow Your Partner's Lead If You Are Ready
There are so many things happening to a woman after she's had a baby. Hormones are out of whack, she's exhausted, she's struggling to maintain her former identity, and she may still be recovering from delivery. I know you're struggling, too, but the best thing you can do is follow your partner's lead. If she suggests having a date night, go with it. If she suggests fooling around, fine. But follow her speed, her intensity, and make sure you aren't pushing the issue too much. Of course you can be open and talk about your concerns, but the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy can affect her sex life more than you may think.
5. Be Supportive & Ask Your Partner What She Needs
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted that being supportive is a must during pregnancy, but it doesn't end there. In order for postpartum sex to happen, you need to continue to be supportive, helpful, and find out what your partner needs. Does she need more sleep? Help her make it happen. Does she need you to feed the baby so she can take a shower and get in the mood for sex? Then do it. Trust me, she'll definitely feel more into sex if she knows she's not the only one doing laundry and taking care of the baby beforehand.
6. Remember That Her Breasts Have Changed
Your SO might not mind you touching them or fondling them like you used to, but she also may have some very different ideas about her breasts than before. Whether she's breastfeeding or not, there's a chance her breasts may leak during sex because oxytocin, the same hormone responsible for letting down breast milk, is also the hormone that causes contractions during an orgasm according to Baby Center. Be prepared for her to say "hands off" to her breasts, but also be prepared for them to leak a little breast milk or feel incredibly tender.
7. Remember That Everybody Is Different
It doesn't matter that your co-worker's wife was ready for sex the day after she gave birth or that your BFF's SO took eight months to be ready for intimacy. You and your partner are your own couple, and The Bump noted that just like pregnancy, postpartum sex is different for everyone. So don't go into it expecting your wife to orgasm after two minutes or for her to scream that every movement hurts.
8. Be Prepared For It To Be Different
Because even though it varies from couple to couple, the general consensus is that postpartum sex feels different. Not necessarily in a good or bad way, but just different. Parents noted that the change could be from your partner being nervous about her new body shape, both of you fearful that she will be in pain, or simply trying to find a new position that maximizes comfort and achieves an orgasm. As long as you keep in mind that it could be different, you'll be good to go.
9. Pick Up Some Lubricant
I know, you never needed lubricant before, but remember — things are different now. Do your SO a solid and pick up a bottle of lubricant so you can avoid any possible pain associated with vaginal dryness. According to Parents, it's very normal for postpartum women to experience vaginal dryness, especially if they are breastfeeding, and that never bodes well for sex.
10. Don't Worry About The State Of Her Vagina
Seriously — her vagina is fine and it is not a cavernous tunnel. According to What to Expect, the vagina bounces back remarkably well after childbirth and although a doctor may be able to tell during an exam that a woman has had a vaginal birth, you most likely can't. If you're worried about her stitches or tears, that's understandable, but just make sure your SO's doctor has given her the green light to resume intercourse. At that point, everything should be healed and OK.
11. Keep Intimacy Alive Even Without Sex
It's pretty simple, guys — sex is not the only way to be intimate with your partner. Kissing, touching, sexting — it all counts. A cuddle on the couch can go a long way, especially if one of you isn't ready to resume intercourse or you're simply too tired to function. Baby Center noted that intimacy can also be emotional, so make sure you're carving out time for the two of you to talk and to have alone time so nobody feels unloved or lonely.
12. Schedule Your Sexy Time
I know, it sounds incredibly boring, but it works. Look, sex after having a baby requires some logistics you never had to think about before. The baby needs to be fed, happy, and preferably, asleep. You don't want any crying while you're in the middle of sex, right? Scheduling a time together also means you're less likely to pass out five minutes into a Netflix sesh or continue doing the laundry all night. You can plan your day around the fact that at 8 p.m., you and your SO have a date in the bedroom. It will keep you both anticipating that intimacy and it also makes it easier to enjoy when you aren't trying to fit sex in between a crying baby and bottle washing duties.
13. You Are Not Weak For Choosing Sleep Over Sex
Like, at all. According to Parenting, a survey found that 78 percent of the respondents cited fatigue as the reason for their low sex drive. It makes sense, right? So don't feel bad if you're simply too tired for sex. Being exhausted can make everyone cranky and out of whack and attempting sex when all you want to do is sleep doesn't work for anyone. Just be sure to talk to your partner about how you're feeling and take turns giving each other adequate time to rest so you can be ready for some intimacy.