Sex & Relationships

The First Time I Had Sex After Giving Birth

Losing your virginity isn't necessarily the biggest first in your life. Here, one woman shares her most significant sexual first

first time sex after baby pregnancy: A woman on a blue background

(Art: Leo Tapel)

“My delivery was great: I had an epidural, I didn’t need a C-section. It’s just that after my delivery, I began bleeding internally, lost a ton of blood, and then passed out. That scarred me mentally, but it did not affect my vagina at all. So after six weeks—completely sleep deprived, jacked up on adrenaline—I went to see the doctor, and one of the first things he said to me was that I was cleared to have sex. I was like, That’s the last f-cking thing I want to do.

After sharing this really intimate experience with your partner of having a baby, there’s this emotional intimacy that happens between you and your baby, and your partner almost becomes your assistant. I need a cloth; I need a diaper. So when we finally did have sex, two months post-partum, I did it mostly because I felt bad for him. I could have done without sex for the next six months, but that’s not healthy for our relationship, and he clearly needed it.

We had a talk about it, and I was like, So, listen, we’re going to have to go super slow, and we might have to stop. He was just super excited to get laid. When he was inside of me, it felt tight, and almost like he was rubbing up against some scar tissue. I felt like I needed to make it as fast as humanly possible because I was not enjoying it, but I put on a bit of a show for him—and for myself.

Now, I’m six months post-partum and I’m still breastfeeding, but I’ve hit the point where I want my body back, because my body still belongs to my baby. It’s pretty frigging interesting that my breasts can feed this human being, but it also means that my breasts are no longer sexual—this is where she eats. I’m leaking milk; it’s food. That’s made sex super shitty for me, because breasts were a huge part of foreplay, and now they’re off limits.

My sex life right now is pretty non-existent. At six months, I turned a bit of a corner and lost a lot of the baby weight—I’m by no means rocking a six pack, but I have maybe ten pounds to go. I think if I had my body back, I’d enjoy sex much more. I’ve had a better relationship with my body, and I look forward to getting that relationship back. My body and I aren’t in love with each other right now, but we are on speaking terms.”—As told to Danielle Groen

More firsts:

The First Time I Had Sex After Getting Sober
The First Time I Had Sex in My Correct Gender
The First Time I Had Sex After Opening Up My Relationship
The First Time I Had Sex After Being Assaulted
The First Time I Had Sex with Myself
The First Time I Had Sex After Major Surgery
The First Time I Had Sex After Coming Out
The First Time I Had Sex After an Abortion
The First Time I Had Sex After My Marriage Ended