Sex after baby: how long should you wait?

Sex after baby: how long should you wait?

Sex after childbirth can be daunting.

You might be recovering from tearing and stitches after a vaginal birth, tenderness after a C-Section, or perhaps neither of the two.

But swollen labia during pregnancy, the affects of increased pressure from your uterus, and the physical and psychological aftermath of (maybe) seeing your vulva birth a baby can make intimacy painful and difficult.

Indeed, reduced libido is a very common postpartum symptom that can last up to a year after birth.


The other issue is that sex can be a difficult subject to discuss.

Sex after baby: how long should you wait?

Doctors generally recommend that women wait at least six weeks before starting to have sex again.

But we're here to tell you that there's no such thing as a 'normal' time to start having sex again after childbirth, or a 'normal' amount of sex to have.

What's important is that you do what feels right and safe for you, and that you and your partner discuss it together.


You should also speak to your doctor before you have sex again if you have any concerns.

And if it feels weird in the beginning, or you find it hard to get in the mood, don't panic - that's perfectly normal!

You're sore, exhausted and trying to figure out how to keep a tiny human alive, so intimacy is probably the last thing on your mind.

Let your body recover

If you still experience pain two months or so after the birth, talk to your doctor.

Sometimes the way a tear or an episiotomy is stitched can cause long-term discomfort and further surgery might be required.

Reduced libido, while normal, could also be a symptom of depression and if you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression, you must reach out to a healthcare professional or someone you trust.

Your body is amazing

Your body has spent nine months growing and keeping safe your baby and there's no way it can snap back overnight.

For example, it can take more than two months for your uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size.

And in terms of your body, it might never go back to your pre-pregnancy shape and size and that's fine - it has done a wonderful thing.

Be proud!

Self-help tips

  1. Taking care of yourself: It's important to take care of yourself, and your relationship, in the weeks and months after birth. This can go a long way to minding you. Just remember, communication is key and always ask for help when you need it.
  2. Take your time: You have to set reasonable expectations as you adjust to motherhood. Don't be too hard on yourself, don't expect too much too soon, and don't rush into having sex or feel pressured into it.
  3. Lubrication: Lubricating jelly can help as hormone changes can make your vagina feel drier than normal.
  4. Look after yourself: Eat well, drink lots of fluids and take rest whenever you can. Looking after a newborn is extremely demanding and you will need to keep your energy levels up.
  5. Your body will be different now: Forget about snapping back! This is a ridiculous concept that causes unnecessary pressure, strain and stress. Your body might never go back to how it was and that's fine. It has birthed a human!
  6. Do your kegels. After a vaginal delivery, your vaginal muscles may be temporarily stretched out. Continue to do your pelvic floor exercises to strengthen and tone up your vaginal muscles.

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