Because the third time postpartum was a charm, I thought I would be a good time to open up a little on what has worked for my husband and I as we returned to sex postpartum.
Now, before I get into too many details, I want to be honest and let you in on a little secret. Sex has been COMPLETELY different postpartum after each of my deliveries. Between vaginal dryness, sensitivities, leaky boobs etc, intimacy is not the same as it was prior to children, AND that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I love my husband more than anything, but sleep deprivation and a newborn did not help either of us get in the mood.
Girl, before jumping back in the sack postpartum, it is important for you and your partner to feel ready to attempt intercourse once you are released by your healthcare provider. After my first kiddo, I felt the pressure from society to have sex the moment I was released, but I wasn’t ready. I had an emergency c-section, followed by a difficult recovery and was not comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to be there mentally for my spouse to show him how much I love him, but it was hard to focus with my new body, a crying baby in the room and fear taking over. And lets chat hormones for a moment, they took a toll on my libido and sex drive. And then mix that with lack of sleep and my body was like, ummm…no I am TOO exhausted to mess around but I do love my hubby! I would dread coming to bed after nursing the baby because I was afraid he would roll over and attempt to try “sexy time”. This seemed to improve somewhere around 13-15 months postpartum for me, however, I have friends whose libido came back a lot earlier (lucky them!).
While trying to be intimate after our second baby, it was WAY uncomfortable at my cesarean scar. I did not want to be touched and was super sensitive to touch anywhere below the belt. And the dryness was out of control. No amount of lube could fix my Sahara desert “down there”. The pain was unbearable and I was ultra sensitive, I had to ask him to stop. I was in tears, embarrassed and frustrated with myself. My husband was so sweet and felt terrible for causing the pain. This continued a few times before I asked for a referral for a pelvic floor physical therapy.
After our third baby, due to lack of sleep, we waited until closer to 11 weeks postpartum. Third time postpartum was great. I had no issues with being touched or scar healing from my third cesarean delivery. To help in the intimacy and dryness (thank you hormones and breastfeeding), lube and foreplay are necessities, and still are at 13 months postpartum. I am a huge supporter of comfort while adding in great lube (yes, I have some favorites: SYLK :Use PROMO CODE “EYP”, YES and Good Clean Love). Girl don’t ever feel less of a female for using lube. It’s God’s gift to our postpartum vaginas.
Open communication and patience between your partner and you is KEY. There were times I wanted to keep my shirt on because my swollen belly made me feel insecure. Or times I would keep my bra on (too many too count) because my nipples would leak milk or my left boob was huge and FULL of milk which made me look totally lopsided. My husband on the other hand, could not care less and never seems to notice any of my breast or belly issues. He does respect how I feel, which makes me love him even more and checks in to make sure things are comfortable before proceeding forward.
Girl, during the postpartum period, it is not time to pull out your Karma-Sutra book and get too adventurous. Take it slow, focus on breathing, being comfortable in the moment and the position. If you feel discomfort, ask your partner to slow down, close your eyes, breathe and see if that helps to decrease the pain. If not, try another position that might be more comfortable for the both of you OR it just might not be the right time to proceed forward. If pain continues, I would suggest you ask your provider for a referral to a pelvic floor physical therapist.
At this time in our life, we have to schedule out “Nap-time Nookie”. It’s not as sexy as it use to be when we would just get in the sack whenever we wanted, because, well, we now have three small children to look after. And girl seriously, by the end of a work day and taking care of our small humans, I am exhausted. So we try to get all three little guys down for a nap at the same time. My hunky hubby puts the two older boys down while I nurse the youngest (to help with the leaky boobs) and then we meet in the bedroom. It is wonderful when the boys cooperate and we can have some time for us. As a mom, if I can hear my kiddos in the other room, it is difficult for me to focus on this special time with my spouse. So nap time works well for us to have a pleasurable time. This is also when I am able to feel a stronger orgasm (yes this is where my sex life has improved since childbirth).
Oh, one more thing to remember is that each couple and relationship is SO different. Also, love languages are something to keep in mind. My husband would have sex daily if he could. Me, not so much. Luckily, my supportive spouse goes over the top to help out around the house so I can save my energy for other things like nap time nookie.