The facts you need to know.
From breastfeeding to vaginal dryness, there's a lot you need to know about sex after pregnancy. Some facts are nice, some are a little unpleasant, and some are just plain crazy. Guess which ones we have here for you? That's right! The nutty ones. Enjoy!
1. A woman's sex drive isn't the only one dampened post-baby. A man's libido can be dampened by the hormone vasopressin, which enables him to bond with the baby, but might put him off sex along with you.
2. Vaginal dryness is a legitimate issue. Your natural lubrication will most likely not be as up to par as it was in the past, so break out that lube and get creative.
3. Your vagina can bounce back. It's a common joke that postpartum vaginas are "wrecked." And to a certain degree, they aren't the same as they were before baby. The tissue has undergone a very serious, strenuous workout, but you can fix it. Devote some time each day (and it doesn't have to be a lot of time) to doing Kegel exercises. They are simple, easy and something you can do anytime, anywhere.
4. Breastfeeding has both positive and negative side effects. The act helps you bond with your baby and gives them essential nutrients (yay!), but it can also lead to vaginal dryness due to lower estrogen levels (boo). But instead of letting this get you down, embrace your inner earth mother and see point 2 for tips on how to comfortably get it on.
5. Sex might be painful, at least at first. This is totally normal, and nothing you should loose your head over (unless the pain persists, in which case talk to your OB/GYN). Between the beating your vaginal tissue took not long ago, potential dryness and, for some of us, still-tender episiotomies, it's a perfectly normal to have some discomfort the first few times postpartum. Be gentle with each other, and you'll get back to the swing of things.
6. You can definitely get pregnant. Though the odds of getting pregnant during the postpartum period are extremely low (as breastfeeding interrupts your menstrual cycle), it is not impossible to conceive. Just to be safe and use condoms. They never hurt anyone, and they will protect you from the low-but-very-real chance that you could end up with another little bundle of joy before you're ready.
7. You can release breast milk during orgasm. This might not be a fun fact, but it's one you should be aware of. The release of oxytocin during orgasm can also trigger the letdown reflex, causing a woman to, for lack of a better word, leak breast milk during or right after climax.
8. You might not be ready for sex after six weeks. The common guideline for new parents is to wait four to six weeks after the birth before getting it on. But that is not a hard and fast rule. It might take you months to get to a place where you actually want to have sex. Don't freak out if that's the case for you, and don't feel like you need to just "get it done" to satisfy your significant other. A loving and respectful partner will communicate his or her needs to a new mother, and keep you on track together.