Just a Mamma Mamma need to know Motherhood

Sex after Baby

February 12, 2018
Mom and dad kissing

Let’s jump right into it… Sex after baby! Yes, I was told I could experience “some discomfort”… Some discomfort? Are you kidding me? More like excruciating pain!

It’s a secret we mamas keep to ourselves. WHY? Is it because this topic is still taboo, even after you’ve just had a baby? Or are we scared to frazzle our new sisters joining the mamahood? Is intimacy and a pleasurable sex life not important to woman, especially moms? How could no one have prepared me for what was to come? I remember feeling completely caught off guard; not sure if what I was experiencing was normal… Should we stop? Go on? Why doesn’t it feel “right”? Will it ever get better or be the same as before?

Sex after baby is a HUGE challenge every single time and I definitely feel we fellow moms need to speak up. Not to overshare or “talk out of the bedroom” but rather to help and encourage new moms going through the same thing also unsure and overwhelmed by this unexpected postnatal extra.

After my c-section I knew things would be different. We were told to wait 6 weeks and that’s it. Is seemed reasonable. At my 6 week check up my Gynecologist gave me the thumbs up and told me to make sure we bought a big tube of lubricant before attempting to get intimate. This should have been my 1st clue, right?

I knew that the placenta left a huge wound in my uterus and that it obviously needed time to heal. I did however think that as soon as the bleeding (lochia) subsided everything would be back to normal. Having just had mayor surgery could prolong my recovery with my stitches being sensitive, swollen and sore at times but this is all normal. We were prepared for “discomfort”, KY at hand. Discomfort however,  is the biggest understatement of the century. Sex after baby is painful. And not just the 1st time. It stays painful for weeks, even months! To be honest it would be easier to just forget about it all together.

Currently we are 7 months post c-section (for a 3rd time) and now I feel “discomfort”. It was painful all the way up until our little baby started solids (as was the case with both our other girls too). I know this seems like an awfully long time, but don’t be alarmed. It is actually all normal, especially for woman who choose to breastfeed.

JustaMamma Sex after Baby family portrait

But why?

I exclusively breastfed for the 1st 5-6 months and sex was painful during that entire time. God is very clever in design,making sure mothers tend to their young above all else after birth. As soon as your baby is born, oestrogen levels fall while prolactin (the special ingredient needed to produce breast milk) rises. This new cocktail of hormones taking over your body has some side effects directly influencing intimacy.

The fall in oestrogen causes the vaginal wall to become thinner, less elastic, inflamed and much more prone to injury. Less blood flow to your “fun bits” also mean dryness, itching, burning, irritation and PAINFUL intercourse.

Will I ever enjoy sex after baby?

The good news is things do get better (otherwise the entire world population would stick to only having one kid – we’d be extinct). The bad news, it will take time and I can’t tell you exactly how long. It differs for each woman. For me it is painful until baby starts solids, then “discomforting” until about that 1st birthday celebration.

Usually only then do things usually start feeling normal again.

JustaMamma Sex after Baby

What to do?

  1. KY is your best friend and no matter how long you have for foreplay (which we all know can’t be very long with a young baby), still insist on using it. That being said, don’t skip foreplay, quickies will have to wait, it’s just not worth the pain – trust me!
  2. Communication is more important than ever. Having a wife that would rather jump out the window than get under the covers, must be hard on husbands. Always be honest and open about how you are feeling and when you are ready to make love. As longs as your Mr Perfect knows you still love him (not just your new little cutie), and that you still want to be with him he’ll get where you’re coming from.
  3. Kegels are still key. I’ll admit, I hate doing kegels. They seem useless but research shows that strengthening your pelvic floor will tone all those important muscles stained during pregnancy and child-birth. This in turn helps eleviate painful intercourse. Find out how to do kegels correctly and visit the “Today’s Parent” site by clicking here.
  4. Never try to rush things. It really is a normal response due to hormones. All moms will experience this on some level and there isn’t much to do about it. As your body adjusts in due time, so will your sex life.
  5. On the plus side painful intercourse is a great motivation to explore other, forgotten ways to be intimate. Kiss and cuddle more. Make an effort to touch each other in a loving way, even if it’s just in a brief passing by. Be playful and naughty like during those early dating days when it was almost impossible to keep your hands to yourself.

JustaMamma Sex after Baby

PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana Nel from Madison and West.

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  • Reply Lauren February 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Really helpful! Thought it was just me! My no. 3 baby is 3.5months and it’s come as a shock like you said! Thank the Lord for an understanding Hubbie. I really appreciate your vulnerability… looking forward to the next mamma 101!

    • Reply Mari-Louise February 13, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Thank you Lauren! I love hearing every mom’s experience. Even when we never go through the exact same thing we still share so much and talking about it really makes all the difference. “See” you next Monday!x

  • Reply Mommabeartrax February 12, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Hormones really play terrible tricks on our body,right?!(like thanks,mother nature! As if we’re not doing enough as it is,eh!😁) Even more so with breastfeeding.
    Gotta say though, we were back in saddle quite soon with no problems all three times. (Once even as early as two weeks 🙈)
    My terrible issues with hormones,however, came more in the form of scalp and hair issues.

    • Reply Mari-Louise February 13, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Amazing how it differs for every woman. Thank you for sharing lovely mama and reading our post. x

  • Reply Caley February 12, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Another great post, as always gorgeous mamma x

    • Reply Mari-Louise February 13, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Thanks so much Caley! And also for ALWAYS taking the time to comment. I rally appreciate it. x

  • Reply Monique van Dyk February 13, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    What a great article about a topic that new moms (and dads) are not aware of most of the times!
    Due to low oestrogen levels (especially while breastfeeding) the vaginal wall becomes atrophic as explained in the article. However, you can ask your gynae or GP for local (vaginally applied) oestrogen. It does not affect your milk supply as oral oestrogen would do and works like a miracle. (Always consult your dr before starting any therapy. )
    In addition, there are other lubricants available at most pharmacies that do not turn sticky and are safe to use while breastfeeding. Again, ask your gynae/pharmacist about those.

    • Reply Mari-Louise February 14, 2018 at 7:26 am

      THANK YOU SO MUCH for all these amazing tips and for taking the time to read and share. x

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