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61% of moms say they were ‘afraid or nervous’ their first time having sex postpartum, says survey

But 73% of moms report enjoying postpartum sex, with almost a quarter saying the quality is better than before they had the baby.

61% of moms say they were ‘afraid or nervous’ their first time having sex postpartum, says survey

As new parents, few of us expect to have the same kind of sex lives we did before the baby. After all, when you consider how much sleep new parents lose, it's totally understandable if you'd rather use your bed for rest than romance.

In the first few weeks after having a baby, having sex is probably the farthest thing from a mama's mind. You're exhausted and, even if you weren't, your body is still recovering. How long a mother waits before having sex again is totally personal. But contrary to the old cliches, becoming a parent doesn't mean sex is totally banned from the bedroom.

In fact, a new survey by Peanut reveals nearly 73% of new moms enjoy postpartum sex, and almost a quarter of the women surveyed say the quality of their postpartum sex is actually better after having a baby.



The survey of 1,000 women, ages 22-37, found that "being tired" is the number one reason why new mamas aren't having more sex, and that 61% of moms would like to be having more sex (maybe after they get more sleep), and that contrary to popular belief, having kids doesn't kill your sex life.

A quarter of the moms surveyed are having sex once a week and almost 30% are getting it 2-3 times a week. Nearly 9% are having sex more than three times a week.

For some, three times a week sounds perfect. For others, this might sound like way too much. The survey also found 12.8% of moms have sex once a month, and 13.3% have it even less often, and that's totally okay.

The frequency of a new mom's sex life depends on so many things, not the least of which is her personal preference. So don't feel bad if you're not having sex as often as the women surveyed. For some moms, it does take longer to feel like having sex again, and some are more eager than others to experience sexual intimacy again.

According to Peanut, 37.7% of new moms had sex within three months of having a baby, and 52% "had sex as soon as doc gave the all clear."

That doesn't mean it's easy. More than 61% of moms surveyed said they were "afraid or nervous their first time postpartum." About 72% of those moms clarified that they were afraid of pain and 24.4% said they felt self-conscious, according to Peanut.

Pain and postpartum sex 

For some women, pain isn't actually an issue once they get past the nerves, but research suggests about 17–36% report painful sex at six months postpartum (and sadly, only about 15% report brining this up with their healthcare provider).

According to a 2013 post by OB-GYN Dr. Jen Gunter, there are three common reasons for pain during postpartum sex:

  1. Low estrogen levels in the vagina
  2. Problems with a scar (especially relevant if you've had any tearing) or
  3. Muscle spasms due to a post-delivery tightening of the pelvic floor.

Gunter says some vaginal estrogen or pelvic floor physical therapy can help women who experience pain during postpartum sex, and encourages mamas to head to the doctor if they have any pain.

"The bottom line is sex shouldn't be painful," Gunter wrote on her blog. "If sex hurts your body is telling you there's a problem of some kind. If you're told that it's normal for sex to hurt and you're more than 6-8 weeks out from your delivery, then another opinion may be in order."

Talk to your partner and yourself 

If you're in the camp that's not worried about pain but you are feeling self-conscious for other reasons, take some advice from fellow mama and life coach Kate Mason.

"The thing to remember is that sex after kids will be different," Mason previously wrote for Motherly. "And that is okay. Just like your body, your relationships, and your priorities, things shift when you have a baby. Accepting your new sex life is the first step."

She recommends having honest conversations about sex with your partner (about the timeline of the return to a sex life and how frequently you want it after that) and affirming conversations with yourself.

"I had to retrain my line of thinking. I had to tell myself, that yes, I was still sexy. And yes, my husband still finds me attractive. And yes, he still wants to do sexy, adult things to me. He was great at affirming these thoughts for me but it wasn't until I believed it myself that our sex life was reignited. Once I accepted my new body, my new role in the world, and my newfound strengths, I felt sexy. Like, really sexy. And that opened the door for a new phase in our sex life," Mason wrote, adding that her sex life after parenthood is different, but also hot.

It's okay if you feel nervous, mama. It's okay if you want to wait. It's okay if you'd rather sleep. But it's good to know that you will have sex again. And, according to what your fellow postpartum mothers are reporting, it's likely to be good sex, too.

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That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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