Having sex for the first time after having a baby is a bit like, well, having sex for the very first time ever! What will it feel like? Will it hurt? Will my partner enjoy it?
After babe, having sex for the first time comes with a whole new set of fears and questions.
My tummy is poochy. Something doesn’t feel right down there. Is it safe? Will we wake the baby? Will my husband be able to feel anything? Will I get breastmilk all over? Is it too early? Waaaa!!! (That could be you or the baby crying! ;-) )
Whenever it feels right for you, here are some guidelines that can help lessen some of the fears and hesitations.
Most of the fears and worries are all centered in your centre – your core. Two major components of the core are the pelvic floor and the abdomen. These two parts of your body play an integral role in sex and they are probably the thw areas you are thinking about the most right now.
It is generally advisable to wait six weeks before resuming penetrative sex, but until then you can, and should, take time to reconnect with your core. Doing so will help heal and repair ‘down there’.
Core breathing will help increase blood flow and circulation to the healing tissues, it will help restore tone to the pelvic floor and abdomen and it gives you time to just breathe, even if just for a few minutes.
Reconnecting to your core will not only help you heal physically but with a stronger core, your confidence and emotional wellbeing will benefit as well. (Oh, and a strong pelvic floor means better orgasms, too!)
You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again – every woman, especially every woman who has had children, should see a pelvic floor physiotherapist.
I recommend seeing one at around six weeks postpartum. Your physio will look at your healing tissues, assess the function of your muscles to see if there is any nerve damage, and tell you if your organs are all where they should be. Important information!
She will also tell you that sex is good for you and your pelvic floor – sexercise, especially with orgasm, is a great pelvic floor workout!
Whether it is six weeks or six months post, once you make the decision to ‘do it’ take it slow and steady and use some lube. Hormones may contribute to vaginal dryness and lubrication can help reduce any friction or irritation so you can enjoy it more.
By taking it slow, you and your partner can ease into it and ensure it feels right and then be able to make adjustments if something doesn’t quite feel like it used to or if something hurts. Sex should never hurt – if it does, it is another reason to see your pelvic floor physiotherapist.
Before baby, you may have loved being on top, but maybe that position leaves you feeling vulnerable now, or maybe it just doesn’t feel like it used to.
Don’t get discouraged and maybe try something new. Pelvic floor physiotherapist Julia Di Paolo wrote a great post on best positions after babe if you need some ideas.
Most importantly: there’s no rush. Enjoy your baby. Breathe, breastfeed and bathe. Honour your body and allow it to heal. Sex will happen when you are ready.