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My first time (after birth): Your guide to sex after 6 weeks

1. Your birth experience affects your sex life.

My first time (after birth): Your guide to sex after 6 weeks

Our bodies and minds go through quite a bit during pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period.


Yes, pregnancy and birth are natural and beautiful, but we need time to heal.

We also need time to reconnect with ourselves—our postpartum bodies and our new identities as mothers—before we are able to connect sexually with our partner again. So don't worry if you're not all there yet. Dr. Amy Gilliland (aka Dr. Amy), an AASECT-certified sexuality educator and doula, says that it's completely normal to “need time alone first before you're going to be interested in any sexual activity." And we get it.

Maybe you've gotten the all-clear from your doctor or midwife at the six-week checkup. Your birth control situation is on lockdown. You've been feeling frisky. You've got your partner alone in a room, and you're ready to go.

Or perhaps you're still not quite ready. Perhaps your vagina still needs more time to heal. Maybe you're feeling self-conscious about your postpartum body, or over-touched by baby, or exhausted, or unsure, or any complex tumble of emotions that you are totally entitled to feel.

Our birth experience and our sexual identity afterward are most definitely connected, Dr. Amy explains in an interview. So this first time back in the (ahem) saddle can be complicated for some women.

Here are 3 important takeaways about having sex after giving birth that we learned from Dr. Amy:


1. Your birth experience affects your sex life.

Dr. Amy explains that data suggests that if you have a pretty straightforward birth, you are likely to get back to sexual activities sooner than if you had any complications. When a delivery includes a vacuum, forceps or an unplanned cesarean, it often takes couples a bit longer to get back to sexual activities.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests waiting at least four to six weeks postpartum before you start having sexual intercourse. But for some it may be longer, and that is perfectly fine.

Dr. Amy says, “Data shows that men are often happy with the cuddling and emotional intimacy at this stage, and people put a lot of pressure on themselves [to get back into sex] due to preconceived notions." So don't force it just because your OB-GYN gave you the physical all-clear.

And remember when it's your first time attempting intercourse after baby: Take it slow, use lubrication, try new positions if needed and communicate more than usual with your partner. If you feel pain, talk to your doctor.

And if you feel pleasure, thank your partner. ?

Long story short: Go with the timing that works for you. There is no rush, and it's okay if you need more time to heal mentally or emotionally.

2. Talk it out with your partner.

Are you feeling ready? Is he? First and foremost, communication is key. Talk to each other.

Ask each other: Are you ready for sex? Yes/no/maybe?

No is a no. Yes is a yes.

With a maybe, if both participants would like to explore that maybe, then great! Try some kissing, touching, gentle massage or full-blown make-out.

Has the maybe turned into a yes? Then go for it. Putting in that 10 to 15 minutes of time to focus on one another can create desire, which is what partners are often hungry for, Dr. Amy says.

If that maybe turns into a no after those 10 to 15 minutes, then that's okay too—always respect your partner's needs and boundaries.

3. Stop putting pressure on yourselves + enjoy the process.

We're talking about sex here! It's fun. If it's still too much or too scary, take your time and talk with your partner. Trust the process and stop putting pressure on yourselves.

“Enjoy where you are. Try smaller things. Focus on what gives you both pleasure," Dr. Amy says. “We're so intercourse-focused, yet most people really need the emotional closeness first: going out for a nice meal, holding hands, etc."

So take the time to reconnect with each other outside the bedroom. It can be tough as new parents, we know. But try your best to fit in small things every day, like a long good-morning kiss, coffee in bed or simply asking your partner how they are doing—and really listening.

Hey honey, we're waiting. ☕️

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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

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5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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