My story: Having sex for the first time post-partum

A new mum’s first-hand experience of sex in the postnatal period

We have collaborated with Knude Society to share first-hand experiences of sex after birth

Author anonymous

Initial feelings about intimacy

I was scared to imagine what sex with my husband would be like after we had our baby. The culturally accepted wisdom seems to be: “Sex? Kiss goodbye to that when you become a parent!” I so desperately wanted things to be different for us. Sex is important to all couples, but secretly I thought it was particularly important to us, and we had done a good job of keeping up sex whilst I was pregnant.

The birth of our daughter was unfortunately complicated. I ended up being induced, and I suffered a third-degree tear and had to be rushed into emergency surgery moments after the birth. When we got home, I could barely string a sentence together, let alone think about having sex.

Keeping the connection

He expected nothing from me. He was trying to let me know that he loved me and still found me sexy.

After the first few weeks at home, when we had somewhat acclimatised to the lack of sleep and attending to our daughter’s every cry, my husband started making a point of giving me long kisses before going to sleep. Initially, I panicked thinking “Oh my god, he wants to get back on the horse right away and I’m literally too scared to even look at my vagina right now”. He very sweetly explained that he expected nothing from me. He was trying to let me know that he loved me and still found me sexy. This was very kind of him, but I can’t say a little part of me didn’t wonder if that was true. Would he eventually get sick of me saying “sorry babe, not yet"?

Our first time post-partum

Roughly six weeks after giving birth, we managed to have sex. We took it slow, used lots of lube, and initially I was a little more up for it than I was pre-pregnancy! Of course, there is no set time you should start having sex again, and you should feel physically and emotionally ready.

The physical changes

Despite my tear, the only thing I noticed was that things were “tighter” down there, and my vagina wasn’t the same shape as it was before. The experience was nice, and we both climaxed, which was wonderful. I felt relieved that we could still be close in this way.

How sex has changed for us since having a baby

Since this first time, we are managing to have sex, but not as frequently as before as I’m unfortunately often too tired to get myself into the right headspace. What I would say is, however, when we do, it’s amazing, probably partly because it’s less frequent. I’m working hard to quieten the voice in my head worrying that we aren’t having sex enough, by really relishing how great it is when we do.