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Sex And Your Libido After Childbirth

Posted by Maureen Pollack on

If you don’t know me yet, welcome! My name is Maureen Pollack and I am the inventor of the WaterSlyde and Co-Owner of Lovability. I’m also a mama (x2 beautiful babies) and an intimacy coach. Through my work and experience as a professional, and as a human, I see sexuality as one of the most beautiful parts of life. Not only for its feel, but for the evolution it poses in each of our lives – embracing the ebbs, flows, and patterns that change throughout. 

Motherhood — and parenthood as a whole — is one of those evolutions. While there are plenty of interesting fibs and tales regarding what sex and your libido after childbirth will be like, I’d like to share my experiences and break them down for you. 

My Heightened Libido During Pregnancy

Gif of "I'm freaking horny, and that's all I have to say."

One of my favorite things is how different sex is when you’re trying to have a baby. For my husband and I, this unlocked a whole new level of exploration. While I thought I had a high libido before kids, I was sorely mistaken. During pregnancy and post-pregnancy, I could easily put 17-year-old boys to shame with my heightened libido! Sex is something I wanted often, and I began to label it as my “second puberty”.

Pregnancy Sex? Yes, Please

Of course, a common concern with many is that sex during pregnancy will hurt the baby. Guess what? Your body was built to protect that baby, so sex won’t get in the way. You can still enjoy comfortable, ecstatic sex while pregnant as long as you listen to your body (and your doctor if you have any pregnancy concerns). For example, I found that with the progression of my pregnancy positions like doggy style, a favorite, became uncomfortable. Switching it up to being on top felt awesome, and something I continued until I was ready to pop!

While this is my experience, sex during pregnancy can look different for everyone. You may hit your “second puberty”, or you may not be interested in sex at all. All of this is TOTALLY NORMAL.

How come your libido can fluctuate so greatly during and post-pregnancy? I wish there was one answer, but it’s a myriad of things you’ll be experiencing at the same time.

After My Baby Is Born, When Can I Have Sex Again?

Gif of Judge Judy telling you to watch the time.

Post-baby, the recommended waiting time to have penetrative sex is 4-to-6 weeks. This is to give your body a chance to heal, your cervix to close completely, adjust, and let everything settle back to normal. Six weeks may come around, and your libido might not be exactly where you want it to be, and that’s okay. You brought a tiny human into this world – your body may still be healing, going through hormonal changes, and you’re taking on the added stress of caring for that human. Sleep deprivation, decreased estrogen, postpartum depression, and even general burnout, are some of the things that can make your libido drop to 0. 

Gif of Michael Cera saying "Does that mean we can make out?"

With all things considered, you may not be ready for penetration yet. This doesn’t mean that you or your partner don’t need intimacy, so this can be a good starting point. Start easing into sex with things like affection, aka like old times. When’s the last time you made out with your partner, fingered, or had some sort of gentle sexual play? Not only are these smaller, simple acts of intimacy may be satisfying, but they may also be a much needed change in the sexual routine you have. 

Assuming you’re pressed for time, take the tiny free time you have and have some quickies. They say nap while the baby is napping, and I say nap and hookup. Even if your baby isn’t napping, you can still hook up with your partner – I promise, your baby won’t remember. 

Sex Your First Time After Childbirth

Gif of a woman saying "Oh my gosh."

Ahhhh, the first time back. I’ve never been afraid of sex but having sex my first time after childbirth was something I was anxious about. I had been told over and over again it would be painful, so I was strapped in for the worst.

We went slow, used the best, natural lube, and our first time back felt almost like the first time. Endured some very light feelings of “pins and needles” for the first 5 seconds or so, but then we were back in full swing. With my second pregnancy, it only took until week 3 for me to start craving rough sex again. My libido was at an all-time high, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

This comes to show that every pregnancy and experience is VERY different. While many women may have painful experiences or low libido, you may surprise yourself and feel positive about sex and your libido after childbirth. Neither one nor the other is right – this is just part of our individual experiences. If you’re worried about having no libido, don’t be so hard on yourself. Your body has just done a great thing, and it will come back in time. What I do recommend is to keep trying, since sexuality is a lot like getting back to the gym. We can lose it fast, and we can gain it back too. 

5 Tips To Keep Your Libido Up

There are thousands of recommendations to keep your sex drive up and running, but I’m gonna give you my go-to’s in a nutshell.

1. Get Your Rest

Gif of little boy falling on his face because he's so tired.

Sleep deprivation will eff you up. It can make you feel delusional, mess with your mental health, and make you feel like you’re hitting a wall. For this reason, ASK FOR HELP.  There is nothing wrong with getting help (it doesn’t have to be from a professional), especially in the first few months of becoming a mama. While I didn’t want help with the baby, I appreciated help around the house or cooking. Someone showing up with a footlong felt like absolute gold!

2. Self-Care Is A Must

It’s easy to feel like you need to be selfless at this time, and it won’t benefit you. The better care you take of yourself, the better care you can give your baby and those around you. Try carving out time for self-care where possible.

3. Workout your pelvic floor

Gif of women doing pelvic exercises to strengthen their kegels.

As many say, the more you use it, the more you want it.  Kegels are great and are usually recommended as part of strengthening the pelvic floor post-baby. I’ll fill you in on a secret though… masturbation does the same thing. Not only does masturbating exercise those pelvic floor muscles, but it helps amp sex and your libido after childbirth.

4. Have fun and explore your sexuality

With trying new things like lubricants or sex-toys, it’s pertinent that they don’t have toxic chemicals, materials, or irritative qualities. etc. This will keep you, your vulva, and your vagina/cervix safe while enjoying all the yummy pleasures. I LOVE the WaterSlyde for this reason, as it’s the safest, cleanest way to masturbate – good ol’ H20 cascading over your vulva is not only body-safe, but feels effin’ awesome. 

5. Listen to your body

If you want sex, great! If you don’t want sex, great! If you want to eat a whole chocolate bar and masturbate while your baby sleeps, F yeah! If you want to take a 3-hour nap, do it!

We all have different experiences and processes we go through. They may be different for each woman, or even different for each baby – go with the flow, and listen to what your body is asking for.

Gif of a little girl wondering what's going on.

Sex and your libido after childbirth will throw us curve balls. You may find that the positions you like will change, the things you crave will change, and even timing will change. While your baby keeps you up at night, morning and afternoon sex may become your best friend.  Don’t fret if you’re not there yet, this is a relatively short faze and your libido will come back. The mere fact that you have read this far shows you that your libido is important to you and you get what you want. You Got This Babe!

About The Author

Inventor of The WaterSlyde, a revolutionary, patented feminine hygiene device / stimulator, and co-owner of Lovability, Maureen Pollack (@maureen.pollack) believes in removing the stigma surrounding sexual health and personal hygiene. She is also an intimacy coach, helping empower women in all stages of life to embrace intimacy through coaching and lifestyle products. A book and feature film about Maureen’s journey as a “mompreneur” are currently in pre-production.

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