There is no denying that those first precious months after your new bundle comes home are some of the sweetest and most magical of your entire life. From the way, their little heads smell as they nuzzle up against you to the sweet, excited feeling you get when they flash you that first smile, this time in your life is both remarkable and beautiful. One thing it likely isn’t, though, is sexy. In fact, sex after pregnancy can feel like an impossible achievement.
Changing diapers, all-day cry-a-thons (from both you and baby), and milk stains on your shirt are part of the territory. So are raging hormones, bathroom difficulties, and lingering pain… not to mention, of course, that you’re also exhausted.
Sex After Pregnancy, the odds are that hopping back in the sack with your partner is the last thing on your mind, but it won’t always be. So let’s jump ahead of the curve and talk now about what is to be expected when the mood does inevitably strike again.
You’re Not “Supposed” to Want It
What you are feeling right now is normal and it is Mother Nature working some of her best magic. Especially in breastfeeding moms, there are chemical changes taking place within you that keep your libido low right now.
Nursing, for example, releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone designed to trigger great feelings of love and affection. It is how your body is bonding you to your baby. It also keeps your sex drive low as a way of discouraging you from having another baby too soon.
Feelings of Loneliness are Normal
Feelings of being cut adrift from your old life are normal right now. You’re in a whole new world. You might even find that you’re not connecting with your partner the same way you used to. While this is sometimes a symptom of postpartum depression, it is also pretty normal.
Talking to your partner, your friends, and even just a pet can help you feel better and process these emotions in a healthier way. Whatever you do, do not hold them in or harbor feelings of resentment. Is dad not getting up often enough at night? Are you unhappy with the way your mother swaddles the baby? Say it. Make your feelings known. Feeling confident in yourself and standing firm on what you need from those around you is an important first step in getting back into the mood for sex after pregnancy.
Quality Always Beats Quantity
You don’t have time anymore, and we all know it. Teasing throughout the day as foreplay just to take ten minutes together in the sanctuary of the laundry room later on is completely fine- and can even be more thrilling than a full day in bed!
Surprising one another with sexy text messages, playful jokes, and light touches throughout the day as you build up to a heated moment in a private location not only makes sex more fun, but it can turn a whole frustrating day back around!
Timing Is Everything
When do you and your partner usually experience the most sex? In the mornings before showering for work? Bedtime? If you find that you’re drifting apart physically, re-assess your usual “sex clock.” Is this a feasible time for you to connect and have sex after pregnancy?
If your lazy extra hour in bed in the morning has become a rush to soothe a crying infant, or if bedtime is no longer a set time anymore, you might need to look at other options. Many parents find that getting their kids on a regular nap schedule opens up a more predictable timeframe to spend with one another.
It’s Probably Going to Be Bad at First
Right now, your estrogen levels are at an all-time low. They drop to make way for that oxytocin we talked about earlier.
This is bad news for your vagina. Estrogen is the hormone that your body uses to add elasticity to your vaginal tissues and also affects your ability to self-lubricate. Combine this with the full workout you just put your love muscle through, and you’re bound to experience some pain and difficulty in the first few months.
Invest in a good water-based lubricant before you give it a try. Look for one that doesn’t have glycerin, which is a sugar and can be irritating to a sensitive vagina. It will make a world of difference!
Kegels Are Key
Even if you’ve had a C-section, the hormones you experience during pregnancy will widen your pelvic rim. This means that, following babies, you’re going to notice things aren’t as tight as they used to be. This can make sex after pregnancy feel awkward or embarrassing.
The good news is that Kegels are an easy exercise you can do in secret. And if Kegels aren’t comfortable, you can always look into Pilates or another exercise regimen that focuses on your core. As the trunk of you tightens, so will the floor of your pelvis.
It Might Be the Best Sex of Your Life
A lot of women find that sex after having children is even more enjoyable than it was in their child-free years. Some experts think this is because our bodies are flooded with new sensations during pregnancy and childbirth, and certain parts of it are awakened to new feelings and potential for pleasure.
Another thing to note is that once a new mother has experienced the remarkable things her body is capable of, she becomes more apt to appreciate its full power: especially in the bedroom.
There’s always help when you need it, maintaining healthy and enjoyable sex after pregnancy can be difficult, especially in situations where your partner may not fully understand. Getting some help from an outside perspective can help mediate these differences in understanding and help you work together to find a suitable plan for sexual satisfaction.
This is where a sex coach like Dr. Stacy Friedman can be especially beneficial. There is no shame in reaching out for guidance or help in determining a path forward to a better sense of intimacy after adding to the family.
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