12 helpful phrases to talk about postpartum sex—whether you're ready, or not

9. "Here is what I need to feel comfortable."


Postpartum sex is complex—often surprisingly so. As you start to think about sex after baby, a lot may come up for you. You may have physical and emotional concerns and, if you're partnered, thoughts about the way your relationship has evolved. And oh yeah—there's now a baby in the bassinet next to you.

One of the best ways to navigate this uncharted territory is to talk about it (preferably ahead of time). Here are 12 phrases to use when talking to your partner about postpartum sex.

(Remember: Sex should be enjoyable for everyone involved. It is not your duty or something you need to do to make someone else happy.)

1. "I am not ready."

Plain and simple: If you are not ready to have sex, it is entirely within your right to say so.


2. "I am ready to try."

Postpartum sex may feel like an absolute no right now. Perhaps it is an "oh, heck, yes." But I would venture to say that for most women, it falls into the vast gray area in between: They're interested and like the idea of it, but they are also nervous and have some concerns.

Remember that starting to have sex does not mean that you have to complete the deed. It is perfectly fine to try it out slowly, and stop if you get to a point that feels uncomfortable (physically or emotionally). This leads us to the next phrase...

3. "I am in charge."

Declaring at the getgo that you are in charge means that you are the one who advances things, not the other way around. That way you can determine, step-by-step, what feels okay and where you need to draw the line. You won't need to worry that your partner will move too quickly, and your partner can relax knowing that they won't accidentally hurt you or make you uncomfortable.

4. "My midwife/doctor suggested that…"

If you are unsure about resuming sex, talk to your provider. They can give you the best advice for your specific scenario. They can also help you figure out the answer to the next question.

I also highly recommend seeking the guidance of a pelvic floor physical therapist, who can help you rehab the muscles and tissue in and around your pelvis. In many countries, they are a part of routine postpartum care. If you have any concerns about the health of your pelvis, ask your provider for a referral. The impact can be profound.

Things to look out for include:

  • Pain when sitting, with sex, or in general. This pain can be in the vagina or the surrounding area including your bottom, hips, or thighs
  • Incontinence, or loss of urine or stool when you don't mean to
  • Foul-smelling pus or drainage at the site of stitches

5. "What type of birth control are we going to use?"

If you are having vaginal sex with a man, there is a chance that you can become pregnant even if you haven't had your first period yet. Women ovulate before they have their period, so you may be fertile before you realize it.

The general recommendation is to wait 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again, to allow your body time to heal and be able to support another pregnancy. Certainly, you can talk with your provider about these recommendations and what makes the most sense for you.

Before having sex again, it's a good idea to have a contraceptive plan in place. You can check out our guide here: Birth control after baby: What's best for you?

6. "Tell me what your favorite part of intimacy with me is."

Communication is a huge part of the sexual experience. When you talk about intimacy with your partner, you may be surprised to learn what they feel about it. Perhaps their favorite thing isn't anything that you would have predicted.

7. "What are other ways besides sex we can capture that feeling?"

Once you have your answers from number six, consider other ways that the sentiment can be achieved that do not involve sex.

Maybe sex helps your partner feel connected to you. Would a romantic dinner (with no phones) do the trick for now?

Perhaps your partner adores your naked body. Taking a bath or shower together might be a great way to address that adoration, without needing to have sex.

And you know what? Maybe your partner is just really excited to have an orgasm, and for you to have one too. There are many other ways besides sex for that to happen.

8. "I am worried about ____."

Is there a specific concern on your mind? Consider sharing it with your partner so they can be attentive to your needs.

Are you worried about it hurting? Telling your partner this can be a reminder to go extra slow and to let you be in charge.

Are you adjusting to your new postpartum body and feeling unsure about sharing it with someone? Your partner may be able to share some pretty body-positive things they are thinking about you right now.

Are you weirded out by having sex with your baby in the bassinet next to you? Nothing says you can't do it in the living room, with a baby monitor by your side.

9. "Here is what I need to feel comfortable."

The mind-body connection is incredibly powerful and super important for sex. See if you can spend some time thinking about what will make your emotional self comfortable enough to enjoy sex. Once you have it, tell your partner.

Here are some ideas:

  • Time alone to do some serious self-care
  • Date night (in or out) where you can foster a deeper level of connection with each other
  • Compliments galore about your new postpartum body
  • A verbal agreement that your partner will let you set the pace and won't ask for certain things or touch certain areas of your body that you're not ready for

10. "I am not ready for ___, but I am ready for ___."

Sex is a broad word, with lots of (ahem, fun) options within it. You may be feeling kind of frisky, but not ready to have penetrative sex yet. That's okay! Think about what might feel good, and do that.

11. "Get the lube."

Understatement of the year alert: A lot has changed in your body. One of the pertinent changes related to your sex life is that you may experience some significant vaginal dryness—this is especially true if you are breastfeeding since the hormonal changes can decrease vaginal moisture.

This means that finding ways to increase your vaginal moisture is important for the reduction of pain, and the increase of pleasure! Finding a good quality lubrication is essential, as is foreplay.

12. "Get. Over. Here."

A lot of the previous phrases are great when you're feeling apprehensive. But what if you are READY?

Get it, girl.

As long as your provider has ensured that your body has healed enough for sex, if you are ready and excited, go for it, mama. You may find that parenthood is pretty darn sexy.

You might also like:

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

Keep reading Show less

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play