If you’re a mom and you’ve had a vaginal delivery, you probably think of your vagina in terms of “pre-baby” and “post-baby.” It’s a pretty important part of the body, after all. Some of us have close relationships with ours, while others might not have paid much attention to their vaginas until a baby was pushed through it Whatever the case, people has opinions about vaginas. Yours. Theirs. Everybody’s. While there's arguably too much commentary about our, ahem, birth canals, there are also plenty of things no one is saying about postpartum vaginas.
Prior to ever having kids, me and my vagina were BFFs. For real. I had become incredibly comfortable with my sexuality and the role my vagina played. I was exceedingly knowledgeable in what felt good and what didn’t. I knew exactly how to treat it like the majestic body part that it is (I’m including the vulva in this whole conversation, by the way, since we so often tend to treat them as one and the same). However, our close bond was broken by my pregnancy, and childbirth left me dealing with a long and arduous recovery.
That said, it’s not all bad, and these days my vag and I are well on our way to becoming BFFs again. I wish more folks talked about this journey, and the complicated relationships we might have with our vaginas postpartum. These are some of the things I’ve noticed missing from the general post-baby vag conversation that would break through myths, smash stereotypes, and allow women to feel more comfortable with and about a truly incredible body part.
Vaginas Are Glorious & Magical
Alright, so maybe some folks (folks who are attracted to vaginas) might say this occasionally. But postpartum? Few people are ever singing a vagina's praises a few days after labor and delivery. However, if you were able to push an entire human being out of there, you’ve got to admit that is pretty damn magical.
They Can Still Be Used For Pleasure
Doctors say you might be ready for sexual activity when you'er six weeks postpartum, that’s not the same for everyone. Some people are ready to have sex after having a baby sooner, while others take a significantly longer period of time to get back in the sack.
Either way, a postpartum vagina can be (and is) used for pleasure. Childbirth hasn't "ruined" it, you guys.
OK, so first of all, I want to address just how much hearing people describe a vagina as “tight” or “loose” makes me want to roll my eyes into the back of my head until they pop out of my skull. It's misogynistic and a description that is in no way based on fact.
However, I think if we are going to be talking about the “tightness” of genitalia, we can certainly say it about postpartum vaginas. The vagina and vulva expand like a rubber band, and like a rubber band, they return back to original size once they’ve had time to recover. So there.
When you're postpartum you're not always thinking about sexy times. You're certainly not thinking about “wetness” or “dryness” because well, you're probably just bleeding.
So actually, yeah, postpartum vaginas are, technically, super “wet” because they’re still getting rid of all the contents that helped create and sustain a human being. Once postpartum bleeding stops, yes, they can still lubricate. Sometimes it takes a little longer than normal, but you know what? That’s totally fine. Use toys, or make your partners work a little harder (c’mon, y’all, don’t be lazy).
They're Exactly The Same As Pre-Baby Vagina
While I am a huge proponent that most vaginas return to mostly the same after you have a baby, I know that’s not always the case. Things like vaginal prolapse, urinary stress incontinence (the reason you might pee a little when you sneeze), and severe tearing and definitely alter a vagina for the long term.
However, those conditions are relatively rare, all things considered, and most women find their postpartum vagina (after some healing) is the same as their pre-baby vagina. Again, nothing is "ruined."
They Deserve Respect
All vaginas deserve respect. All vagina-havers deserve respect (especially the respect to do as they wish with said vaginas). Postpartum vaginas don’t deserve to be the butt of your crappy misogynist jokes, OK? Kindly STFU.
They're A Thing Of Beauty
You know how folks talk about internal beauty? What could be more internally beautiful than our vaginas? They’re capable of doing so much: providing pleasure, allowing us to procreate, bleeding at inopportune times. OK, the last one isn’t always so great. However, they truly are beautiful (and if you want me to get real hippie on you, we are all beautiful).
Seriously though, celebrate your vaginas, y’all. They are awesome.