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My friend told me to write about about sex after pregnancy and I said HELL NO! MY FAMILY WATCHES MY CHANNEL!
Her response?: “Oh, they don't know how you got pregnant?” ???? haha touché
So I racked my brain to see if I could talk about sex after baby generically enough that my family could read – if they wanted. And I think I've got it!
I'm writing this how I would respond to my friend asking “What do I need to know about sex after pregnancy?”
On Instagram I asked what your “code word” for sex (or extracurriculars were and these were the hilarious responses!:
This blog is all about sex after pregnancy.
I distinctly remember my midwife talking about sex the day after I pushed our gremlin out. She told me, when I'm ready, grab some lube (click here for a natural lube), a glass of wine and take deep breaths to relax.
Idk why but talking to my midwife about it made me feel a bit like I was talking to my mom about it… I'd rather talk to someone I know. But also, how do you ask someone about their sex life. I'm writing this so you don't have to.
I remember when people would “scare us” and tell us that sex after pregnancy was not a thing. We'd giggle and say “haha yeah right, not for us!”.
Yeah… no one told us WHY it would be over… for a while at least (I interviewed a hilarious hormone specialist who gives some insight here). Plus just a quick list off the top of my heat: hormones, stitches and scar tissue, a new body, trying to feed yourself with the extra energy you have let alone extracurricular activities!!!
Well, I assume you don't know either, so here I am, your stand-in BFF who is willing to talk about sex so you (and your partner) have the right expectations.
In the last trimester, they tell you sex during pregnancy can help get that baby out! Do it.
Who knows if it helps to get the baby out, but this may be the last time you have the energy or are in the mood. I laugh as I write this. Who tells this to someone in the third trimester? But once baby is here, the rule of thumb is AT LEAST 6 weeks and when women get the clear they often don't tell their husbands because they're just not ready yet.
The rule of thumb is to wait 6 weeks to have sex after pregnancy.
Why six weeks? What happens during that time? Well, a lot.
You're bleeding, typically you bleed for 2-6 weeks. Yep.
So that's the first barrier to entry. And while we're on this topic, do yourself a favor and make a padsicle. Get yourself some witch hazel, squirt it on your pad (or diaper) and throw it in the freezer. You can also put witch hazel pads in the fridge. This will help with healing. (Click here for a blog about everything you need to be prepared to heal postpartum)
You're welcome, kay moving on.
Stool Softeners: Don't stop these too soon, I did once and I cried. But this blog is not about that, it's about sex after pushing a human out.
What about boobs?
Kay, Shayla there are other ways to have some fun than old fashion sex.
No, yeah, you're right, let's go there.
If you're breastfeeding your nipples may be cracked / bleeding as you and your baby figure out breastfeeding (A blog about breastfeeding + my favorite nipple butter and discount…) Often the latch isn't quite right, I cannot recommend enough to see a lactation consultant! I talked to one in the hospital and AJ's doctor is one! Your nips really need to get that first chapping to be okay. I remember a nurse in the hospital looking me dead into my soul and telling me if I really wanted to breastfeed I needed to make it through the first two weeks (and get help from a lactation consultant for proper latch), she was right. Listen to one of my best podcasts all about establishing a stress free supply here.
My sister set me up for some false expectations in the boobs department.
She said something along the lines of “porn star boobs”. I actually said this to AJ's doctor at the first appointment… I have no idea why she very swiftly said… “no”.
She, of course, was right. When your milk first comes in, yes your boobs are BIG and engorged… and hard and lumpy as your ducts regulate… and they're usually different sizes. Forget about “sisters” they're 2nd cousins 3rd time removed, whatever that means. And they're sore, and they can squirt.
If you have an oversupply you'll be leaking. all. the. time. When you get out of the shower, if your babe cries, hell sometimes if you just looked at her on the monitor. I've since got this under control. I've tried about 3 different kinds of reusable breast pads and these are by far my favorite. All of my breastfeeding essentials are in this amazon store.
Okay, so what about after 6 weeks?
At 6 weeks you'll go in to get your check-up and your doctor will likely clear you to do the deed, but you still might not be ready.
- IT'S KINDA LIKE WHEN YOU DO IT WITH THE DOG IN YOUR ROOM: There are about 2 times you can sneak in a little sex after baby is here, nap time, and after bedtime. But likely you still have babe on the monitor in case they need you. To me, this feels like when your dog is in the room and you're like… idk if this is weird or not… but it is kinda, right?
- PUTTING OUT THE FIRES WE STARTED: Hi, when the baby is awake and we're feeding her, which means we're not doing dishes. So the dishes pile up. We may manage to throw something in the wash. So when she sleeps we run around putting out the fires we half started all day. Load/unload/run the dishwasher. Throw the clothes in the dryer. Pick up the endless toys, maybe now you have time to poop, shower, or workout (ha!) or maybe the baby just woke up after 15 min… is a real crapshoot.
- WHEN ELSE CAN WE EAT?: Oh yeah and feed yourself. Do we all binge eat during nap time or is it just me? How do you know when your next opportunity to eat will be?!
So here's a unique idea, ask your spouse to take on putting babe down or take over the meals. One of the best things we did was hopped on a meal service when AJ was born like Daily Harvest. Which has shakes, meals you can simply warm up and it's amazing for the first few months when you can't find your head let alone the pacifier.
- HORMONES: Girl, what we've known all along, hormones can make even the most level of us feel batshit crazy. Well, in this case, low Estrogen because of breastfeeding and pumping aren't making us nuts but instead causing us to have low libido, gone, poof, zilch, nada. Idk which is worse.
AND we're “drier than the Sahara desert” as I've seen explained by several articles. Neat.
So they often recommend using lube. Yep.
I found a natural brand if you're interested… buy it.
- HEALING… DOWN THERE: When you do start having sex after pregnancy, you need to communicate, nope, that hurts. Okay, that's okay.
If it hurts, I suggest “try different positions” not in a kinky way.. but in the very boring, you need to see what feels the best… as in, doesn't hurt. Why would it hurt? You should be mostly healed up by 6 weeks but it's possible you have to work through some scar tissue tenderness.
Deep Breaths (without being totally obvious) to relax this will help relax your pelvic floor. Expecting and Empowered says after labor your pelvic floor is SUPER tight from the trauma of birth, relaaaaax.
- SEX SUBSTITUTE: Here is where I challenge you to get creative. If your V is off-limits is there a way for you to do things High School style? “3rd base”? Just get creative.
Tips for making it happen:
- Send a sext
Shoot a text over during the day to get them in the mood and set the expectation. Here are my suggestion: ???? or the combo of ???? + the okay sign… be subtle you know.
- Dedicate a “hump day”.
Worth it? Yes.
This way you both know X – day will be your hump day. You both reserve some energy, and have some prep time. This way you can make sure it's at least once a week, everything else is a bonus!
- Decide on an action that = extracurricular.
Maybe, it's showering after the baby is sleeping, maybe it's saying “feel my shaved legs”, grabbing a specific type of wine, you get to choose.
- Put that “Cute Bra” on and flash it at your husband at some point.
No recommendations for a cute bra yet, but here is my fav nursing bra, HEYSHAYLA 20% off
- Expecting and Empowered: HEYSHAYLA $10 off
Expecting and Empowered is a pregnancy and postpartum workout guide and I recommend it to all of my pregnant family and friends.
I'm an ambassador for them and it was SO helpful during pregnancy and postpartum was to know what you can/should do to workout during this time. It starts week 1 after the baby was born and every workout includes the pelvic floor!
They have written several articles on this topic and wanted to list them for you:
– pain during sex
– sex during pregnancy.