Understandably, after nine months of not having sex because of pregnancy (or maybe less, because, you know, sex while pregnant can be greatly satisfying), you may have some fears after having a baby slide down your privates, or having stitches on your belly area. Don’t panic: These fears are valid. And you are not alone.
Most doctors suggest delaying sexy time until six weeks after giving birth to let your body heal. These six weeks can prevent any infection or injury postpartum. You may have stitches that still need caring for, and you don’t really want them to open up and start all over again, right? Some new moms need more time to restart their sex life and that's okay -- others, well, they just can’t start early enough.
So if you belong to the latter set of, dare we say, horny new moms (s’okay, no judgment!), here are some things you can do to ease your waiting time.
1. "Wine" and dine it. Think of it as you and your partner’s first date all over again. The point is to wait, yes, but also to nurture the relationship. You can spice it up a bit by playing pretend: Meet your partner at the restaurant’s bar (if you're breastfeeding you know better than to have a drink!) and act out a meet-cute! A meet-cute is an adorable scene from a movie where a couple meets for the first time. Or throw-back to how you met and re-live it. Some sparks will definitely fly, if you manage not to end up laughing.
2. Try sexting. Yes, it’s a thing now. Sexting, or sending and receiving sexually explicit or suggestive messages or photos, can actually help improve relationships, according to this study. Start small, maybe something sweet and romantic. It takes some practice and you’re not going to turn into a pro overnight. Fair warning: cover all your bases. Make sure no one else is looking over your shoulder, and erase photos that might have been backed up on your cloud.
3. Cuddle as if you’re too cold to let go. Cuddling done after doing the deed is love, yes, and it can feel like heaven, too, even with your clothes on. While you’re at it, familiarize yourselves with your new postpartum body. Go ahead and let your partner gently caress and feel your skin. Never mind that you probably smell like spit-up milk or that you still have bulges in the wrong places—just close your eyes and feel the warmth.
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4. Massage? Yes, please. Who says no to a good massage? Sure, you can go to a spa and have a "couple massage" (makes sure you get the your doctor's okay), or have a homespa. Or try giving each other one. Set the mood: light some scented candles, prepare the oils, maybe throw some petals on the bed, and dim the lights. You can have a steam bath, and don't forget the tea after the massage. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just intimate.
5. Have a kissapalooza. Kiss like there’s no tomorrow, or have your partner’s lips kiss you all over. The act of kissing already releases the hormone of love: oxytocin. The higher levels of oxytocin in your body, the more you have the capacity to love, explains psychotherapist Arthur Janov, Ph.D., author of The Biology of Love. You can also play kissing games (such as "suck and blow"), which can be awesome, too!
6. Play strip games. Strip poker, anyone? It can be any game that lets you strip a piece of clothing off your body when you lose. The whole idea is to have fun and ease back into intimacy. You may not feel sexy with your body right now, and it helps if you and your partner don’t ignore that. Instead, celebrate the new you. If you feel like it, put on some music and do a little strip dance, if you’re game.
7. Share a shower Water has a calming effect, and what better way to calm those urges than by taking a long shower (or, as long as your new baby will allow you) to just relax. Warm or cold? It doesn’t matter. The good thing is you can have your partner join you in the shower. Just play with water and have fun! Have his slippery soapy hands all over you. It's the next best thing you can do after shower sex.
8. Pleasure yourself. Why not? Ultimately, this is as far as you can go for now, until the six weeks have passed (or until you’re comfy getting back in the sack again). Believe it or not, masturbation is good for you and your partner’s health. It helps to relieve stress and reduce pain when endorphins are released in your body. Feeling iffy about it? There are subtle techniques you may be okay with. If you do it right—and you will, because you know your own body like no one else—that’s multiple orgasms for you (Hooray!). You’re welcome.