New Report Shows Women Have Misconceptions About Sex After Giving Birth, & That Definitely Needs To Change

Ad failed to load

There's so much to worry about as a new parent, and unfortunately, having sex after giving birth is definitely one of them for new moms. And as new report has found, women aren't informed about sex after giving birth and get mixed messages from their doctors and the media, which means that they enter into being a new mom without all the information they need to feel good about getting back in the sack with their partner when they're ready to.

The study also found that the women had misconceptions about different birthing methods and what they did to their bodies. Drs. Caroline Pukall and Jaclyn Cappell of Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada surveyed over 1,400 women who had never been pregnant but were interested in having kids, according to Reuters. The researchers, who published their study in the journal Birth, wanted to know how women viewed birth and their sexuality, so they asked the participants about their preferences for delivery, what they thought about sex after childbirth, and the kinds of things they already knew from friends, family, and the media. The results were pretty shocking.

Overall, according to Reuters, women viewed vaginal birth as a negative when it came to sex. But things weren't so cut and dry. For example, 85 percent of the women would prefer a vaginal birth, but 48 percent of them also agreed with statements such as "my vagina will be ‘loose’ after I have a vaginal birth." Sadly, 16 percent of women agreed with the statement, "my partner will not like the look of my vulva after I have a vaginal birth.”

Ad failed to load

On the other side of things, 21 percent of the women assumed that a C-section would prevent any of those future sex problems. Interestingly enough, the women who felt this way did so only because they were more likely to say that reality shows and the internet were "influential" sources of info, according to Reuters.

Those who disagreed that a C-section would prevent future sex problems were also more likely to rate health care professionals as their main source of information. Women who preferred a C-section were also more afraid of giving birth overall, according to the study.

Ad failed to load

"Understanding childbirth from the viewpoint of a future generation of potential child bearers can help create current, relevant conversations and appropriate reproductive health education content," Pukall said in a statement accompanying the study in Birth.

Views varied from country to country, too. Women in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia were more likely to prefer a C-section in the name of a "better" sex life postpartum as opposed to other regions of the world.

Ad failed to load

It also means that as a culture we could do better when it comes to informing women about what really happens during childbirth and how it affects their bodies when it comes to sex. According to Dr. Kathrin Stoll of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who wasn't involved with this study but published a similar paper in Reproductive Health, told Reuters that it comes down to education. And if the info comes from family and friends, it's a lot less scary.

"We should be providing women and men with information about childbirth early on, as early as elementary or secondary school, before their attitudes towards birth become too influenced by media dramatizations and other sources that aren't evidence-based," Stoll said in a press release for her study, according to Eureka Alert.

Ad failed to load

For example, instead of using way too real videos in school or avoiding the conversation altogether, a German program invites midwives to classrooms to talk about their jobs and how babies are made and birthed, especially showing off how the babies move through the birth canal and pelvis. Because it doesn't matter how you have a baby — your vagina will always be beautiful and ready for sex after a woman has kids.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there's no difference in postpartum sex whether one has a C-section or a vaginal birth, but the NIH does recommend better prenatal sex ed to ensure better sex throughout and after pregnancy. The more we inform women about what happens to their bodies, the better. With all of the resources and technology available to spread the word, there's no reason so many women go through life being afraid of childbirth or postpartum sex.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills