Updated February 2019
Sex [noun]: The last thing you will feel like doing after having a baby… in the beginning, at least.
The big myth is that everyone jumps right back into bed and is ready to rock at 6 weeks. Eh… not so much.
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 had a C-section. However, this does not mean that most women are getting back on the love bus six weeks after giving birth. Nay.
I asked 550 women about postpartum sex. Here is what I learned:
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 moms report having multiple… attempts. Some jokingly compared it to losing their virginity. Again.
When asked, “How long after delivering your baby could you have sex comfortably?” The median answer was:
There. So don’t feel bad if your partner is driving you nuts about it and you’re feeling bad because you can’t perform. Yes, they will get laid again in this lifetime, but they may have to be a little patient! It gets better.
Other than the obvious (damage and pain to your perineum), there are several other factors that make postpartum sex a little tricky…
Yes, it’s true, breastfeeding will lower your estrogen and may contribute to an overall low libido and dryness. LOTS of women report this phenomena. This is called Mother Nature’s birth control. To remedy it, your doc can prescribe topical estrogen, which is injected like a tampon and will help your lady parts regain their elasticity and moisture.
Don’t touch my boobs
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. Period. This does not make you feel sexy. At all. It makes you want to hide in the closet. Having sex can also cause an involuntary let-down of milk, which can be annoying at best and embarrassing at worst.
The other major reason women reported for why they were not having sex was THEY JUST DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT, OKAY???? Seriously. GEEZ! It seems like everyone wants/needs something from you. And all you want is a nap.
Don’t get discouraged, though. 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. Yay! See, it’s not all bad. Just don’t get preggers again (unless you want to), k?