Sex After Having a Baby


After the birth of your baby, many factors contribute to changes in your sexual relationship. You may have:

  • Exhaustion due to the birth, the demands of a new baby and lack of sleep.
  • Discomfort from an episiotomy or tear; this can last for several weeks or even months after stitches have dissolved, and can make sex and sexual activity uncomfortable or painful for you.
  • Discomfort from a caesarean section incision.
  • Lower estrogen levels that may lead to less vaginal lubrication and can cause dryness and tenderness during sex and sexual activity.
  • Weaker and shorter orgasms.
  • Leaking of breast milk during sex and orgasm which may be pleasurable or annoying.
  • Less interest in sex because your needs for physical closeness are being met by the baby; you may feel more maternal and less sexual.
  • Feelings of being less desirable due to weight gain, stretch marks or scars.
  • Feelings, positive or negative, about the birth experience that can affect both you and your partner.

What You Can Do:

  • Discuss openly with your partner your feelings about resuming sex and sexual activity. Acknowledge each other’s sexual needs.
  • Learn to share the responsibilities of caring for the baby.
  • Plan times to make love when you are least likely to be interrupted and when you are as rested as possible.
  • If leaking breast milk bothers you, try nursing your baby just before lovemaking or simply wear a bra with breast pads.
  • Try being sensual by kissing, cuddling, or touching, as a way to express yourselves sexually. Couples who are sensual with each other tend to have sex more often.
  • Resume sex and sexual activity when you are both ready and when vaginal bleeding has stopped and healing is complete. Healing may take up to 6 weeks. You may choose to wait until after your 4-6 week check-up with your gynecologist.
  • Using a water soluble lubricant on the penis and vagina and engaging in more prolonged, gentle foreplay may help with vaginal dryness.
  • Relax together, try meditation, deep breathing exercises, or massaging one another.
  • Be realistic. Don’t expect a “perfect” first sexual experience after the baby is born.
  • Be patient. Your body has an amazing capacity for healing. However, if you are still experiencing pain six months after childbirth, discuss this with your doctor.
  • Make sure you use an appropriate contraceptive (birth control) if you wish to avoid another pregnancy at this time.

Don’t worry. You may feel like you’ll never be passionate about sex again, but this feeling usually passes. Be patient. Eventually, sex will be as satisfying as ever!

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