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10 New Moms Share What They Wish They Knew About Sex Post-Delivery

Back when I was the teen mom director for the local chapter of a national non-profit organization, I decided to become a doula. One reason was that I couldn’t stand how disrespectfully dismissive a lot of doctors were towards pregnant teenagers (how you gonna pre-schedule C-sections in girls who are in their first trimester?). My second reason was to do some healing from my own past pregnancy choices (check out “Why I Named The Children I Aborted”). Over time, another reason was that when a woman has a child, she needs support for more than just birthing her baby.


Take her sex life, for example. Although some women have a pretty thriving sex life throughout their pregnancy and, after their six-month check-up, they resume having sex relatively smoothly then as well, for other women, their experience is quite different. And because sex, post-delivery, still (amazingly) remains a taboo topic on a lot of levels, other (new) moms suffer in silence because they feel like they are alone.

That, right there, is why I decided to sit down with some mothers to have them share what they wish someone had given them the heads up on when it comes to sex after having a child. If you are a mom who’s having some challenges in the bedroom, hopefully, this will assure you that others get exactly where you are coming from. If you’re not a mom (yet), my goal is that you can get an idea of some things that could possibly happen — so that you can surround yourself with the support that you need (i.e., a girlfriend, some other new moms, even a counselor, if necessary). That way, you can do what needs to be done to get your sex life back (or right) to where you want it to be…in time.

*Middle names are used in this type of content so that people can speak freely*

1. Bevelynn. 28. Mom of a Six-Month-Old Daughter. First Child.

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“The weirdest thing for me is there are certain positions that can always make me cum that were super uncomfortable throughout most of my pregnancy. So, it felt like I was having sex for my partner instead of with him. Then, after having the baby, my man was so used to hurrying through sex because that’s how I was while pregnant that he felt self-conscious that I was trying to ‘coach him’ through foreplay like he wasn’t a good lover.

"You know how they say that sex, after abstinence, is like riding a bicycle? The hell you say! There was a lot to relearn that it was almost like having sex for the first time again. Pretty much a year of sex being one way and then adjusting to something else will do that to you. We’re still figuring it out.”

2. Embree. 34. Mom to a 11-Month-Old Son. Third Child.

“I never had postpartum depression, thank God. I did go through a long sex lull. I love my babies, Lord knows that I do, but you don’t really get just how much sex creates them until you have them, if that makes sense. Being a mom is fulfilling and draining — any woman who says otherwise isn’t taking her role as seriously as she should. And when you sit and realize that kids can’t exist without sex, you have moments when you’ll avoid having it at all costs because you don’t want to risk what comes from it — another baby. And that’s just the truth.”

3. Gail. 37. Mom to a Four-Month-Old. Third Child.

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“Please don’t give your husband a hard time about getting used to your new body and hormonal changes during sex. It might be popular to act like men shouldn’t have a say in giving birth or what comes with it, but science says otherwise, and while they’re supporting you through your changes, they might end up going months without intimacy — no man wants that. The more talks [that] you have about sexual needs and expectations before getting pregnant, the better. Remember that he is a part of all of this, too.”

4. Quincee. 32. Mom to a One-Year-Old Daughter. First Child.

“I was told that I should get a doula before having my daughter, and I should’ve listened because it makes no sense to push out a baby on your back. My friends who had doula assistance learned positions that were way more helpful. Since I didn’t and my daughter, although I love her dearly, has a really big head, I tore pretty badly. The healing process was borderline hell but, more than anything, I had some PTSD about allowing any — and I do mean anything — from going into my vagina.

"I don’t care if it was a penis, a sex toy, or even a tampon, I was traumatized. Get those perineal massages before giving birth, squat during labor, and get a man who loves oral sex, both ways, so that you both can get through the adjusting. That’s the best advice that I can give on it.”

5. Francis. 30. Mom to a Seven-Month-Old. Second Child.

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“You might need to see a sex therapist after having children. It might sound crazy, but no one talks about how having a baby changes everything about you — every single thing. My husband has always been able to please me, and he’s not small in the least, but after having our first child, my vagina never felt the same. That kept me from feeling the same pleasure, which made me want to have sex less and even resent him for not being able to please me like he used to.

