Post-partum Intercourse - I Need Reassurance!

Updated on October 17, 2010
H.W. asks from Albany, NY
22 answers

(This question got a bit long and out of hand, sorry lol)

I'm 22 years old, I just had my first amazing baby. Vaginally and everything was okay, except she felt the need to have her elbow up near her shoulders, so Mummy got a nice grade (level?) 2 almost 3 tear (incase things are diff in Aus and US, it was quite a large tear, but not including my anus, and only a tiny bit of muscle was torn).

My stiches have healed fine and most of the pain has gone away (baby is 8 weeks old). I have had my doctor check up and been given the green light.

I am so scared. My husband is amazing and understanding. Also a little frustrated, it has been over 2 months, but he knows that if it's rushed or uncomfortable then it wouldn't be worth it.

I'm worried about it hurting and me being put off trying again, even though I know I have to eventually. He works full time, we have his 4yo daughter 3 nights during the week, both our girls sleep in our room, and my 16 yo sister also lives with us.
My doctor suggested making sure all the housework is done, baby is asleep so I'm not thinking about other things, having a bath, having a glass of wine (to take the edge off) and spending LOADS of time on it.
I honestly, don't think we'd have the time I feel I need. I'm so tired when he gets home from work that I doubt I'd even be in the mood.
I feel really bad about it (for him) and I want so badly for it to not be scary and painful and to just jump right back into it!!
Any advice or ideas would be so appreciated.
Thank you in advance, sorry that was such a rant.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

we all feel the same way do it and get it over with buy some k y jeely just in case. Its ok to do it or dr would have said no stop thinking about it so much just do it tonight.



answers from Anchorage on

My son also put his arm up, causing 3rd degree tears and many stitches. We first tried at 6 weeks, went very slow, and at the first hint of pain he stopped and we waited a little longer. at 8 weeks we tried again and it was way better. Use lube the first time and have him treat you like a virgin, going very slow until you know all is well.

More Answers



answers from Savannah on

TMI alert.... I had a lot of stitches and we jumped back in at 4weeks post baby. It did not hurt at all, to put your mind at ease.

As for the finding time, get used to it. It is very difficult to find time and energy with little kids running around. But it is very important to make time. As unromantic as it is, I kind of equate it with washing dishes. I would never go days and days without washing dishes so I also do not go days and days without tending to my marriage. I like having a clean kitchen and a happy husband :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I can totally sympathize with you! My son was 2 weeks early, but almost 9 lbs and I had a difficult induced labor without pain meds (my choice). My son had his arm wrapped around his head and I too, got an elbow when he crowned!

I had to have an episiotomy which took weeks to heal! I had Mirena put in at 10 weeks after. For those first few weeks, we did a lot of cuddling and manual stimulation, found alternatives to actual intercourse that was satisfying for us both.

My libido really plummeted and continues to fluctuate as I have the Mirena, it's been almost 2 years now. Our son sleeps with us, so that's always been hard to navigate. We kind of have a bedtime routine of everyone bathing, laying down and getting baby to sleep and then we usually get up and go to another room or the floor on a blanket. Honestly, sex is way more work than it used to be, it's hard to be spontaneous and sometimes still, I just hurt or don't want to because I am wiped out!

Give it time and continue to communicate with one another, I think that's the most important thing. Use weekend afternoons when baby naps and maybe kids are busy, sneak off for a quickie (we do this a lot!) You just have to get creative on all aspects, how and where, and sometimes you don't have time for something long and drawn out.

Just ease into it and quiet your mind and be open and communicative always with one another.

Best wishes, it does get better and easier!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I too had terrible tearing during my first labor. In fact, it was so bad, that my ob sent me to physical therapy for my lady bits...only in NYC! No, I am not joking! I too took my time jumping between the sheets but the key thing that was stressed to me by my p.t. was to use NON-ALCOHOL based lube. Many brands have alcohol and it will most definitely irritate. Her suggestion was FemGlide and I found it on Once the time did present itself (and trust me, it will) it was pain-free. Your anxiety will probably do a number on you so just take it slow and keep communicating with your husband. P.S. Now pregnant with my third, enjoy the one and realize that the housework, laundry, etc., take a backseat to the relationship you have with your children and husband. Anyone who judges you for not staying on top of it all clearly has not been a parent or doesn't understand what is important. Be kind to yourself!!!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I totally hear you. I had a huge tear with my first and my stitches weren't done so great and I was terrified. Terrified. But a whole other baby later you can see that it has gotten better, as I just posted a question last night about not having enough sex! So there you have it.

