For many women, sex after childbirth is a taboo topic of discussion. Luckily, Eva Amurri Martino, an actress and new mom herself (oh, and Susan Sarandon's daughter), is opening up about what post-childbirth sex is really like. Amurri Martino runs a lifestyle blog, Happily Eva After, so she's no stranger to discussing motherhood and her personal life. But her essay on sex after childbirth, published in People, is refreshingly candid, especially coming from a public figure. In her essay, Amurri Martino explains that her vagina tore when she gave birth to her daughter, Marlowe, and she needed stitches afterward. After the mandated six weeks of recovery (and abstinence), Amurri Martino writes that she "was totally not ready to hop back in the saddle." "I felt so exhausted, emotionally raw, and my body felt like it was still majorly healing from my birth — the last thing I could think of was sex," Amurri Martino writes in her essay. The actress adds that breastfeeding Marlowe made her feel like she "couldn't handle any more physical contact." But she also worried that she "wasn't living up to the normal expectations of a postpartum wife" by not having sex with her husband after the six-week mark.
In my opinion, having sex for the first time after birthing a baby feels like having sex for the first time ever. It’s awkward, emotional, and extremely painful.
Eva Amurri Martino, People
After nine weeks postpartum, Amurri Martino writes, she had sex with her husband, Kyle — and according to her, the experience was "terrible." "In my opinion, having sex for the first time after birthing a baby feels like having sex for the first time ever," Amurri Martino writes. "It's awkward, emotional, and extremely painful." As her gynecologist explained to her, "your body isn't making any of its own lubrication," which can make postpartum sex more painful. Amurri Martino writes that while she and her husband returned to their normal sex life about a year after their daughter was born, she felt that "the number one thing that would have helped us as a couple transition faster and more easily into our life post-baby was to focus much more on us." She stresses the importance of taking personal time, including redeveloping an active sex life, after childbirth. As for improving post-baby sex, Amurri Martino offers a few tips of her own: Use lube and wine, and bubble baths don't hurt, either. But above all, the actress writes, "Give yourself a break. You created a human. You brought a new and perfect life into the world. You are not how you have sex, or who you have sex with." Amen.