"We tried to figure it out on our own, but that started to affect his self-esteem, and then we weren’t having much sex. My girlfriends had some of the worst advice, so I spoke with a marriage counselor who referred me to a sex therapist who helped me to understand the transitions of motherhood, sexually. It’s one of the best things that happened to our relationship. My best advice is nothing is fully ever the same after a baby — sex, for me, was on top of that list.”

6. Erda. 25. Mom to a Three-Month-Old Son. First Child.

“Being a mom is hard as sh-t — do you hear me? I am terrified of getting pregnant. I don’t mean any time soon; I’m contemplating being done forever because my pregnancy was difficult, and my son thinks that we all should be up all day and all night long. People keep telling me that this will pass, but until it does, whenever I see my husband’s penis, it’s like ‘enemy #1’ in my eyes. We can do some oral action; I’ve always been about that. But if he wants to put that thing in me, I always want him to put on three condoms — I’m NOT playing.”

Shellie here: As a doula, I’ll be checking back on her in six more months or so. Something tells me that this will have a bit more balance in the narrative. Those first few months can be a mutha, indeed.

7. Laurelle. 39. Mom to a One-Year-Old. Fourth Child.

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“Even after having four kids, I never got used to my breasts being available to everyone. Mine, then my husband and mine, and then, for a season, my kids — and then sometimes everyone’s. Our two first children were less than two years apart, so I swear that my husband didn’t get to touch my breasts for like three years straight…and he’s a breast man! I don’t think anyone can fully prepare you for how to be a momand a sexual being at the same time. It’s one of the hardest things about motherhood to date.”

8. Iris. 30. Mom to a One-Year-Old. Second Child.

“Your erogenous zones might change. Mine did. I used to not be a breast person, but I started having orgasms while breastfeeding, which kind of creeped me out but then it made me want my breast played with more than ever during sex with my man. The other thing is my thighs got pulled on a lot during labor, and so, I’m kind of jumpy when my fiancé reaches out for them now — and he’s a thigh man. Having a child isn’t just a miracle because of the baby. Being able to figure out a new normal in the bedroom is a miracle, too, sis.”

Shellie here: If you can relate to what Iris just said about climaxing while breastfeeding, there is no reason to feel embarrassed or guilty.Breastfeeding tends to produce some of the same hormones that come from sexual stimulation — for instance, remember that oxytocin is a bonding chemical.It’s for this same reason that you might produce extra milk when you orgasm after having sex with your partner. It’s natural. It also tends not to last forever. It will usually pass.

9. Hope. 32. Mom to a Four-Month-Old. Second Child.

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“The talk about the whole ‘Madonna-Whore’ thing that men may go through — you know, how once you become their wife or mother of their child, they have a hard time seeing you as a sexual being. Some of us go through that, too. I don’t have hang-ups about sex. I’m just not as nasty as I used to be. My body is used for so many different things now, and the fluids get all mixed in together — I dunno. Sometimes, when I’m about to show my porn side, I’m like, ‘Hold up — is this appropriate? I’m a mother now. It’s so complex, honey.”

10. Tateyana. 27. Mom to a Nine-Month-Old. First Child.

“I was told to get a co-sleeper and keep our baby out of our bed. I didn’t listen. I wish I had because now our bedroom is more like a nursery/daycare and it’s harder than ever to keep our son out of our bed — emotionally. My husband is patient; sometimes, he’s the one who wants our son to stay in the bed but we know that sex is an important part of marriage and we certainly didn’t sign up to be co-parents who are roommates. When they say that the bedroom is for sex and sleep only, the sleep part really shouldn’t be your children. They’ve got a room. They’ll be fine in there. We’re trying to wean him off now, so I’m preaching to the choir here. Sex after babies…it’s just so much.”

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Sex after babies…it’s just so much. As you can see, sex, post-delivery can be layered, complex, and sometimes challenging. Still, if you have a partner who is understanding, if you’re patient with yourself throughout your transitions, and if you get that healthy intimacy has a mental, emotional, and spiritual component that can get you through all of the physical “growing pains” that you may be experiencing — sex after having a child can become richer, closer and even better with time.

After all, a new normal? Sometimes, it exceeds what you’ve been accustomed to.

And isn’t that something to look forward to when it comes to post-delivery intimacy? Definitely.

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Featured image by Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images

 

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