Updated October 2018
Sex (seks) [noun]: The last thing you will feel like doing after having a baby… in the beginning, at least.
>> Create beautiful baby announcements in a jiffy at Tinyprints.com
Think you’re gonna be hopping in the sack after six short weeks? Think again. Postpartum sex can be tricky, emotional, and painful.
Technically speaking, you should wait until your 6-week PP OB appointment to get the all-clear from your doc before having sex, especially if you tore, had an episiotomy, or a C-section (and 97% of you fall into one of these categories). However, this does not mean that most women are getting back on the love bus six weeks after giving birth. Nay.
The Data Don’t Lie (yes, ‘data’ is plural, thank-u-verrry-much)
I wanted to know what the actual number was, since none of my friends seemed to be ready again after six weeks (far from it). So… you know me, I took a poll. I asked 550 women two-six months postpartum: “When was the first time you successfully (comfortably) had sex after your baby was born?”
The median answer? 11.8 weeks
YAH. You heard me.
So don’t feel bad if your partner is driving you nuts about it and you can’t perform. Yes, they will get laid again in this lifetime, but they may have to be a little patient. P.S. This gets much easier after your 2nd (or more) child.
Many couples “try” to have sex shortly after six weeks (or even before) and have to scrub the mission due to pain or discomfort. In fact, many couples report having multiple failed attempts. Some jokingly compared it to losing their virginity.
Other than the obvious (damage and pain to your perineum, insecurities about your body, etc.), there are several other factors that make postpartum sex a little tricky…
Yes, it’s true (sadly), breastfeeding will lower your estrogen and may contribute to an overall low libido and desert-like DRY conditions down thar. LOTS of women report this. This is called Mother Nature’s birth control. To remedy it, your doc can prescribe an estrogen cream at your 6-week visit (or later), which is injected like a tampon and will help your lady parts regain their elasticity and moisture. **Be careful; this stuff is super expensive, so make sure your insurance covers it.
Not everyone experiences this, though. Some women I polled reported having sex as early as two weeks PP (gross) and many others did so right at six weeks with no pain whatsoever. Bottom line: Everyone’s experience is different.
*Postpartum sex is not such a big deal after your 2nd (or so) baby, but after your 1st… it’s uncharted territory.
Touch my boobs and die, sucka!
Let me boil it down for you: in the first few months, you may not want anyone – except for your baby – going near your boobs. For any reason whatsoever. Furthermore, having sex can trigger an involuntary let-down of milk, which can be annoying at best and embarrassing/messy at worst. Try not to let it bother you. If you are planning on BFing long-term (BREASTfeeding, that is (you sicko)), it will stop happening after a few months. Be patient.
The other major reason women reported for not having sex was THEY JUST DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT, OKAY???? Seriously. Get off my back, already – GEEZ! It seems like everyone needs something from you after you have a baby. And all you want is a nap. And a martini.
Don’t get discouraged, though. Remember: This is a temporary problem (I sound like a broken record). The GREAT news is that a few months down the line, many, MANY couples report an amazing resurgence in their sex life. Your partner sees you and you’re all… fertile and sexy and… milky. His reptilian brain can’t control itself.
See, it’s not all bad. Just don’t get preggers again (unless you want to) because that would suuuuuck.