5 Tips To Make Good Postpartum Sex Happen
For weeks, you’ve been spending all your energy taking care of your baby, possibly crying, and recovering to even think about sex. You’re finally ready to have postpartum sex—only to find your body fighting against you.
While plenty of information is available to expectant mothers about their babies, many women feel blindsided by their postpartum bodies. With a range of physical and mental challenges, resuming their sex lives is a learning curve and a downright pain.
When can I start having sex again after giving birth?
Pushing a child out of your body after hours of labor is bound to be highly traumatic for you and your vagina. Your body is trying to repair the tears that your child caused when coming into a new world. Especially if you had a C-section or an episiotomy, recovering postpartum and resuming your sex life can be challenging.
When your body stops bleeding and the cervix closes, the lochia, discharge of excess blood and uterine tissue, would probably stop too. This would typically happen around the third week after you had the baby, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to have sex yet!
Although the general rule of thumb is at least six weeks postpartum, the true answer varies from woman to woman. This is because your body might seem like it’s healed but is not entirely ready on the inside. Especially if you experienced any complications in the delivery room, you should wait until your body is 100% healed. Or at least till your doctor says so. If you have intercourse too early, you risk a postpartum hemorrhage or uterine infection.
Besides the physical recovery of your body, it could be difficult to resume your sex life after becoming a new parent. Sure, sleepless nights and a new family member contributes to this. However, your bedroom activities might also be put on hold by your hormone levels.
Libido-stopping hormones involved in post-childbirth
As a woman, keeping our hormone levels in check during life is challenging enough. We experience PMSes, periods, random ups and downs during the day… but nothing is quite as challenging as pregnancy and childbirth.
A range of hormones, like estrogen, oxytocin, and noradrenaline, work together to bring your baby safely into the world. Some stimulate the production of breast milk; some get your uterus and cervix ready for your baby. Only a few wreak havoc on your libido and sexual functions, but with proper nutrition and care, they would even themselves out eventually.
Estrogen and progesterone
As pregnancy progresses, your body creates an extraordinary amount of both estrogen and progesterone as your baby is formed in your uterus.
But right after childbirth, both of these essential female hormones take a dramatic dip. Paired with high prolactin and oxytocin levels, low estrogen and progesterone levels can mimic menopause for the first two to three months. That’s right—think hot flashes, night sweats, and loss of libido.
A low estrogen level also affects the elasticity and thickness of the vaginal tissues, making it more painful for penetrative sex. Besides that, it also promotes better vaginal lubrication, which won’t happen efficiently without a healthy amount of estrogen in your system.
Progesterone, on the other hand, is nature’s anti-anxiety medication. This hormone is super important for a new mother. Because you’re bogged down by a multitude of different stressors in your life, including a more vulnerable mental health.
Known as the love hormone, oxytocin floods into your system when you have sex, orgasms, kisses, and hugs. But right after you give birth, your body experiences a surge of oxytocin and triggers your mama bear instincts.
For some new mothers, the sudden rise of oxytocin levels might overfill them with the urge to protect their newborns. And without progesterone to balance out the anxiety, you might start dreading things beyond your control. Things like your weight, the pain you’re experiencing, and so on. One research shows that exposure to peripartum oxytocin would increase the risk of postpartum depression by 35%. Even if you’ve never had a history of depression or anxiety.
There are more hormones at work during childbirth, but these are the main ones that affect your body and your mind at most. These hormones level out for most women after they stop breastfeeding. Though some might experience longer-lasting effects like not wanting to have sex or reduced vaginal lubrication.
5 tips to ease the transition and have awesome sex again
Your body’s changed, and you have to cater to a little human 24/7… sex is probably the last thing on your might. But if you’re ready, you might find it a bit difficult to pick up where you left off. Don’t worry—here are five tips to help you ease the transition and start having awesome pre-baby sex again.
Rebuild intimacy with your partner
It can be complicated to find time with your partner between coaxing your baby to sleep and taking care of yourself. In fact, it might even be tough to see him sexually since you feel so overwhelmed.
The thing is, intimacy is a huge part of a woman’s sexual experience. One way of building intimacy is to prioritize quality time with your partner. With honest conversations, both of you would feel like you have each other’s back as you both adjust to your baby.
Through that, you can gradually start to rebuild your physical intimacy through the emotional bond and support you share. Start by holding hands or cuddling, and if the opportunity presents itself, little kisses and spontaneous make out sesh work too. As long as both you and your partner put in the work to spark your pre-baby romance, sexual satisfaction would follow.
Wear a nursing bra during intercourse
Your breasts are filled with sustenance for your child. Your baby latches onto them (forcefully). This makes breast and nipple tenderness some of the most common postpartum sexual issues that new mothers face.
Besides pumping and nursing more often, you can also try to wear a nursing bra during intercourse. Hear us out—it’s not the sexiest thing to wear in bed, but nursing bras keep your breasts supported during sex. Not only that, but you could also cover your nipples with warm gauze pads in the bra to relieve chafing nipples.
Wearing a nursing bra or a tank top may also boost your confidence in bed if you’re combating body-conscious thoughts. Sure, your partner has one less area to stimulate you with, but that just means more attention on other parts of your body. Once you and your baby settle into a more comfortable nursing schedule, your boobs will become less sensitive. Thus allowing you to enjoy being caressed fully.
(Temporarily) lower your bar for sex
You’d probably not get into the mood for hours-long lovemaking sessions for the first couple of months—and that’s completely okay. Your body is still recovering, and it’s essential to be mindful of that.
Instead, think of sex as a way to connect with your partner and fool around. If you don’t feel like it, nothing even has to happen on the first few tries. Just relax, experiment with different foreplay and positions, and go with the flow. Keep an open mind and do not pressure yourself too much. You’ll eventually build your way up to having great sex again.
Give yourself some time to heal and feel sexy again
But most importantly, you have to give yourself some time to heal and feel like a sexual being again. You’ve just gone through this amazing process and brought a human being into the world—you deserve some rest and love.
Even after recovering from childbirth, some women don’t feel very sexy because their erogenous zones have just been through a lot. Engorged breasts, vaginal dryness, irritability are all possible long-term side effects that they have to deal with.
So take as much time as you need to recover from it and feel like yourself again. Rope your partner in and sneak a few tender moments to get the romance wheels turning again.
Use an instant arousal gel and a lot of foreplay.
It gets overwhelming for a new mother to navigate her new body, child, and family dynamics. Stress could not only do a number on your mental health but also put your sex life on a long-term pause.
Not only that, but one of the most significant issues that women have to deal with postpartum is vaginal dryness. It’s difficult to quickly rectify low estrogen levels, which might be why lube is right by the bedside of any new mother. However, you can use an instant arousal gel to put you in a sexy mindset and get the fire going downstairs.
And check out our blog post, “How to Reduce Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness for Good.”
HerSolution® Gel is fantastic since it packs a punch of wholesome and organic ingredients that are good for your recovering body. You can also use it multiple times throughout the night and incorporate it into foreplay to maximize the effects. With this arousal gel, it won’t take long before you finish with the powerful orgasm that you deserve.
Finally if you’re looking for more information, read on here: “The Top 3 Female Libido Supplements That Help Rev Up Your Sex Drive.”