How I Embraced Imperfection and Reclaimed My Sex Life Postpartum

Everything changes after baby—including your sex life. One mother shares how she found her way back to intimacy with her body and her partner.
how your sex life changes postpartum

Pregnancy and its aftermath are a wild ride—one that no amount of advice or prenatal classes can truly prepare you for. Both physically and mentally, the changes are profound. I thought I had it all figured out, especially on the physical front, but boy, was I in for a surprise. 

First off, my shoe size grew a full size—not a catastrophe, but my identity as a size 5.5 was forever altered. My rib cage decided to expand permanently, leading to a whole new bra size. 

And let’s not even get started on the fact that when my hips widened, my butt did a disappearing act—cut to googling how to do squats on WikiHow more times than I’d like to admit. 

My stomach? It’s like I’m hosting a stranger’s belly, how did my belly button completely move around like that? Acne scars have made themselves at home on my face and back, and my once-curly hair now laughs in the face of Florida humidity.   

Looking in the mirror, I could recognize my face, but it lacked the familiarity and resonance of “me.”

Feeling out of sync in your own skin is a tricky place to be. Navigating the world while feeling disconnected from my physical self, became an emotional journey. 

I wish I had my old body back, the one I knew, and grew to love despite its act of rebellion against societal standards. I mean, we had a rhythm, you know? I want the body I had when my husband and I vowed our love for each other. 

But now, if I don’t like what’s staring back at me in the mirror, “Oh my God, what’s he thinking?”  

Sure, it wreaked havoc on my confidence, but the real casualty was my sex life. I have struggled with imposter syndrome in the office for years, but now I have to deal with it in the bedroom too. What it boiled down to was I never was in the mood—who would be when you look and feel like this? 

My husband’s appetite? Unwavering. Mine? Non-existent. 

My spouse wasn’t subtle when it came to initiating some lovey-dovey time. The look in his eyes spilled the beans, and so did the bold, bare naked stroll toward me. But my body would tense up, and my brain would start playing the excuse game. I’d turn emotional, irrational, and downright mean.  

On the rare occasions I gave in, catching a glimpse of my stomach made me queasy. Don’t even suggest getting on top; I’d vomit at the sight of myself.

Sex became a chore, uncomfortable, and downright joyless. I hated it.

Sex. Can you believe it? One of life’s great pleasures, and I was struggling to find the joy in it.  

Thankfully, my husband was like a zen master of patience. He’d try to talk about it, and I’d be there, building walls around the topic. But one day, I decided to drop the act and be vulnerable.

I told him everything, and he listened.

We didn’t try to solve my broken sex drive; we just had a moment of communication and understanding. And let me tell you, that felt way better than hiding, so I stuck with it.  

I asked my husband to be more intimate in other ways throughout the day, we flirted more and shared more kisses and cuddles. Sometimes we even planned IT out—not the most romantic, but it helped me prepare mentally.  

I had two transformative moments that marked my ongoing journey to overcoming my new aversion to sex.   

The initial breakthrough involved a spontaneous and unconventional decision: I decided to embark on a personal boudoir photoshoot as a gift for my husband. I was feeling about as sexy as a potato, but I decided to dive in, throw on some outfits, and strike a pose. 

And guess what? 

Somewhere between awkward angles and not-so-flawless shots, I stumbled upon some confidence.

It turns out, you can radiate sensuality even if you’re convinced your imperfections are stealing the show. It was like a lightbulb moment in my journey of self-love – sexuality can’t be dimmed.   

The second pivotal moment was one day, during intercourse when my spouse asked me to get on top, instead of my usual response, I said “Ok but I don’t feel comfortable up here and I don’t like it.”

I let myself fumble around, it wasn’t perfect, but it was fun. It reminded me of how sex was when I first tried it—spastic and messy, but so much fun. I didn’t need to be a pro; I was just learning. 

On that day, I tapped into that mentality—I may not look or feel perfect, but this is supposed to be fun, so who cares?

And for the first time in a long time, I did have fun.   

I’m still on this healing journey, no expert here, but I hope by sharing my experience, other women facing the same struggles can find some comfort.

You’re not alone, and most importantly, you’re not broken.

If your story is anything like mine, I’d urge you to:   

Be vulnerable.   

Communicate with your partner.   

Ask for support in various ways.   

Step out of your comfort zone; try something new.   

Be playful and stop trying to make it perfect.   

And, most importantly, love yourself.  

My journey truly started the moment I ditched the worn-out idea of going back to the good ol’ days and instead declared that I was crafting a brand new narrative. Mae West once said “Sex is emotion in motion” and I’ve come to realize that I possess more power over my sexuality than I initially believed. It’s an innate part of who I am, something I always own, and nobody can just give it to me or take it away.  

So cheers to embracing the postpartum ride. Because, in the end, my messy journey has taught me that sex, like life, is a beautiful mess that becomes infinitely more enjoyable when you toss aside the script and dance to your own imperfectly perfect rhythm.  


  • Kayla David

    Kayla David, an HR professional by day and a creative dabbler by night. She is the mother of two living angels and finds her inspiration in a multitude of artistic pursuits. From crafting melodies on her ukulele to sewing her kids' Halloween costumes, her heart lies in all forms of art. Her writing is driven by the passion for sharing her stories with others, creating a sense of community through shared experiences and vulnerability.

Share the Post:

Related Posts