Sex After Kids: Birth Destroyed My Body and My Sex Life


If you Google the phrase, “Sex after kids,” a quick scroll down the page reveals a list of articles and blog posts entitled, “Is there sex after kids?” “Sexless marriage,” “How to maintain your sex life after having children,” and “5 ways to protect your sex life from your kids.”

Nowhere on this page do I see anything entitled, “How to enjoy sex with your husband after your body has been destroyed.” Now, that’s an article I’d read.

I had a hard pregnancy and a hard labor. I was induced for preeclampsia, and it was a long and uncomfortable wait for our baby to arrive. While I had heard about how painful labor was, I couldn’t understand it until I was actually in it, living it. The pain, at times, took my breath away. I had some brief relief after having an epidural, but the pain returned, bigger and stronger than I could have ever imagined.

labor, delivery, sex life, sex after kids
The pain of labor was nothing like I could have ever imagined.

When it came time to push, I remember telling the delivery nurse that I couldn’t do it anymore. With her support and that of my husband, I stayed in the moment, and after what seemed like an eternity, our little baby was in my arms. Just as I was thinking about how incredible and surreal it was to finally be a mom, I caught a glimpse of my husband’s face. His face had gone white; I could tell things weren’t right, and I knew if he was scared, that meant I should be, too.

After more anesthesia and an emergency procedure, things were less scary, but damage had been done. I had tearing and stitches in places very few people have seen, and I knew many things (including my sex life with my husband) would never be the same.

sex life, labor, delivery, sex after kids, baby
I wouldn’t trade our child for the world. There’s no denying, though, that delivering our sweet baby did serious damage to my body.

I remember getting out of the car after coming home from the hospital with our baby, feeling absolutely physically destroyed. I couldn’t go up or down the stairs in our own house, and I needed help to do everything.

I should mention, too, that I had begun breastfeeding while in the hospital, and by the time we left, I felt like more people had seen and/or touched my body than I could count.

Even though we were finally alone at home again, I didn’t feel like my body was mine anymore.

Although I loved breastfeeding our child and would have gladly done it for much longer, my hormones made me feel about as sexual as an unsalted saltine cracker.

I think that, at this point, my husband understood very well that my role at this point was mom first and wife second. He was wonderfully supportive of my breastfeeding our child, and to me, and that was more loving and intimate than sex could have been for me then.

sex life, sex after kids, delivery, baby, breastfeeding, nursing mom
When we came home from the hospital, everything changed. I went from being a woman to a mom, someone whose sole purpose in life was to keep a little person alive.

We followed my OB’s instructions and didn’t attempt sex until 6 weeks postpartum. It was… terrible. Like, bad. Awful. Insanely painful and uncomfortable beyond belief. I may have cried. I know my husband felt terribly guilty.

I shared this experience with my OB and she recommended pelvic floor rehab, which for me, made all the difference in my recovery. My doctor helped me navigate being a mom and feeling like myself again; it was a long and slow process. Eventually, I could laugh or cough without peeing my pants every time – ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

But, even with less pain, our sex life didn’t go back to normal.

Of course, we both knew going into parenthood that our relationship would change after a baby; we knew we’d have less free time and less time to be alone together. We quickly learned that we had to take advantage of opportunities to be intimate at a moment’s notice, and I quickly learned that my body couldn’t really handle that anymore. My doctor had recommended getting a little “assistance” in the form of lubricant, and this was helpful in some ways. Having sex, however, no longer commanded my full attention.

Instead of enjoying myself, I thought about breastfeeding, about if I had nursed our baby enough, and how long I had until I would need to nurse again. I thought about dinner, about my next snack, and about how thirsty I was. I’ve never been more thirsty in my life than when I was breastfeeding. I’m sure my husband could tell he didn’t have my full attention.

Even now, when our baby isn’t a baby anymore, our sex life isn’t great. Although stopping nursing gave me a definite boost in my sex drive, I find myself thinking about the fact that intercourse still doesn’t really feel good to me. I have scar tissue which hurts from time to time.

sex life, sex after kids, bed
Our bed has gone from a place of relaxation and intimacy to one of discomfort and anxiety for me.

The worst part about this, in terms of my marriage, is that I think my husband often interprets my discomfort with physical intimacy as a lack of interest in him. The truth is, that I’m most definitely interested in having sex, but my body doesn’t respond the way it used to. I find myself being less adventurous and more reserved, and I think that my husband probably finds me less attractive because of this. He hasn’t kissed me, really kissed me, in a really long time.



  1. I’ve been working on my pelvic floor (I got 3 wonderful kids, the last one weighed 9 pounds) but I felt it wasn’t enough, so I came across myotaut vagina tightening serum & let me tell you it really works! I waited more than 10 mins & it was wonderful 😉


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