It’s hard to say how you’re going to feel during the weeks between your baby’s birth and the time when your doctor greenlights sex again. You might wish that you could get a 12-week (or month) sexual reprieve because you’re just so damn tired. Or you might be chomping at the bit at the 3-week mark to shake things up in the bedroom again. So whether you don’t really need a real excuse to get it on, or are looking for a little sensual motivation, these reasons to have sex after the six-week wait just might make you look at lovemaking in a whole new light.
Of course, no one can tell you when you’ll be ready physically (or emotionally) to have sex again. And more importantly, no one should make you feel like you have to do it, either. “Women should take their time and not feel rushed or pressured,” Dr. Catherine Jackson, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and board certified neurotherapist, tells Romper. “This will only add stress and create anxiety that will be counterproductive to resuming sex and intimacy.”
But sometimes, a sexy thought or two can help you start feeling like you’re ready once again. If you’re looking for something to light your fire, these reminders might do the trick.
1. Your Body Is Ready
The 6-week wait isn’t an arbitrary number. This is the amount of time it takes your body to heal after birth, the Mayo Clinic reported. “The 6-week waiting period after a vaginal delivery is for the vaginal mucosa to heal,” Dr. Lora Liu, M.D., an OB/GYN and board certified pelvic pain specialist, tells Romper. “Additionally, many women require stitches in the vagina (after an episiotomy or natural tearing), and it takes approximately 6 weeks for those to dissolve.” So after about a month and a half, your body is ready when you are to have sex again.
2. It Helps You Feel Like Yourself Again
Let’s face it: when you’re pregnant, your body isn’t really your own. “Having sex after a pregnancy is a reminder to a woman that her body still belongs to her,” Trish McDermott, a relationship expert, tells Romper. “While it's a beautiful experience to carry and birth a baby, and for those who nurse, an amazingly meaningful bonding experience to feed a child via your own body, a mom's body is still hers.” Being intimate with your partner can remind you that you have a right to pleasure that has nothing to do with your role as a mom.
3. It’s A Release
Between sleep deprivation and incessant nursing sessions, taking care of a newborn takes a toll on you. That’s when having sex can be soothing for your body and soul. “Actually getting the time to connect intimately may be difficult as both partners may be more tired,” says Dr. Jackson. “Therefore, it is important for the couple to communicate their needs and desires.” And a quickie just might be the perfect amount of time to get it on, since you’re so busy taking care of your baby, anyway.
4. It Helps You Reconnect
Sex is an important part of any relationship, and when it falls by the wayside, it can make things messy between you and your partner. Again, you should have sex when you’re up for it, but there’s still something to be said for making an effort to be intimate. “While the desire, energy, and the body's response may change, resuming intimacy and a sexual connection are important to remain connected with your partner,” says Dr. Jackson.
5. You Can Pinpoint Problems
Between pregnancy, labor, and delivery, your body (and in particular, your girly parts) have gone through a lot. So even if your OB tells you that you can resume normal sexual activity, doing so after the 6-week mark might make you aware of any postpartum problems. “Painful sex or dryness, for example, are common after delivery and can make you want to avoid sex altogether,” relationship expert Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed, LPC, tells Romper. “If that occurs, you can try using vaginal moisturizers that nourish vaginal tissues and increase lubrication.” You should speak to your doctor if you have discomfort during sex or if things don’t seem right.
Your sex life might change after having a baby, and ups and downs are to be expected. So look for ways to stay connected so that you maintain that intimacy with your partner postpartum. And remind yourself of how amazing your body is and all that it has done. That way, you can start feeling super sexy in your skin again.
Dr. Catherine Jackson, Ph.D., licensed psychologist and board certified neurotherapist
Dr. Lora Liu, M.D., OB/GYN and board certified pelvic pain specialist