It’s normal to have no interest in sex after having a baby (try not to worry!), but if you’re ready to get back into the saddle slowly, these tips can help.
Returning to sexual intimacy after childbirth can be a very overwhelming experience. Often, we are afraid it will feel different than before.
Maybe it will be painful, looser, or you will be less aroused. No matter your worries, know there is help, and you are not alone in these feelings.
However, the tips below can encourage comfort during physical intimacy after having a baby. Keep reading for more details on each.
- Communication is key
- Become comfortable with your body
- Prepare accordingly
How to increase interest in sex (when you’re ready)
1. Communication is key
It is crucial to discuss your feelings about intimacy with your partner before jumping into any activities. This dialogue will help you – and your partner – understand what you are looking for and to “enter” with caution.
Plus, you might find yourself sharing worries and thoughts that are on your mind you weren’t aware of before talking with your partner. They might have some concerns on their mind, too.
Read next: Five Ways Intimacy Changes After Having a Baby
2. Become comfortable with your body
Get a mirror out and check out your lady bits.
You may find that there is increased dryness which will prompt you to use lubrication. You may see redness or granulation tissue which will encourage you to seek additional care.
You may find everything is just fine, which will reassure you that you could be ready to jump back on the horse.
Also, your body has shifted, changed, and grown in many ways. It’s normal to not feel 100% confident and sexy in your own skin. Accepting your (strong and powerful!) postpartum body will come with time and practice.
3. Prepare accordingly
If you had a vaginal birth, add perineal stretches to prepare for insertion to prevent pain or the expectation of pain. Becoming familiar with how your vulva feels to stretch again can be a helpful tool to avoid guarding or fear during intercourse.
Even if you had a cesarean birth, thanks to your pelvic floor, you could still experience pain with sex. Knowing this in advance can help you better prepare for physical intimacy.
Is postpartum sex still uncomfortable? These tips may help
If you find that you still have no interest in sex after the baby, there are some easy practices and methods that can help you reacquaint with yourself, your body, and maybe your partner before jumping back into the sack.
1. Use a mirror
Get out a small mirror and look at what’s happening there. Apply soft touch to the outer parts of your labia and perineal body. Get re-acquainted with yourself.
2. Perineal stretch by yourself
Slowly insert one finger to the first knuckle and gently stretch, holding for 30-60 seconds.
3. Stretch with a mirror
Insert one finger to the first knuckle and gently stretch, holding for 30-60 seconds while using a mirror can help connect your brain to your body.
Remember, intimacy after childbirth doesn’t have to be only sex. It can start with a simple date night with just the two of you.
4. Stretch by your partner with a mirror
Have your partner insert one finger to the first knuckle and gently stretch, holding for 30-60 seconds. A mirror can help you acclimate to outside touch while connecting the brain to the body.
5. Stretch by your partner with no mirror
Have your partner insert one finger to the first knuckle and gently stretch; holding for 30-60 seconds without a mirror will help you understand someone else’s touch without being able to anticipate it with the visual cuing!
6. Dilators repeating steps above
I recommend using the Intimate Rose small pack. Start with the smallest size and work your way up.
7. Add in lubrication as needed
If you’re breastfeeding, chances are you are experiencing vaginal tightness and dryness (thanks to your hormones). It’s essential to use enough lubrication to ensure you’re comfortable.
Is it normal not to want sex after having a baby?
Yes, it is normal not to want sex after having a baby. Not only are you sleep-deprived and caring for a new human (all while adjusting to a changing body), your hormones are at play affecting your sex drive.
Learn the ins and outs of postpartum hormones in our Postpartum Hormone Handbook, written by a Naturopathic Doctor and a Functional Medicine Practitioner.
Also, remember, intimacy after childbirth doesn’t have to be only sex. It can start with a simple date night with just the two of you. You could start by holding hands and then try kissing them and hugging them.
Maybe, you can even try a snuggle sesh in bed. Starting slowly with intimacy will help you ease into where you left off pre-baby.
Final thoughts on post-baby intimacy
If you are still struggling with intimacy due to discomfort or fears, reach out to a professional to help. That may include a counselor, OBGYN, or a pelvic floor physical therapist.