I STRONGLY encourage the wine, and don't skimp on the lube either. And let him know that if it hurts, as much as you'd like to keep going, you're going to have to stop. You don't want to get into a negative feedback loop where it hurts, so you don't want to do it, but you feel bad for him, so you do it anyway, so then it hurts, etc. It very well might be uncomfortable the first few times, but it shouldn't hurt. Know your body and know the difference. If it really hurts, talk to your doctor and do not let them give you the old "it just takes practice." It shouldn't hurt.

I wouldn't worry about it being rushed. Think of it as your first time all over again. I don't know about you, but I was so scared my first time I just wanted to get it over with. It's okay if you just want to get this over with too. It's a whole re-learning process.

Finally, don't psych yourself out. If you know now that you won't be in the mood, you sure as heck won't be in the mood. If you spend the day thinking about how you used to be intimate and how nice that will be, odds are the turn on will be a million times easier.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Quicky hand jobs in the laundry room are marriage savers! It doesn't need to be intercourse in order to have the same effect for him.

You'll be 'ready' when YOU actually WANT it.

Meanwhile, you can keep him happy other ways!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

First let me say congratulations on your sweet new baby girl. :o)
Yes, it does hurt as you work back into it. However, if you go very VERY slowly, with LOTS of lubrication it will be ok. With our first (and after the second, it was actually easier to jump back into the swing of things) it was several attempts. As soon as it hurts, STOP right away. But then try again soon, like in the next day or two. When it hurts stop, but keep trying. It will eventually be ok. I don't know the degree of tearing, but both of my boys were born so quickly (both within 1/2 hr. of getting to hospital) that I didn't have time for pain meds. There were certainly stitches both times and of course I was scared with the second because I knew how it felt with the first. But you say your husband is understanding (as was mine) so he'll likely not want to have you in pain during sex. Keep trying, you'll eventually get there. And don't worry about the "rant". That's what us mommas are here for ;o)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I understand ocmpletely - you are tired, there's not a lot of time and frankly sleep sounds so much better to you than sex. But as long as your husband understand he's got to go really slow - which will make it even more sexy for him if he allows it. Since it's been such a while it may be very quick and over before you know it. Just go really slow - it's the fast pressure that is bound to make it hurt - so as long as he understnad S-L-O-W is required I think it will be fine. And a little KY or saliva can only help.



answers from Lincoln on

Use LOTS of lube and take your time. Express to your husband that the actual physical intercourse can't take a long time, but the "prep work" and the initial penetration should be slow and easy.
You'll be okay, its its uncomfortable then stop. Your husband will understand. By 8 weeks you should be fine. I tore with every child, but by 6 weeks I was able to have intercourse again pain free.



answers from New York on

I also have birth naturally vaginally and recieved one 2cd degree tear and one 3rd degree tear and got painful stitches.I tried to have sex with my husband 7 weeks after my baby was born and it hurt like HELL. I mean the pressure was so intense and it burned. I told him to GET OUT of me soon after he entered. So we waited exactly one more week. At 8 weeks post partum we tried again, VERY slowly. We made sure we used extra lube and he was very gentle. It felt very tight but was much less painful that time around. We both enjoyed ourselves and every week after was more and mroe comfortable. My best advice would be to just go for it. If your body isnt ready for it yet youll know pretty quickly.



answers from New York on

Hi Mama-

I have not read the other response you have received, but I will give you some insight on my personal experiences.

My first advice is to "get over" the idea that your intimate moments need to be in the evening, after Hubby comes home. With both my children (and we are expecting a third), the "first time" (and many of the ones after that) usually comes in the middle of the night or even early AM (think pre-work time). Before going to bed, shower together, taking the time to explore each others bodies and just spend time being close. Then, go to bed. If you are sleepy, then sleepy. If not, enjoy. If you have to get up after a few zzzz's (especially post a Bfing session), nudge Hubby. It might take a minute, but he'll get the idea you are up and interested and usually that is all it takes to get them "turned on".

The other thing I would tell you is to make sure Hubby knows you are scared. Thank him for his patience and understanding. And, when the opportunity does present itself, verbalize what you need and how. I think in general, woman don't do this and after baby, this is even more critical. Take it slow. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to relax. The more you hype yourself up for the "first time", the less likely you are to enjoy it and the more likely you are to find it painful, both emotionally and physically.

Lastly, don't forget that it does not have to be him the first time - you can mutually pleasure each other and that intamacy may be more important to him than the actual act.

