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Your Guide To Masturbation After Giving Birth

Postpartum pleasure may not be an oxymoron after all.

by Irina Gonzalez
Originally Published: 

Waiting to have sex after giving birth can be hard for some couples. Although you're likely busy taking care of your newborn, your body is also recovering and possibly beginning to crave physical contact and a little ‘me’ time. Meanwhile, your doctor insists that you wait a full six weeks after giving birth before you engage in any kind of intercourse with a partner. But does that mean that all sex has to be off the table? It makes sense that inserting anything into your vagina might not be a great idea postpartum, but masturbation after giving birth feels like an option that’s still on the table. But is it?

How soon can you masturbate after a giving birth?

Moms should take things gradually when reconnecting with their own bodies after giving birth says certified sex therapist and couple therapy expert Ashley Grinonneau-Denton. She advises that, depending on your infant’s sleep, cuddling, and breastfeeding schedule, moms can start out with taking a bubble bath or getting a massage from their partners. “There is no physiological need to abstain from stimulating the clitoris,” she tells Romper. “My recommendation to new moms is to take the first opportunity that they feel inclined to do so.”

The thing to keep in mind, she clarifies, is that there are two kinds of masturbation: external masturbation, such as clitoral stimulation, and internal masturbation, such as inserting something into your vagina. For postpartum masturbation shortly after giving birth, external masturbation is best, as inserting anything into the vagina could be painful, uncomfortable, and cause complications.

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How giving birth may impact your sex life

If you start to masturbate and find you aren’t feeling it, or just aren’t in the mood to begin with, don’t panic. You may have a decreased libido due to breastfeeding and natural postpartum hormones. Secondly, if you have an orgasm, it may cause you to lactate or have an increase in postpartum bleeding. You may also find that it’s harder than usual to have an orgasm. Third, you have have less natural lubrication than you're used to because of postpartum hormones, so be sure to use a lubricant during masturbation as needed. Last but not least, your orgasms may be more intense or occasionally painful after giving birth. If you are at all concerned, talk with your doctor or health care provider.

If your body is feeling comfortable and you are adequately healed postpartum, it may just be time for you to engage in postpartum masturbation. Stick with clitoral simulation only and don't be afraid to ask your partner for a helping hand. In fact, Grinonneau-Denton says that partner observed or included masturbation may be a great way to reconnect with your lover, improve your mood, and “allow an opportunity to become more attuned with one's body.”


Ashley Grinonneau-Denton , certified sex therapist and couples therapy expert

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