If you think sex after baby is doomed to be a dreadful event, think again. Not only can it be just as glorious as pre-baby sex (if not more so), but there are actually things you don't have to sacrifice for your postpartum sex life and in order to have a good time. No, seriously. I'm not talking about immediately after labor and delivery (obviously, although if you're feeling up to it, you do you), but once you're healed and get the green light to get it on, you don't have to give up as much as you think for the experience to be, err, worth the time and energy. Trust me, I know.
After the birth of my kids, the last thing I wanted to do was get back into the position that put me in the delivery room in the first place. Sex, honestly, sounded awful. While that feeling eventually disappeared once I healed and my hormones found their way back to normal, I still felt like I had to sacrifice everything that makes sex great in order to just, you know, have sex in the first place. Some things were forfeited in order to make it less uncomfortable, and others were left behind because I felt like it's what my partner needed.
In the time since (and two kids later), I now know better. I know that my postpartum sex life (and your postpartum sex life, dear reader) doesn't have to be so complicated. No, really. It's supposed to be fun and satisfying and not something you come to dread. Here are some things you don't have to sacrifice when it's time to get busy.
Your Body Confidence
Just because you had a baby doesn't mean you aren't the same fierce woman you were before. No need for insecurities, because I guarantee your partner doesn't care.
After the births of my children, my husband thought I was more attractive after what I'd gone through. He saw past the stretch marks, extra padding, and boob leakage because he was only interested in me — all of me. Go forth and be confident. It'll benefit the both of you.
Your postpartum sex life doesn't have to be made only of strappy, complicated lingerie or high heels. Yes, my husband likes those things, too, but after a baby, maybe I don't want to go through all of that. Sex should be comfortable for both parties ,so I say, if you'd rather go another route that does give you confidence, but isn't a typical romance piece, that's OK.
Don't you dare think of sacrificing your pleasure during postpartum sex. After giving birth, I get that parts of having sex can be different. I didn't enjoy the first few sessions after each child, honestly, because my body wasn't the same anymore. My partner and I had to re-learn how to connect. If your body's not responding, it doesn't mean this is what sex will feel like forever. Be patient with yourself and communicate with your partner. You've earned this!
Your Ability To Mother
I'm one of those moms who felt guilty taking the time to connect with my partner for longer than a few minutes and, yes, I feel guilty about this. Part of being a mom is living with a constant feeling of guilt. However, here's the thing: it's not a sacrifice to devote time to your relationship — you're sacrificing something if you don't.
You, in no way, have to throw away the different positions, locations, or last-minute trysts just because you've had a baby. In fact, you shouldn't! These things may not sound so exciting when you're sleep-deprived and stressed from a colicky baby, but they'll awaken parts of your relationship you've either forgotten about or put aside. There's really only good things to come from this, I assure you.
I used to freak out over how much alone time I didn't get after my first baby. My days were so busy and so exhausting, giving any part of my time to my relationship was difficult if not impossible. Instead, I wanted to use that time to recharge my own batteries.
Yes, sometimes postpartum sex takes a little planning so it doesn't hurt, but aside from that, it doesn't have to take a lot of time. Of course, it can, but if you're too concerned with the baby (or getting more sleep like me), give it 10 minutes and you'll probably be into by then anyway.
Your Connection With Your Partner
Sometimes postpartum sex was hard. Being preoccupied with a new baby, even after healing, meant connecting with my partner didn't come as easily as it did before. Why would it? I was different, my body was different, and we had another person to look after. I neglected to think of how not putting the time into my relationship would affect everything, including my ability to mother. Postpartum sex may not be the easiest thing (in many ways), but it's a necessary part of staying connected to the one you love.
Your Ability To Have Fun
Remember when sex was just plain fun? You looked forward to it and even planned your evening around it? Postpartum sex is going to be slightly different, for at least a little while, but it's important to keep the fun alive. My partner and I had to find new ways to make things happen and that's totally normal.
My advice? Laugh together, try something new, and remember that just because you're a mother doesn't mean you have to sacrifice absolutely everything.