You know that scene in Knocked Up where Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen’s characters are attempting to have sex with her third-trimester bump getting in the way? She struggles to get into it because she thinks she looks disgusting and that he’s staring at her multiple chins in the cowgirl position. Ahh, pregnancy! Isn’t it wonderful?! But let’s talk about sex after the baby makes their grand entrance into the world. Spoiler: It may very well be as eventful as that 2007 rom-com.
Six weeks. That’s the golden amount of time physicians typically clear uncomplicated postpartum patients to have sex again after having a child. If you deliver vaginally, that’s usually enough time for the vagina to heal from tearing or an episiotomy. That timeline typically stands true for a C-section, too, because the incision needs that time to heal to avoid complications. It should go without saying, but that “all clear” from your obstetrician doesn’t mean you have to run home, strip down, and get it on. Did we forget about the whole leaky boobs and bleeding vagina thing that could still be happening?
Maybe a new mom wants to have sex two, three, four, or 12 months after their body goes through the traumatic — yet, yes, *beautiful* — experience that giving birth to a whole human being entails. And that’s just the physical side of it. Don’t get me started on what a mindfuck it is to stare at your child like, this is mine?! On the flip side, maybe a mom doesn’t want to wait any longer and wants to give sex a try well before that six-week mark is hit. Either way, do what you want, ~*mAmA*~.
Whether it’s due to healing, sleep deprivation, new relationship woes, body image changes, not feeling like it, or none of the above, no one should feel “weird” or “abnormal” for wanting to have sex later or sooner than anyone else. (The fourth trimester is quite the experience, after all.) Below, 10 millennial moms who have recently given birth share when they first had sex after having their baby.
10 Millennial Moms Share WTF Sex Was Like After Having Their Baby
“We had vaginal sex five weeks and six days after our son was born. I remember the specific day because we didn’t quite make it to get cleared by my OB-GYN — which I’m not recommending! I was so self-conscious about my body being so different than it was pre-baby, but my husband didn’t seem to notice or care! It was definitely different. I’ve never felt so bonded or close to him. It was a good different.” — Stephanie, 31
“I had my baby three months ago and haven’t [had sex] yet. But that’s because of so many reasons that people don’t talk about. I wore literal diapers the first two months because I was suffering from really bad incontinence. It’s so embarrassing. I feel like my husband is going to look at me so differently. Someone once said when I was pregnant that now I’m ‘used and abused.’ That kinda stuck with me. Now I’m also suffering from postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. So my mood is pretty miserable.” — Lindsay, 40
“Per my midwives, they advised waiting a minimum of two to three months before trying so that the stitches in my vaginal area could heal (which took six weeks to dissolve). Prior to that, intimacy was in the form of verbal affirmations/appreciation, cuddling, kisses, and hugging — but no sex and related forms (blow jobs, etc.). It’s not that we did not want to. It’s because we were busy caring for a new tiny human that needed us 24/7 and were physically exhausted. Meanwhile, I was still bleeding frequently, and my body needed ample time to heal. In fact, I was told to not even walk more than a few steps to allow my body to recover (even stairs were a big no-no in the beginning). Ultimately, I think we tried to have sex three months after having our little one. To be honest, I felt slightly guilty I could not have sex with my husband, but I think this was all in my head because he has always been an incredible, loving, and patient person — and was very mindful/thoughtful of my cues mentally and physically (if not more so when I was in postpartum).” — Tiff, 30
“Gave birth on May 9 and gave my hubby the world’s best blow job on the night we came home from the hospital. We are both very sexual people, have sex at least once a day on average, and couldn’t wait, so we had sex when I was two weeks postpartum.” — Erika, 28
“My husband and I had vaginal sex when I was three weeks postpartum. I was fortunate enough to not have any major tearing during birth, so I wasn’t in much pain and we were both feeling emotionally ready to try to be physically intimate again. Before this, we had made out a few times and would cuddle, but he really took my lead on when I was ready to have sex again. I had offered to give him oral, but he was (and always has been) adamant about sex being a mutually enjoyable thing and didn’t want to do anything at all if I wasn’t ready. Honestly, I felt like a virgin again, haha! We definitely had to take it slow and had to use lube, which we hadn’t had to do in a long time. It was surprisingly more emotional for me, but in a good way! I think sometimes sex was very routine for us pre-baby, but this time it felt very intentional, intimate, and special, and we were kind of like giddy high schoolers again.” — Brittney, 25
“My birth was a little traumatic. I was induced on Thursday, February 9th, and he was not born until 12:29am Saturday, February 11th. I stopped progressing at 5 centimeters and when I hit the 24-hour mark of labor, my doctor and I decided to go ahead with a C-section. It turns out my son was transverse (diagonal), and he would not have been able to be delivered vaginally. Post-delivery, I had a rough recovery. My bladder was lazy from all of the anesthetics, so I needed to get about 1 liter of urine ‘flushed out’ via catheter for about two hours. I also lost a lot of blood and needed two blood transfusions. Needless to say, my labor and delivery were not your typical story, so I really had no idea what my postpartum recovery would be like! I saw my OB at three weeks postpartum and she said everything was healing properly and I could resume normal activity at six weeks. We attempted sex at six weeks and it was so painful that we stopped. I don’t think he was even 10% in. We waited another week, same thing, and then ultimately at 12 weeks postpartum we were able to have sex. I always knew that if I delivered vaginally that sex would feel different, but I was not expecting it to be that painful post C-section! My husband kept reminding me that I did have major surgery and I really just needed more time to heal! While I continued to heal, we would be intimate in other ways! Oral, mutual masturbation, etc. I don’t think sex will be like it did pre-baby for a long time, but at least we can have sex now without me feeling in pain!” — Amanda, 35
“I had sex after approximately a month, as I had an invasive vaginal birth with vacuum and forceps with a scar after episiotomy. So for a while, I was only capable of cuddles and some teasing games, but no vaginal sex. It’s so easy to lose the sense of your body as a sexy/desired body since you feel like you don’t belong to yourself anymore with breastfeeding, new body shape, and weird sleeping schedule. I was longing for intimacy with the man I loved to feel a woman back again (not just mother). The pain was pretty much gone by then, so it felt right.” — Maria, 37
“We had sex six weeks to the day! I actually didn’t mean to be so on point — my follow-up was a few days earlier and the timing just worked out. The most intimacy we had prior was my husband holding me when I would be exhausted and wanting to cry from exhaustion. Lol. It truly was just the timing working. To be honest, I wasn’t counting down the days. If anything, I was trying to put it off as long as possible in fear of popping a stitch or bleeding again. We had an opportunity and took it super-duper slow (and quiet with a newborn in the house!).” — Rose, 30
“The idea of having sex after my second degree tears and multiple stitches was quite literally non existent. I’d be okay not having sex ever again. But clearly abstinence wasn’t in my future. Even after my six-week appointment I waited another four months. No, I am not kidding. I was severely anxious about anything entering me. I had a pretty traumatic vaginal birth and I needed to be ready physically… but also mentally. I had preemptively ordered a stash of lube and one night after lots of partying — we did it. And it wasn’t that bad. Might I say I enjoyed it?”
“I waited eight weeks before having vaginal sex. I was apprehensive as I approached the six-week mark, since I was still tender from my tears. But I wanted to be intimate and feel like myself. I didn’t really know what to expect but was ready to go all in, so we finally had sex at around eight weeks. It definitely hurt in the beginning, but in retrospect, I think the anticipation contributed to my initial pain. I was extra sensitive the first time post-baby, but otherwise, it really was no different than pre-baby sex!” — Amy, 33