Birth will completely change your world, not to mention that it changes the way your body feels and possibly how it operates. Additionally, you may have now started leaking out of many different places in your body, and the first several weeks of motherhood can feel damp. If the physical experience of a nine-month pregnancy plus birth doesn’t leave you feeling your sexiest, it probably won’t help that you haven’t had enough sleep, and there is a tiny person who is constantly in need of your attention and boobs.
While you’re taking care of this new being, and trying to also get in a shower and keep up your dental hygiene, it may have crossed your mind that you may want to reconnect with your partner physically by embarking on having postpartum sex. If you feel ready for that, keep reading. (If not, bookmark this article, and take a nap.) Here are some ways that you can get that inner fire lit again during the postpartum period.
Postpartum Sex: How to Know You’re Ready
1. Be honest with yourself about how you feel
Do some inward reflection for yourself. Chances are you probably won’t feel like you want to get intimate with anyone if you’re feeling stressed, sad, tired, or overwhelmed. Know that there doesn’t need to be a timeline on how soon you get back to anything in your life, and you can give yourself as much time and space as you need to feel and work through this important life transition.
2. Get reacquainted with your body
There can be all kinds of different things with your body post-birth: looser skin, a C-section scar, engorged boobs, and any level of general dampness. Stay connected to your body through physical touch, and be sweet with yourself as you are in the healing stage of postpartum life.
3. Practice small acts of self-care
Your life may feel like it’s been completely taken over by another being and their needs. To start feeling like yourself again, aim to practice at least one act of self-care a day. It could be asking for support so that you can take a shower alone without worrying about your baby, moving your body in a way that feels good, or taking a nap. When you are taking care of yourself, you will most likely feel like connecting with your partner in an intimate way.
4. Talk about what you want
I always thought this would be awkward, and it sometimes is. You and your partner might have completely different expectations for your sex life after a baby, and men can be impacted through the birthing process as well. Plus, once baby arrives, depending on each of your workloads with the family and outside the home, it may not be as obvious to both of you what the other person is wanting, needing, or expecting. Be gentle with yourself and with them as you navigate this new time in your life. Getting connected on different levels will support you in connecting physically. Also, know that it’s OK to ask for more time if you need it and that you don’t need to start this part of your relationship if you’re not ready yet.
5. Pretend like you’re teenagers again
I don’t know about you, but there was always something thrilling about sneaking around as a teenager. The next time you’re out running errands together, take a few minutes longer in the car when you get home and make out. You can let this last as long as you want, and even if it doesn’t lead to having sex, it will begin to recreate that physical connection between you and your partner again.
6. Go for it!
The first time might not be the most incredible sex you’ve ever had, and consider that it could be a really fun practice to get back into. Take off any pressure that you have around it being perfect or magical, and set your intention on connection. Let it be fun, and focus on letting it feel good.
Know that no matter how long it takes you to re-acquaint yourself in this part of your relationship, it’s perfect. If you feel any pressure at all, pause and take a break so that it doesn’t create another stress in your life. Remember to tell yourself that you are beautiful and worth loving just as you are, and then believe it!