Why Postpartum Sex Is Exactly Like Your First Time

by Eden Strong
Originally Published: 
A woman screaming while her husband removes his towel.
PrinceOfLove / via Shutterstock

I guess I kind of figured that once I had my first child I would officially be a pro at sex. I mean, I had done it so well that I had brought forth a child from my talents, and I was now officially a sexual master. But then the baby came, and not only did I say goodbye to a good night’s sleep, midriff tops and skinny jeans, I also said goodbye to any confidence I had in the bedroom.

Nobody warned me about that. In fact, no one had even hinted at the fact that after having a baby you basically become an inexperienced teenager again. No one said, “Have a baby, become a born-again virgin!” Seriously, where do I file a complaint? Whoever wrote the pregnancy books completely left out the entire subject of déjà-vu-teen-years-meet-postpartum-sex, and that was quite the shocker. Sure, the books and magazines always throw in a few lines about waiting six weeks until the doctor gives you the “all clear” (at which point my doctor advised me to take it slow the first time I got back in the saddle), but that didn’t set off any more alarm bells than the warning my father gives me to warm up my car before driving it in cold weather.

The literature gave me absolutely no inkling that my sex life had basically come full circle and I was about to start over as a virgin again. And as I said, I would like to file a complaint.

After polling a few friends, we are all in agreement that someone needs to amend the parenting books to include a chapter that explains how and why you are about to be sucked back to your high school sex life. Now, after having a few glasses of wine (and possibly an entire pan of brownies), I’m ready to share exactly what my friends and I think you need to know, written all under my byline because none of them were willing to publicly attach themselves to a vagina story. But me? I will do that for you.

1. Will It Hurt?

Whoever came up with the theory that your vagina is looser after having a baby obviously never had an episiotomy. I have an extremely unfortunate memory of the doctor hard at work stitching up my lady parts, looking up at me from between my knees, and winking as she said, “Almost done. I’m just going to go ahead and place a husband stitch.”

A husband stitch! What the hell is that?! I just had the freaking baby, and we are already talking about making my vagina tighter for the next time my husband decides to get his jollies off? Oh, hell no.

But alas, there I was, six weeks later and scared as hell that the first time was going to hurt because, “what if I’m too tight and it doesn’t fit?!”

Episiotomy aside, a baby just shot out of there. Whether or not we got stitches, we women remember exactly what that felt like, and we had plenty of time to dwell on it as we nursed our wilted flower with witch hazel pads and ice packs and prayed to the heavens that she would eventually recover.

But now we have to stick something in there again. I think Foreigner said it best when they sang, “It feels like the very first time.” Lube. Lots and lots of lube. Just like the very first time.

2. I Have Absolutely No Idea What I’m Doing

Geez, obviously I knew enough of what I was doing to get myself in this postpartum position, but now everything feels so different. Not exactly bad, but not really all that great—just, new. Yes, it all feels very new, like I suddenly have a new vagina.

I have no idea what to do with my new vagina, and my partner has no idea what to do with my new and improved larger boobs, which are now squirting milk everywhere. Talk about feeling 17 years old again and fumbling my way through sex.

3. Quick, Hide! Someone Is Coming!

The postpartum phase is when you feel like a grown-up, except that you are no longer in control of your own life. So, it’s exactly like being a teenager, when you feel grown up enough to have sex but don’t have many feasible options to do so.

“Quick, we have five minutes before the baby wakes up. But not in the bedroom, the baby will hear us! Not on the couch, the toddler will see us! Quick, get in the car! The backseat is perfect!”

It’s a sad day when you realize that you waited so many years to freely jump on a few inches, only to hand your entire sex life over to someone whose entire body length is 21 inches.

4. Has Anyone Seen My Self Confidence?

Most of us were with our partner for a while before having our baby, and then we were with them during the pregnancy, but now that the baby has come, turn off the lights. The body that I had shyly first shared with my partner blossomed into a beautiful life-giving vessel, and when the baby was evicted, I wasn’t sure what the hell to make of what was left.

Really, most of us just have no idea what is going on with our postpartum bodies. Things are flapping, parts are wiggling, and quite frankly, just stop looking at me. Seriously, the girl you knew is gone, and I’m sure you will come to love the mother who is left behind, but this is definitely a getting-to-know-you phase, and we all know how awkward that can be.

5. I’m Falling in Love With You

Let’s be honest here—the people who created your baby look so much different now that the baby is here, and not just due to their physical appearance. You are parents now, and with that comes the flood of emotions that watching someone you love take care of someone else you love brings with it.

You know how awesome sex is when you first fall in love with someone? You and your partner get to experience that all over again. So, postpartum sex: It’s a wild ride, isn’t it? It’s like flashing back and experiencing all the awkwardness of your very first time. But at the end of the day, there really is nothing quite like the very first time with someone whom you love, all over again.

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