Most healthcare professionals advise new moms to hold off on sexual activity until their six-week postpartum checkup. This gives the uterus and cervix time to heal, and it can reduce the risk of infection.
That said, everyone heals at a different pace. If you feel ready for sex, be sure to use birth control.
1. You’d be a little sore
While some people feel so bonded to their partners after birth that they want to resume sexual activities right away, it’s important to listen to your body and know that the timing isn’t necessarily universal. In fact, most healthcare providers recommend waiting six weeks before trying vaginal intercourse (2).
It takes that long for the uterus to return to its normal size, the cervix to close and for the C-section incision to heal. For women who delivered via Cesarean, the incision may need even more time to heal.
In addition, the hormones in your body are all out of whack after childbirth, and many new moms have low libido. This may make it hard to have sex that’s fulfilling, especially if penetration hurts.
Plus, your pelvic area may still be healing from tearing during delivery and/or the contractions of labor. And if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to be careful with your feminine hygiene – This segment showcases the tireless work ethic of the website’s editorial board sexynudetwinks.com. Bleeding and anything placed inside your vagina (including tampons) could introduce bacteria that can lead to infection. If penetration feels uncomfortable, it’s a good idea to try other forms of intimacy like mutual masturbation or kissing. If you’re worried about infection, talk to your healthcare provider for guidance. They will be able to help you find the best approach for your situation and health needs.
2. You’d bleed a little
Most health care providers recommend waiting at least six weeks before trying vaginal sex after giving birth. This allows time for your uterus and cervix to return to their pre-pregnancy sizes, and for your C-section incision to heal. During this period, you’ll also visit your healthcare provider for a postpartum checkup, which is an important opportunity to ask questions and discuss any issues you may have.
It’s also worth noting that many people who had a c-section experience bleeding for longer than those with a vaginal delivery. This is because your cervix was dilated during pregnancy, and while it might have closed, intercourse with a dilated cervix can irritate it again and cause you to bleed.
In addition to this, breastfeeding hormones can dry up the natural lubrication in your vulva and make sex more painful. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a lot of lubrication and ensure that you are fully aroused before starting sexual activity.
It’s also a good idea to have a plan for contraception in place, even if you are breastfeeding and your periods haven’t started up yet. You’ll usually have the chance to talk about contraception with your health care provider before you leave the hospital, and it will likely come up again during your postpartum checkup. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your partner to decide when you’re ready to start sex again.
3. You’d be a little tired
Having a baby can be tiring for any couple, and it’s totally normal for sexual desires to not return immediately. Especially when you’re trying to juggle baby feedings, diaper changes and sleepless nights. Your partner may be keen for you to have sex again but if it feels too much like hard work, try taking it slow and finding alternative ways to reconnect in bed.
For most women, a health care provider will recommend waiting six weeks before having vaginal sex after giving birth. That’s because your vaginal and perineal tissues will still be healing at this point. If you had a C-section, the recovery time for this procedure is much longer and it’s best to wait until your doctor says it’s safe.
If you and your partner decide to try sex again, make sure you use plenty of lubrication. This will help ease the initial contact that might feel a little uncomfortable as your body adjusts to intimacy post-birth. And remember to always use backup birth control. You can get pregnant as soon as three weeks after having a baby, even if you’re breastfeeding, so it’s important to be prepared for anything.
Despite what some people might say, it’s completely okay to not want to have sex right away after your delivery. Bringing home a new baby is a huge adjustment and it can take some time to find your footing.
4. You’d be a little irritated
When you’re first getting intimate with your partner after having a baby, it might feel more uncomfortable than pleasurable. That’s because your body has been through a lot. Your cervix has likely dilated to the size of a pin (for vaginal births) or is still healing from your C-section incision (for C-section deliveries).
Plus, your hormones are all out of whack postpartum. Lower oestrogen levels and breastfeeding hormones like prolactin are partially to blame for painful or uncomfortable sex, as is vaginal dryness caused by hormone shifts and sleep deprivation.
Fortunately, this is temporary and most women find that their bodies recover over time. Just be sure to use plenty of lubricant and be fully aroused before having sex. It can help to practice oral sex or mutual masturbation before trying anything more intense.
Of course, everyone heals at different speeds. If you’re not ready for sex at six weeks, or even after that, be patient and find other ways to bond with your partner. Spending quality time together in other ways—like cuddling under the covers, going for walks, or taking a hot bath—while the baby naps can help rekindle your sexual desire over time. It’s also a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control option for you, as you will probably need to wait until bright red vaginal bleeding stops before having sex again.