Are you feeling a little anxious about getting back to sex after childbirth?

Who wouldn’t be! Just the thought of having sex after pushing a freaking human being out of your body is going to be a little daunting.

OK mammas, let’s get real for a minute…postpartum sex can suck.

And it’s not JUST because you’re still carrying extra baby weight in your belly, or your nipples hurt from breastfeeding, or you’re damn tired (although that’s part of it).

It’s also because sex can be uncomfortable or even painful.

We feel like this is a topic health care providers don’t talk about enough. Which is a damn shame, because it’s important!

But don’t worry, we are more than willing to GO THERE and give you the lowdown on sex after baby.

Know this, sex after childbirth will be different – but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good.

Just like you will sleep again, and hang out with friends again, you will actually WANT to have sex again. And you’ll enjoy it.

We’re here to help you get ‘back in the saddle’, so to speak, by sharing five common issues couples face in the bedroom postpartum.

We’ll also give you some tips, advice and reassurance to help you get your mojo back because hey, that’s what friends are for!

 

sex after childbirth
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Sex After Childbirth: 5 Common Issues And Solutions

 

1. Ouch! That Hurts

We’re not trying to scare you, but we also want to be honest.

Sex after childbirth can be painful. This is mostly due to the presence of scar tissue, which makes everything tighter and more sensitive.

Stitches or even natural tearing can cause scar tissue, as can having a C-section.

In addition, some women who have no tearing at all can still experience pain related to muscles and nerves that were affected by pregnancy and labour in general.

What’s the fix? You’ve gotta work that scar tissue baby. Say what??

That’s right, you’re going to want to massage and knead the scar (like bread) to loosen it up and make for better sex.

Move it up, down, or sideways. Just get that scar tissue moving!

You can try it without lube, but personally we feel more comfortable with a little extra slipperiness going on.

Try a quality water-based lubricant or do like we do and use good old-fashioned coconut oil. That stuff is like sex magic, trust us.

 

2. OMG! It’s Dry As The Sahara Down There

Yes ladies, dryness can be a big problem when it comes to sex after childbirth. And there are good reasons for this.

Your postpartum body is a roller-coaster of hormones. Some pain or discomfort experienced during sex is not from scarring, but rather low levels of estrogen that affect the elasticity of the vaginal tissue making everything dry and tight.

Not the sexy combo you’re looking for.

If you’re breastfeeding, the hormonal impact can be even more severe, causing more dryness, which can cause friction that feels like sandpaper down there. Also not fun.

The fix? The top three suggestions from moms who’ve been through the dryness phase are; a glass of wine, a sense of humor, and plenty of lube! Again, try a quality water-based lubricant or good old-fashioned coconut oil.

After a few months, your hormones will start to calm down and you’ll notice things returning to normal.

The wetness does come back, we promise. And so will sex after birth.

 

3. Help! I Think I Lost My Sex Drive!

Not feeling in the mood? Like, at all? That’s not uncommon for new moms.

Again blame hormones and breastfeeding. Both can significantly lower your libido.

In fact, nursing releases oxytocin, a hormone that triggers feel-good feelings towards your baby and helps you bond. But it also suppresses your libido, which leads to less than feel-good feelings towards your partner.

Some women may also feel uncomfortable in their own skin postpartum, which isn’t going to make you want to get it on.

Bellies are stretched, nipples are sore, breasts leak…it can really take you out of the moment.

Related: Avoiding The Dreaded Stretch Marks

Two things can help; time, when bodies go back to “normal” and hormone levels settle, desire tends to ramp back up. And “fake it til’ you make it”, which if you’re not in any physical pain, may be a short term solution.

Several moms we spoke with who said they weren’t exactly in the mood found that their feelings changed once they decided to throw their partner a bone (pun intended) and get down.

 

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4. I’m Too Tired or Too Anxious To Have Sex!

Exhaustion and fear are pretty much mood killers. And new moms will find themselves experiencing plenty of both.

Plus, your pelvic floor muscles are like little mind readers, they respond to what you’re thinking.

So when you’re nervous, or stressed, or tired – they tense up. Which makes sex even less desirable.

What’s a tired mamma to do? Here’s a couple of suggestions from our in-house mom team.

First, stop thinking about sex as only a nighttime activity. Because by the end of the day you will be dog tired.

Get creative! Afternoon delights (when your little one is napping) can be your saving grace.

Related: Never In The Mood? What Might Be Causing Your Low Sex Drive

Quickies are also going to be your new best friend because, let’s face it, you’ve got enough to worry about without trying to move through the Kama Sutra.

Focusing on pleasure for fifteen minutes before your baby wakes up, however, is totally doable.

If you’re constantly worried that the kids will barge in or something will happen to interrupt the moment, then get some help!

Ask grandma to take the kids to the park for an hour so you can have some alone time.  Or enlist a friend to watch your kids for a few hours and promise to do the same in return.

That’s what we call a win-win mamma situation.

 

5. I’m Suffering From “Roommate Syndrome”!

Having a new baby can put a lot of stress on a couple. Add to this a flurry of hormones, intense baby bonding, and extreme tiredness and you can feel disconnected from your partner.

It’s a vicious cycle. Small things your man does can start to annoy you.

You don’t have the energy to explain the challenges of sex after childbirth, so communication on the subject stops.

Physical intimacy is limited, or non-existent. And before you know it, you start to feel like roommates rather than lovers.

Get off the train to no-sex land before it’s too late!

Start small, with just kissing or touching. Start TALKING about how you’re feeling. Let your partner know what is going on with your body and mind.

Related: Romance After Baby: Bringing Sexy Back

Also, listen to how he’s feeling because new dads have fears too!

Be prepared for things to be a little awkward and weird at first. Laugh at the leaky breasts and strange time schedules.

Just make some effort, both of you.

Because if you think you can wait until baby is older to get sex after childbirth back on track, you might find that the train has left the station.

 

Get Help If You Need It

Everyone is different. Some women resume having sex after childbirth around week six, and for others it takes a few months for them to fully heal and be ready.

That’s all okay! Listen to your body and do what’s right for you.

But if you are still experience pain after 4 or 5 months, or your sex drive remains MIA after 6 month, talk to a healthcare professional for an assessment. There is no reason or need to suffer in silence!

You may have tearing that didn’t heal properly, or problems with your pelvic floor – both of which can be corrected.

In fact, pelvic floor therapy may be the sex after childbirth miracle you’ve been searching for!

Pelvic floor therapy is a specialty completely devoted to pelvic issues. If painful sex or incontinence are a concern, these are the folks that can help.

Pelvic floor therapy is standard care in many European countries following childbirth. And it makes us sad that it’s not practiced more regularly in the U.S..

You can ask your doctor for a referral or find a licensed therapist HERE.

A pelvic floor therapist will do an exam on your pelvic floor muscles, determine what your exact reason for painful sex is, and teach you things you can do at home to help the healing process.

It’s very targeted, compassionate work that gets good results.

Sex after childbirth does have its challenges, but once you get back to getting in on, you may find it’s better than ever!  

Several of the moms we spoke to say they discovered new positions and techniques they enjoy more since having children.

We’re definitely okay with that.

Related: Why You Need A Parents Date Night, NOW!

 

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