A: Congratulations on the new addition to your family. You can certainly enjoy sex after pregnancy. The key is going slow and listening to your body.
Much will depend on how much wear and tear you experienced while giving birth. If you were torn or had an episiotomy, it could take longer before you truly feel comfortable during sex. Exactly how long depends on a number of things, including how long you normally take to heal, the extent of tearing or type of episiotomy, length of labor and whether the delivery was assisted by forceps or vacuum extraction.
Kegel exercises, up to 100 per day, are one step to getting your pelvic floor muscles strong again. Find the muscles by imagining you’re urinating. Squeeze the muscles as if you were stopping the flow of urine. Let go and try again. Squeeze and release repeatedly to strengthen the vaginal muscles. Adding a toy designed to help with Kegels such as Smart Balls or Lelo Luna Luxury Balls can be helpful and fun.
Even without tears, you will likely notice your vagina does not lubricate as well as before. This is due to low levels of estrogen. Also, breastfeeding can increase dryness as lactating women produce fewer of the ovarian hormones that make you lubricate. This means a good water-based lube is a must.
Plenty of foreplay is essential too. Not only will it help move lubrication along, but if your body isn’t feeling up to the act itself, foreplay can be the main event. Plenty of cuddling, petting, oral sex and mutual masturbation will help keep you and your partner physically close.
As your body heals, you may find certain sexual positions you enjoyed pre-pregnancy and even while pregnant no longer feel comfortable. Rather than dwelling on this as a negative, use it as an opportunity to try new positions. You may be pleasantly surprised. Side-to-side or woman-on-top positions will allow you more control and put less stress on body parts that may still be healing.
Most of all keep communicating with your partner and keep a sense of humor. If pain persists, see your doctor.