Everything You Need To Know About Postpartum Sex

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Ready to get down to frisky business after having a baby? Relax. We're here for you.

Have you recently created a baby? Congratulations! You are a parent now (or again). Let's suppose you're a few weeks out and your shirt isn't completely breast milk soaked 97% of the time. Maybe you're even sleeping (an optimistic) 3 or 4 hours a night. And now you're ready to make another baby.

Wait, you didn't know that's what happens when you have The Sex?

I jest. You're probably not ready for another baby just yet. But maybe you are ready take off that milk-soaked shirt and get down to some frisky business.

If so, you likely have some questions, maybe some fears, and maybe some sheer terror at the mere thought of ANYTHING being near your vagina, much less a penis. I'm here for you. I've done this a few times (5) and I was a labor and delivery nurse for a number of years. As such, I feel qualified to speak with authority on the subject.

Let's get to it—the primer on The Sex.

The Bleeding

Think of the uterus as a sort of scab. If you scraped your already scraped knee, it would bleed. Again. The uterus is sort of like that (not exactly, but it's a metaphor; bear with me). Too much activity and it's going to rip off the scab, so to speak. Once your bleeding has slowed to a trickle or discharge, you're good to go. Before that and you're digging at an open wound and asking for trouble. Trouble being more bleeding, or infection . . . two things you certainly do not want.

The Milk

If you're breastfeeding, and let's presume you are for the purpose of this discussion, there's a whole thing with The Milk. Don't despair.

Boobs gone wild? Try a sleep bra, like this one from Belabumbum.If you had tiny breasts before they may be HE-UGE. (Maybe not, but they'll at least be a little bigger.) This can be, um, unusual, but go with it. Embrace those boobs!

If you had large breasts to begin with, they may be even larger. If they are volleyball status, you may want to wear a sleep bra, just so they don't bounce hither and yon and hit you or your partner in the face.

The Milk is a slightly more tricky component. Let me offer you this warning: Milk will go everywhere. Everywhere. If it doesn't go everywhere, great. But it's probably going to go everywhere, at least in the beginning. There is a real physiological reason for this: Nursing releases oxytocin. And SURPRISE, so does sexy time. So an orgasm could result in a firehose of milkspray—often into or onto your partners face. Just go with it. Keep calm and carry a towel.

The Stitches

If you had an episiotomy or a tear of any significance, you probably have some stitches. Don't worry! They aren't going to be there forever. They will dissolve without any further adieu in a couple of weeks to a month.

It's normal to have some discomfort at the site of the incision (or tear), but it's not permanent—and we'll get to how to deal with it in a minute. If you had a larger tear, a grade three or four, you may have more serious discomfort issues and want to hold off a while longer (it's not common but it happens, and if you had one you'll know exactly what I'm talking about). That's okay, because never forget that there are other avenues to pleasure.

If you had a cesarean section, you have a different set of stitches to be mindful of. Do take care with those as well. Too much rumpus will not serve you well. If you had a long labor and then a C-section, you may have both abdominal stitches and vaginal discomfort. This is normal.

Whatever the severity of your stitching, let your pain be your guide.

The Act

Once you've gotten to this point, you've probably spent some amount of time discussing The Sex. If you are married, or partnered (to a man), you should know the following: The best purchase you'll ever make.

Your partner does not have a vagina and therefore does not know what it feels like to have a vagina. Testicles are not comparable.
They are far less likely than you to be worried about The Sex. This is your time to shine. Take charge. They will not know you are in discomfort unless you tell them as much. So do. It's good if you can be on top or in a position that offers control of depth and/or speed.
Use lubricant. Get thee to Amazon and buy a gallon of Astroglide, with a pump, and keep it by the bed, porn star style. I cannot emphasize this enough. 1. Breastfeeding hormones sap your own natural fluids. 2. Slippery can only be good when you are concerned about pain.

Buy the lube. All of the lube.

The Birth Control

Don't forget it. That is all.

Seriously though, breastfeeding offers some protection by delaying your cycle and ovulation, but this isn't true for everyone. So if you're not ready for babies 11 months apart then don't pull out. Get some birth control. STAT.

The Baby

I think it's important for me to give the new little person in your life the mic now. The Baby will probably interrupt you. Perhaps many times. There seems to be a sort of Murphy's Law of sex after childbirth that dictates that, should you be approaching orgasm, your baby must cry. Loudly. Lest you not be able to hear them and respond immediately.

Try to keep a sense of humor about it. Some of the sweetest moments my husband and I have shared have been in our bed with a baby snuggled between us.

It's not sex, but it's pretty amazing.

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