Best of luck and enjoy. ;-)



answers from New York on

i had an episiotemy with my first born. it was hell on earth. i also asked mamapedia this question, calling my area down there "frankenstein" and never thinking i would have sex with my husband ever again! i got a lot of assurance from other moms, and when the night arrived, we dropped the baby off to my parents and went back home.

to be honest, we needed a good amount of lubrication, and it hurt like it was on fire down there!! but we took it slow, and after a lot of control on my part ( i was on top, so i could guide everything), it became less painful. it did take a while but it's that first time that is a doozy, then it is totally fine after that. i also had a glass of wine with dinner, and that helped soften the blow.

one more thing, i was NOT in the mood at all to do it, because of the subsequent pain. but i knew it had to happen some time and didn't want to torture the guy anymore either!

you will be will be a distant memory soo enough! good luck, love!



answers from Daytona Beach on

i would say that there are other ways to satisfy your husband other than intercourse right now if you are not "into" it. i had a c-section with both of my kids and i think my husband lasted about 2-3 weeks. and we had intercourse well before the 8 weeks. even though i had a c-section with my second it was a little painful for some reason. my youngest is 4 and i'm still too tired sometimes and figuring out timing is crazy!!



answers from New York on

Don't worry about the housework. Get help from your sister with some of that stuff. Do relax... go very slow....and use KY jelly or some other sort of lubricant. You will be dry down there for a while, at least I was. Best wishes and take it slow!! :)



answers from Kansas City on

You have every right to be scared/worried, etc. Our youngest is 11 weeks and when we started having sex again (about 4 weeks ago), we used KY Jelly. We still use it and just take it easy!



answers from Topeka on

With me after all 3 babies it was months till I regained sexual intercourse with hubby there was noway I was going there for a long time ,literally...IF you do use lots of lube after tearing or episotomies that is highy recommended if not you'll risk tearing again..



answers from New York on

All these women have very good advice, taking your time, setting the mood and using lubrication are great. I would also add that I was told everything was healing well, but I had constant itchiness and burning. I thought I had a yeast infection. I went back to my dr. at 8 weeks and found out that I had a low estrogen level b/c I was breastfeeding. The dr. gave me an estrogen cream which cleared up all the pain and itchiness. In my breastfeeding mothers group, there was another woman who was helped by the same cream. It might be something to look into, whether or not you are breastfeeding. The hormones can be very inconsiderate after birth!



answers from New York on

I had a similar situation and it is very scary to even think of after having a crazy labor. I do agree that you need to make the time for each other but it's also important that you wait until you are ready. If you are nervous you wont be comfortable and that could do more damage. After having a baby with no sleep during that time it is the last thing I was thinking of.



answers from Atlanta on

Yes, you are correct to be scared about that and kudos to the hubby for being so understanding but make sure that he understands S-L-O-W is the key. I remember the first time I had sex after giving birth vaginal to my twin daughters and I had to tell my husband whoa! slow down and he would. I think the biggest key is LUBRICATION make sure you got plenty of it-lol! I think the advice of the doc is good. Get you a really nice bath and some wine and just r-e-l-a-x! If you get it into your mind then the mood can be followed. I know for me a massage always gets me going as well as some oral if you or your hubs are into that kind of thing.....but two major factors here. Slow and lots of lube! LOL! If you are uncomfortable then stop by all means-are you into other ways of pleasing your husband? That could be an option for you until you CAN go through with it but just remember this. When you fall off a horse the best thing to do is get right back on-you can relate that however you would like it ;()p



answers from Bloomington on

I also had a 2nd degree tear and it was quite painful the next time around. What I would suggest is that when you shower or if you take a bath, rub your fingers on the inner wall of your vagina by the tear and slowly in circular motion try to expand the inner wall. it will sting a little like you are ripping a bandaid off, but the hot water will help reduce the pain. Do this everyday for a week or so and hopefully you will see the pain go away during the real deal.

It worked for me.



answers from Spartanburg on

My husband and I didn't have "real sex" for 6 months after our first baby. We were sexual, but I was scared too. What helped me was to take care of myself, get to know my body again, b/c things were different after having a baby and what worked before didn't work anymore. There was some discomfort with the scar tissue from my tear and the only way I got past it was to masturbate. That way there was no pressure from my partner and I could take things as fast or slow as I needed or stop all together.

Wine and lube are a fantastic combination....even if you aren't interested or ready, make time for your hubby. He may just have to settle for more creative ways to have sex right now. GL!

Next question: Delicate Question About Recovery from Childbirth