It's widely known that women have to wait at least six weeks to have sex again after having a baby. And sometimes, depending on what kind of pregnancy and delivery you had, the wait is even longer. Everyone has their own unique healing process, and everyone has their own unique horniness. Some new moms might not even be thinking about sex, while others might be counting down the days, hours, and minutes till they can be intimate again. Those with more active libidos may be wondering how to handle horniness during the six week wait. It turns out, there are many healthy ways to cope of the sexual and non-sexual variety.
Before delving into all of the ways you can deal with your sex drive, there is one thing to get out of the way: you absolutely cannot have penetrative sex during the six week wait. No exceptions. Additionally, you have to make sure you aren't experiencing any bleeding or uterine tissue discharge, also known as lochia, before having postpartum sex, according to Very Well. You also have to make sure you've healed from any possible tears or stretching that could invite infection or be really painful. This could be anywhere from a minimum of six weeks to months.
All of this isn't brought up to scare you or discourage from doing the deed postpartum. There are just some really important things to consider with a woman who is healing from pregnancy and childbirth before engaging in anything sexual. Whether your wait is six weeks or more, it's likely that you'll get horny from time to time. Here are nine things you can do to help you with your horny hurdles.
1. Go For A Walk
Feeling horny? Plop the baby in the stroller and go for a walk (as long as your doctor approves physical activity). It's all about replacing your desire with a healthy alternative that is distracting.
Researcher Alan M. Rosenwasser, professor of psychology at the University of Maine, told Science Daily that exercise can provide a rewarding feeling suitable to replace the rewarding feeling that sex gives. As explained in the same article, this is because it activates your brain's pleasure centers. If you're horny, it's your pleasure center that is currently craving activation so take a stroll down the street, not to Funkytown.
2. Try Meditation
Whatever form your meditation takes — yoga, being mindful, or praying if that's your thing — do it. Meditating is all about being the moment and not judging yourself for any feelings or thoughts that may come up. It may seem counterintuitive to focus on your horniness through meditation, but according to Psychology Today, being mindful increases your ability to accept and tolerate the present moment. It helps you deal with your uncomfortable feelings and instead of react (have sex before you're supposed to), meditation can help you modify your behavior and seek out solutions of the non-sexual variety.
3. Do Breathing Exercises
The misconception is that breathing exercises only happen with yoga, but the truth is you can do breathing exercises in your car, in your office, or while you're washing dishes. You don't have to be in downward facing dog to get some good, re-centering breaths in your life.
There are several different breathing exercises you can practice, but pranayama breathing is really effective in calming and centering your life force. In essence, it can calm you the hell down and can prevent you from being reactive and having sex before you're supposed to. As explained in a HuffPost article, pranayama breathing can increase calmness, as well as, give you more mental flexibility and creativity to effectively manage life's challenges (AKA your horniness).
4. Avoid Things That Make You Horny
According to Psychology Today, avoiding your source of temptation will only work if you're honest with yourself. If you know that viewing pornography makes you horny, it'd probably be best to stay away from it for the six week wait.
5. Distract Yourself With Screen Time
I've had to do the six week wait. Marathoning my favorite Netflix show, playing video games, or watching movies is a great way to not think about whatever is bothering or ailing you. If you're horny, however, it'd probably be wise to stay away from porn or any show with lots of sex in it.
6. Read Something
This is another one of my tried and true methods. Obviously it's important to stay present and in the moment, but taking a break and curling up with your favorite distraction is also pretty great. Read about far away lands, adventures, whatever you like to keep your mind off of sex. And obviously stay away from the erotica category.
7. Phone A Friend
You need a friend who can talk you down. Call other parents who can recount their horror stories of postpartum sex. Call your friend who's a nurse or a doctor and can tell you all about the wretched things that could happen to a woman's body down there if she has sex before the six week wait end. Talk to a friend who's good at googling the risks of having sex or masturbating with toys before the six week mark, they can tell you what a bad idea it is.
8. Give In And Masturbate (Clitoral Stimulation Only)
It is totally fine to masturbate before the six week mark, but postpartum women can only engage in clitoral stimulation. You can do this solo with your fingers or clitoris-centric sex toys, or you can involve your partner. Maybe they stimulate your clit and you touch them or perform oral sex. Whatever you do, just don't penetrate. That's completely off limits until your doctor gives you the OK and even then you'll want to take it slow.
The six week wait can be a stressful time for everyone involved, especially for those with higher sex drives. It's important to recognize that sex for the most part is a definite no-no during this time, but it's also important to get creative in dealing with your horniness. Whether through non-sexual alternatives or sexual, there is something to help everyone get over the horny hump.