Sex after having a baby can bring up a lot of emotions. Maybe you're intimidated, nervous, or even scared to see what it will feel like after such a life-changing (and body-changing) event. Maybe you're eager to be intimate again (after all, there is nothing sexier than seeing your partner become a parent). Either way, now that the recommended four to six weeks have passed, it's time to get back on that horse. Whether you're eager or apprehensive, there are things that will help make the overall experience easier and more enjoyable. These five easy sex positions for postpartum will help you and your partner ease back into sex and enjoy each other as much as you did 9+ months ago.
Of course, the best thing you can do before going at it is talk to your partner about any of your concerns or worries. You've healing from a major event — no matter how you delivered your baby — and your emotions are undoubtedly amped up, too. It's important for both parties to be understanding and gentle. Dr. Michael Aaron, a psychotherapist specializing in the field of human sexuality, tells Romper, "I think men especially need to keep in mind that a woman may feel fragile postpartum as she has just gone through a lot of body changes. She may be self-conscious about her new body, and depending on how she had her delivery, she might not have healed fully. So he should keep that in mind and be supportive and gentle and make her feel comfortable. For similar reasons, many new moms would probably want to take it slow. They should listen to their bodies and not put any unnecessary pressure on themselves."
By communicating honestly with your partner and voicing any concerns you might have, you can both work together to make it a perfect sexual reunion.
1. Get On Top
You're the only one who knows how exactly your body feels, and what hurts and what feels good. "Sometimes having a woman start on top can be helpful because she can have more control in terms of the speed and depth," Rachel Gelman, pelvic floor physical therapist at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center, tells Romper.
By being in top, you're in the driver's seat and can determine what feels best for you. One important thing to keep in mind — with any of these positions — is that you might want to have some lube on hand. "I always recommend that they go slow the first time around and use a lot of good quality water based lubricant. After delivery, a woman's estrogen levels are low and this can cause vaginal dryness which can cause/contribute to pain with sex," says Gelman.
The spooning position is naturally a more gentle one, and gentle is exactly what you're looking for. Stefani Shaffer-Pond, a sex therapist at Bound Together Counseling, believes this position is ideal for several reasons. "My favorite postpartum position is spooning, where the penetrating partner — big spoon — cradles the receiving partner — little spoon — and enters them from behind. This position prevents any pressure on the postpartum woman's body from someone on top of them and reduces the muscle strain and/or discomfort in the pubic area that can come from being on top," Shaffer-Pond tells Romper. "It's also great for fostering intimacy, since it allows for full-body contact, stroking, and kissing while having sex."
3. Flat Doggy Style
"Standard" doggy style can be a bit too aggressive or intense for what you're ready for, so try it modified. Lie down flat on your stomach, with your partner entering from behind. Kat Van Kirk, a licensed marriage and sex therapist who spoke to Women's Health, said, "This low energy rear entry position allows you to relax into penetration without your partner being able to go too deep."
4. Modified Missionary ("CAT")
Rapid or hard thrusting after having a baby can be uncomfortable, but this version of missionary focuses more on your clitoris and less on thrusting. According to Men's Health, the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT) "is very similar to the missionary position except your body is positioned farther up and to one side. Instead of being chest to chest, your chest is near her shoulders. Have her bend her legs about 45 degrees to tilt her hips up. This causes the base of your shaft to maintain constant contact with her clitoris."
The best part about this position is that you can get plenty of pleasure without all the thrusting. Ask your partner to rock forward and backward instead of thrusting, and hold on tight.
5. Non-Penetrative Sex
Don't forget, mutual masturbation and oral sex are perfectly good alternatives when you simply don't feel up for it. "Many people don't feel ready to have penetrative sex, even when they are cleared at the six-week mark, and that is totally fine," Gelman says. "Penetrative sex isn't the only way to have sex with a partner, so remember there are other things to try that aren't just penetrative intercourse."
At the end of the day, the key is to listen to your own body and figure out with your partner what feels good. "Every birth is different, every postpartum recovery is different, and women might feel completely different types of sexual discomfort — or barely any," Estrella Jaramillo, co-founder of the app B-wom, tells Romper. "I think what's important is to not try to force your body to perform the way it did pre-birth, and just adapt to what you are experiencing."