You are Normal:: Navigating Postpartum Sex

You are Normal:: Navigating Postpartum Sex

So you had a baby. Congrats! All of a sudden your life becomes sleepless nights, feeds every few hours, jumping at every noise and snort, juggling older children’s needs and their adjustment to a new baby, struggling to find time to shower, brush your teeth, eat an actual meal…..And in the midst of all of that, the six week mark hits when you go to your doctor or midwife and they say those four little words, “You’re cleared for sex.” We joke about postpartum sex, but do we ever really talk about the fears and emotions that often accompany this complicated topic?  

Maybe you can’t wait to get back to it. Maybe sex is the last thing on your mind. Maybe postpartum sex feels like another responsibility to add to your list right now. I am here to tell you that wherever you are at this point in the postpartum sex journey, you are right where you need to be. In fact, you are normal.

You are Normal

You are Normal:: Navigating Postpartum Sex

You are normal if at that six week visit, your provider says your downstairs still looks a little rough, and you need to physically wait longer before trying to have postpartum sex.

You are normal if it takes a few false starts, some tears, frustration, and a lot of lube to finally succeed in having sex, and you are normal if it’s more like the 16 week mark than the 6 week mark when that day finally comes.

You are normal if sex doesn’t feel enjoyable while you are breastfeeding, either because you are feeling “touched out” or the hormone fluxuations that go along with breastfeeding make sex uncomfortable, or lower your desire. 

You are normal if it takes you a few months to fully heal, not just six weeks.

You are normal if you are uncomfortable with the way your body looks different now, and that makes you want to avoid postpartum sex.

You are normal if you feel physically ready but emotionally wrecked, and decide to delay sex.

You are normal if you feel guilt, shame, or disappointment about not being able to connect with your partner sexually during this time.

You are normal if you are raring to get back on that horse, and can’t even wait six weeks to have sex again.

You are normal if you are exhausted, and there doesn’t ever seem to be a good time to have sex.

You are normal if you try to have postpartum sex too soon, and it causes physical complications. 

You are normal if your breastmilk sprays all over your partner during sex. 

You are normal if you mistakenly think you can’t get pregnant while you are breastfeeding and haven’t had a period yet {spoiler:: you can!}.

You are normal if you and your partner have to find other ways besides sex to be physically intimate for a while.

You are normal if you are worried about what your partner will think of your post-baby body.

You are normal if you are fearful of getting pregnant again. 

You are normal if the noises of a sleeping baby distract you mid-sex and you just can’t get into it. 

You are normal if it feels kind of like having sex for the first time again.

Postpartum Sex Advice from Seasoned Moms

You are Normal:: Navigating Postpartum Sex

There are so many different postpartum sex experiences you can have, and even each birth and baby can be different. We often feel alone in these experiences, especially if we don’t feel comfortable talking about them with others. You aren’t alone. Some other mother has been down that same road, and we are here with you in solidarity. In all of its weird jiggles and milk squirting glory, postpartum sex is a beast all on its own. Luckily, the wise ladies of Houston Moms Blog generously passed on advice for you.

Lube, lube, and more lube. Even if you never used it before. Since embracing the lube sex has felt better for me than even pre-baby. 

Start slow, have low expectations, and explain to your partner that six weeks is an arbitrary number. Talk with them about how to be intimate without sex. 

DO NOT take a mirror and look down there after giving birth. Just don’t. 

Ask your partner the uncomfortable questions that may be churning in your head about how it felt, what they are thinking, etc.

Communicate what areas of your body might be off limits, so that you don’t worry about those being touched and having pain or discomfort during sex.

Fly solo first, so you can get a feel for what is going on down there, and feel comfortable on your own before involving your partner.

Verbalize fears or worries to your partner, so they know what is going on inside your head.

Test the waters first, don’t go all in if you aren’t sure if you are physically recovered yet.

Keep your bra on if you are worried about leaking…or spraying.

Have open communication with your partner and recognize that everyone’s journey is different. 

Have grace with yourself and your body that just made and birthed a human. 

There you go mamas. Give yourself grace when it comes to postpartum sex, and remember, you are normal. Take it slow, and know that you will get back to your sexy self again one day. 

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Lindsay Garrett
Lindsay G. was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and she and her husband headed south to Spring in June of 2016. As a clinical social worker, she works full time with families growing their families through adoption. Lindsay met her husband John when they were both camp counselors. They welcomed their future little campers G in December 2017 and R in 2020. Lindsay is constantly reading, researching at least one new thing, and attempting to organize her life through bullet journaling. Her first book, Parent Goals: The Millennial’s Guide to New Parent Preparedness will be published in November 2021. In her free time, she enjoys binging Gilmore Girls on a loop, baking, and running in the Houston area’s beautiful parks. Check out her website for parenting prep, support, and more.


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