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What To Expect from Sex After Having a Baby

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The new baby will be your primary focus, and then you'll be thinking about sleep - but don’t forget about your sex life! Take this quiz to find out what to expect.

You’ll Want to Wait at Least Four Weeks

a young woman consulting a doctor

The first two weeks after delivery, you’re bleeding and at risk of hemorrhage or infection, so sex is an absolute no-go. Once your postpartum bleeding ceases to be bright red, you’re probably OK to start having sex again, since this is a sign that you’re almost completely recovered. But many doctors advise waiting until your six-week postpartum checkup, when they can make sure everything has healed correctly (after all, your body’s been through a lot).

You Might Not Be in the Mood

a young woman holding her baby in bed while her husband sleeps

With an infant in the house, you might find your sex drive has been replaced with a new feeling: exhaustion. Breastfeeding can also wreak havoc on libido. Factor in fluctuating hormones and possibly frustration at your post-baby body, and it’s pretty normal to have a decreased interest in sex after you’ve had a baby. Take your time and ease into the mood when you feel ready (we promise you will be someday soon).

It Might Hurt

a woman on top of a man as they about to kiss

The first few times might be uncomfortable or even a little painful for moms, especially if you had stitches. Experts recommend women try being on top to control the depth of penetration; if you had a C-section, a side-by-side position can prevent pressure on your scar. Take it slow, and make sure there’s plenty of foreplay.

You'll Probably Need Some Lube

a tube of sex lubricant

Fluctuating postpartum hormones, especially if you’re breastfeeding, can leave you feeling a little on the dry side down there. To the rescue is your new best friend: water-soluble lubricant.

It Might Feel a Little Different

a woman sitting on an exercise ball while using a laptop

Obviously having a baby stretches your vaginal muscles, so you might have lost some muscle tone. Although they quickly begin to rebound after you deliver, it's likely you'll always be a little bit bigger than you were pre-baby. Try doing Kegel exercises every day to tighten your pelvic floor and improve your sex life.

A Glass of Wine Can Help

a man and woman having a glass of wine together

If sex is the furthest thing from your mind (but you wouldn’t object to pushing it to the forefront), a beer or glass of wine can help you relax and let loose a bit. If you’re breastfeeding, just have a small glass, and wait at least two hours before nursing again.

Your Girls Might be Super-Sensitive

a naked woman holding her arms around her to cover her breasts

What used to be solely an erogenous zone—your breasts—have possibly become a round-the-clock feeding station. With baby attached during most of his waking hours, breastfeeding moms often feel like a cow on a 24-hour farm—which is why some nursing moms declare that their sore and tender breasts are off-limits during sex.

Your Breasts Might Leak

an attractive young girl wearing a bra and long pants

The same hormone that’s released during orgasm is also present when breastfeeding, which is why your breasts might leak when you’re being intimate. To avoid a mess, try breastfeeding or pumping before sex, or wear a bra with nursing pads.

You Could Get Pregnant

a man and woman in bed together

You can start ovulating and get pregnant before your period returns. Breastfeeding aids in birth control, but it’s not 100% effective. So there’s a risk that you could get pregnant again if you have unprotected sex. Make sure you have a reliable birth control method in place before you jump into the hot and heavy.

Scheduling Might Be a Solution

a man looking frustrated while his wife is holding their baby

If you’re concerned about getting back into it, or if you and your partner never seem to be in the mood at the same time, a scheduled session might be the solution. Put a date and time on the calendar in the near future, and spend the days leading up to it anticipating and visualizing the big night. With sex perpetually top of mind, you’ll be ready and willing when the moment finally arrives.

 
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