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New Mothers Health Tip: How Long To Wait Before Resuming Sex After Childbirth

When to return sex after childbirth

Today we are going to talk about sex after baby. There's a lot of questions ladies have but sometimes they don't have the courage to ask them 

How long do I have to wait? Why do I have to wait? What happened to my pelvic floor? And what happens if I don't feel like returning to sex?We'll cover some of those today.

So let's jump right into it, you have done an amazing job new mom especially if you're in this new postpartum period of the first six weeks after delivery. 

You have carried this baby for nine months or 40 weeks give or take a few weeks and now you've delivered whether it was a vaginal delivery or a c-section delivery and you are amazing. 

Your body needs to rest so if you have an abdominal incision or you've had a tear to the perineum. Regardless of that whether you've had a tear no tear or you've had stitches, the pelvic floor needs some time to rest and heal and that's why we really want to give it typically six weeks before you return to sex. 

Now what you're waiting for is your doctor's approval to assess the pelvic floor, your abdominal incision and make sure there's no infection, the bleeding has stopped and then that you're allowed to return to sex. 

Now at that six week visit when you're cleared you're given the green light, but are you ready physically? Are you ready psychologically? Those are some other things to discuss and really consider what's going on. 

It depends on your birth story if it's been traumatic and if there is some fear which will be turning you off to sex, this is a good time to reach out to a mental health therapist somebody that you can talk to and process through this fear and anxiety. 

So don't dismiss this if you're feeling that way it's okay don't blame yourself don't feel like you're a bad person that's important to address as well. Now maybe the sex is not really appealing right now and that's common because there's fatigue you're a new mom, your sleep schedule's off and you're trying to rest and heal and fatigue really decreases your sex drive. 

Secondly, you've got hormones surging and changing everything especially if you're breastfeeding and the estrogen has dropped, your desire may decrease as well as having some vaginal dryness.

Thirdly, you've had some body changes and right now new mom! Congratulations. I know you're not feeling it necessarily but when you look at your body celebrate what your body's been able to do this is not the time to diet and get back to that pre-pregnancy look just looking at your body and appreciating what you've gone through is a big key. 

So ladies what do you do while you wait for the return to sex when you're in a relationship, when you're trying to connect with your husband intimacy is important during this time.

Let's not just focus on intercourse or sex let's talk about intimacy right now, what you may be needing what your partner may be needing is that connection, that way of physically being close, hugging, kissing, positive words and affirmation. 

Each of you've gone through a big change, it's affecting you as well as your husband you've got a new role so encouraging each other through this new challenging time of fatigue and trying to figure out how to take care of baby and take care of yourself, so intimacy is such a big important part during this time.

Tips to Remember As You Return to Sex After Childbirth 

Now here are three keys three tips to remember as you return to sex after the doctor gives you the green light to return.

1. If there's pain don't push through the pain, there could be some tightness around your perineum or where you've had a tear or where the tissues have stretched or you've had an episiotomy and there's some scar tissue there.

You don't want to just push through that, you want to just like we did some scar massage or maybe you did some perineal massage in pregnancy. You need to work on this area.

But, a lots of women will just grip their teeth and cry and put their face in the pillow and that's not our goal with sex. Sex should be pain-free and also enjoyable. If you feel like you're having some discomfort go ahead and check out seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist. There are specialist in this area who work on this so that they can see what is involved with the pain.

2. If you're having vaginal dryness this could be contributing to some of your pain. Don't be surprised if you've never had dryness in your past and you've never had to use a lubricant before. The estrogen drop can contribute to some of the vaginal dryness. 

So looking for a good lubricant is really important but not all lubricants are the same i really like slippery stuff which is available on amazon and many pharmacies. It's a water-based and you want to make sure that it doesn't have the parabens or the glycerin or anything to irritate this pelvic floor area. 

So you need to be very careful about lubricants that you buy, but you do possibly need to have one. I know that its very important for many women when they returned to sex after having babies. 

3. Communicate effectively with your partner as to whether enjoyable things have changed and whether it feels a little bit different or not, because you need to enjoy this time together. 


In conclusion, don't dismiss that you've had six weeks of not connecting to your partner or your husband remember that there's intimacy and again if you're having any pain reach out to talk to a pelvic floor physical therapist and if you're having any fear anxiety too about returning to sex or processing your story talk to a mental health therapist 

Again all these are simple tips to help you as you return to sex after having baby! Congratulations mom on this new chapter of life and it is beautiful there are some challenges but there are some amazing things as well you're not alone.


1. Desgrées-du-Loû, A., & Brou, H. (2005). Resumption of Sexual Relations Following Childbirth: Norms, Practices and Reproductive Health Issues in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Reproductive Health Matters, 13(25), 155–163.

2. Cleland, M Ali, V Capo-Chichi. Post partum sexual abstinence in West Africa: implications for AIDS control and family planning programmes. AIDS. 13: 1999; 125–131.

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