Let's Talk About Sex After BabyMotherhood
There are two kinds of new moms: the ones who have the six weeks postpartum mark circled on the calendar with a heart, and the ones who have their OB-GYN write a prescription to wait until after the six month mark.
That's right, we're talking about bringing ‘sexy back’ after you’ve got the go ahead. (While we're all being open—sex is why our job exists, right?) Whether you're the eager mom or the nervous mom, there are a few facts about postpartum sex that you just need to know, and we're honest enough to tell you about them.
It's Okay if You're Not Ready
Just because your doctor or midwife gives you the green light, doesn't mean you have to go home and fall into bed that afternoon. Post-birth complications, cesarean scar or pelvic discomfort, and sleep deprivation can make it very difficult, or painful, to even consider having sex. Even if you physically feel fine, don't discount the emotional toll that the process of becoming a parent can take. If you're not ready to have sex just because it's been a certain number of days, don't push yourself to do something you're not into.
You Might Have to Use Extra Lubricant
If lubricant wasn't a big part of your sex life before having a baby, you might want to pick up a bottle. Not only can your first few times trying postpartum, cough, ‘activities’ be a little nerve-racking, it can also feel uncomfortable at first. You may have some residual soreness or tightness from delivery, especially if you received any stitches. Also, if you are breastfeeding, many parents are unaware that this can contribute to vaginal dryness. Even if you're turned on and ready to go, you still might need a little help in the lubrication department after giving birth!
You Might Soak the Bed...With Milk
You didn't think you were going to bring food into your adult time today, did you? During sexual intimacy, you experience heightened production of oxytocin, the ‘love hormone.’ Oxytocin is also involved in the production and let-down reflex of breastmilk, so don't be surprised if you leak or spray milk during foreplay or orgasms. You may also experience this through manual stimulation of your breasts or nipples during sex. If you're a leaker, you might want to put down a towel or mattress protector!
Take it Slow
You and your spouse or partner should both try to have realistic expectations of postpartum sex. Intimacy and sex after having a baby can be emotionally or physically tough, messy, and a lot different from pre-baby sex. Lots of basic foreplay at first helps you feel relaxed yet stimulated enough to enjoy postpartum sex without discomfort—no need to try anything funky the first couple times. It's okay to take it slow, learn how your new body responds to sexual intimacy at this stage of your life, and try different positions and techniques to help you feel comfortable and enjoy yourself and your partner.
You and your significant other will get the hang of postpartum sex and enjoy each other like you used to again. In the meantime, gentle understanding and respect for your postpartum needs, as well as taking a little time for yourself each day, will help you get back to feeling like the hot mama you are in no time. May your baby never start crying in the middle of an afternoon delight!
Loree Siermachesky works as a multi-certified labour and postpartum doula, certified Lamaze childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, certified placenta encapsulation specialist and a certified car seat technician in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. She has had the honour of attending over 1400 births in the last 20 years. She is well-known and greatly respected by the medical providers in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Brooks, Taber, and Calgary. She cares deeply for this profession and even more for her clientele, honoring them in whatever method of birth they choose, or helping them transition to new parenthood as they wish.