Sex after Birth: When to Have and How to Prepare

If you’re about to give birth or have already birthed a baby – congratulations! Your life will change with kids for sure, but one thing will stay the same. You’ll still want to have sex and enjoy it, so when is the right time to start? Flure is here to answer all your questions!
Now, this is a bit trickier than deciding how many dates to wait before having sex. Here, it’s not all about your vibes and desires, but also how your body is going to react to the funky time in the bedroom.
We’re here to explore the world of post-birth sex life and share the best tips that will help you ease into sex and make the most of it.

How long after birth can you have sex?

First of all, there’s no single answer to that question because birthing experiences, our bodies, and many other factors are unique for each individual. Secondly, always talk to your OBGYNs before engaging in post-birth sex. They’re the best people equipped with all the data to advise you on this topic.
Aside from that, it’s recommended to give your body at least a few weeks off. During these weeks you’ll be able to heal, the soreness will go away, and (if your birth was vaginal), the bleeding will stop too.
It’s also a good idea to wait a bit to give yourself time to mentally process what has just happened to you. Birthing can be tough and it can be easy, especially if it’s not your first one. In any case, though, it is a huge event in one’s life, so giving yourself grace will help honor that.

What would happen if you had sex 2-3 weeks after giving birth?

There are different scenarios here.
Once again, a lot will depend on whether your birth was vaginal or C-section. Vaginal birth obviously requires more time because a whole baby just went through your genitals. Some tear badly during birth, and their stitches require weeks if not months to fully heal. The problem is that if you have sex and damage the stitch, it might be difficult to fix it up, and you’ll have to rely on your body to do the magic. There’s also bleeding that is normal post-birth that you can also experience during sex, along with feelings of discomfort.
With a C-section, your vagina would obviously feel much better and sex won’t necessarily be uncomfortable, although you can still feel weird sensations from the C-section.
It’s also possible that you’ll have sex, and it will be great. Our bodies work in mysterious ways, and if your doctors or midwives give you an OK, and you try and everything feels great – awesome! More power to you.

How to prepare for sex after birth

Regardless of what type of birth you had (C-section or vaginal), the way you think and feel about sex can change post-birth.
The first step towards bringing sex back into your life should start with you. Get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, find a quiet spot, and sit down to think about what it is that you want. Are you actually willing to have sex again, or is it something you think you should be doing because of societal or partner pressure?
If you are willing to have sex, what kind of sex do you want to engage in? Oral, anal, and vaginal are all viable options, but maybe you’re more open to oral and anal for now if you’ve had a vaginal birth? Or maybe all of them sound fun? There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s all very personal, so don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself.
Next, if you have a partner right now, have a conversation with them:
  • Have your boundaries changed?
  • Are you willing to try something new?
  • How do you both feel about having sex post-baby?
  • What are your expectations?
  • Do you both have any concerns or worries?
Also, if you’re reading this while still pregnant, it might be a good idea to have these sex talks before the baby arrives. This will allow you more time to process your feelings and thoughts, and you can have a discussion about it without feeling like you’re on a deadline.
Whether you’re single, dating, in a relationship, or married – it’s helpful to think about all these questions and discuss them if you have a partner to do it with.

Tips for having sex after birth

Here are selected recommendations for anyone willing to start having sex again after giving birth.

Wait for clearance

Please, please, please, wait with sex until your healthcare provider gives you the green light. Sex is an important part of an adult’s life, but it’s not worth it to risk your long-term health. Better wait a few more weeks and then go full throttle.

Use a condom

There are two reasons to go with this form of birth control. First, it adds extra lubrication which might help ease things down there and avoid discomfort. Secondly, the risk of infection is somewhat higher these first weeks after birth, so it’s good to be extra diligent. You can have unprotected sex with your partner later on, just wait a bit.

Experiment with how you do it

The Flure team did a whole article on erogenous zones, and some of them will surprise you! You don’t have to go to penetrative sex right away. There are many ways to get turned on, and what better time to try them out?

Mutual masturbation is a lot more fun than you think

Sex is fun, but have you tried masturbating one another to orgasm? You’ve probably done this before as a part of foreplay, but why not have it be the main act?

Slow and steady

The first few times when you have sex after birth should be less like an adult film, and more like a light erotic scene in a romantic movie. Focus on making love, and adapt to the slower pace. This will prolong the pleasure and reduce possible pain that rough sex can cause.

Stock up on lubrication

You might feel drier than usual, especially if you’re breastfeeding. This has something to do with hormones that are affected by breastfeeding. So even if vaginal dryness was never an issue before, get yourself a small bottle of lube just to be safe.

Practice kegel exercises

Kegel, or pelvic floor exercises, will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help improve vaginal sensation. Do it regularly, and it will add to your sexual satisfaction.

Stop if it feels bad

You don’t have to endure the pain to please your partner or to show that you’re strong and can handle it. Absolutely not. Some mild and temporary discomfort is probably expected, but if it really starts to hurt or be weird, pause sex and revisit later.

Be kind to yourself

Whatever your post-baby sex life looks like, it’s fine and exactly how it’s supposed to be. Don’t beat yourself up if your sensations and overall sex drive are not as you expected them to be. Also, if sex is awkward and less hot at first, that’s perfectly normal too. You’ve just had a baby after all! Don’t be too hard on yourself or your partner.

You might not want sex for a while, and that’s okay

The birthing experience is absolutely unique. One can prepare and anticipate what it feels like, but you’ll never know 100% until you try. As a result of giving birth, you might not want to have sex for a while. This can have to do with how you feel physically or mentally, and it can be down to how tired and sleep-deprived you are. For some people, sex is out of the question for up to a year, and even longer sometimes. That’s totally normal, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you realize that the bedroom is only for sleeping for now.
If you have a partner, be honest about it with them, and don’t feel pressured to jump into bed quicker. You’ll do it when it feels safe and right, and it will be magical. And in the meantime, focus on your health, the health of the baby, and your partner (if you have one). Take things slow, one day at a time.