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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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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

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