Sex after the Baby Arrives

After giving birth and having weeks of scattered sleep and breastfeeding, sex may be the last thing on your mind—or the first! Generally, avoid intercourse until your episiotomy or tear has healed, your vaginal discharge has lessened, and you feel that you’re ready.

Many women find that they just aren’t interested for a couple months after the birth. It’s normal, and rarely a long-term feeling.

Your vaginal tissues may be dry after birth, so you may wish to use a water-soluble lubricant. Keep in mind that some women begin ovulating again shortly after birth—even if breastfeeding—and you can become pregnant before your period returns.

If you are breastfeeding, your breasts may leak milk during orgasm, as the hormone oxytocin is released during both orgasm and when your breast milk lets down. If this happens, it does not reduce the amount of milk available for your baby.

While it is common to feel a lack of sexuality for a long time after giving birth, less desire can also be a sign of postpartum depression. If you don’t want to be touched or have sexual relations with your partner and have other symptoms of depression—including sleeplessness, fatigue, lack of appetite or too much appetite and weepiness—consult with your doctor or midwife. There are ways they can help you to feel better.

Learn more about postpartum depression.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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