1. Many women are terrified to have sex for the first time after delivering a baby - you’re not alone!
Birth can be an amazing thing but for many women it can also be very traumatic to their bodies. Pushing a baby out of your vagina can be very painful and requires recovery time, which is why women are typically told to wait 6 weeks before having intercourse again. The body needs time to heal and recover. For a lot of new moms the idea of inserting something into their vagina after just going through birth is really scary. They don’t know if it’s going to hurt or cause damage in some way. There is also a strong feeling of vulnerability in not knowing what it will be like and on some level there is a fear that it won’t feel good. Just remember that the tissue is delicate and sensitive. Take it slow and use a lot of lubrication to prevent any unnecessary friction. Tell your partner that you are nervous so they can support you and help nurture your recovery as a sexual being.
2. Most women have no desire to have sex again right after delivering a baby
Biology is brilliant. Women give birth and when nursing their babies they produce oxytocin, a hormone that fosters bonding and attachment between mom and baby. This hormone is also released when a woman has an orgasm, which means she is getting all kinds of needs met. On the flip side her other hormones are totally out of a balance and in a process of recalibrating, so all her normal drives are a bit off. In addition, most new moms are not getting enough sleep, not eating regularly, and are emotionally adjusting to having a new being totally dependent every minute of the day and night. It’s exhausting and doesn’t leave much energy to fuel desire for sex. Don’t feel guilty, just know that you are going through an adjustment and things will smooth out as time goes on. Desire requires you to feel relaxed and right now there are a lot factors that generate stress and prevent that relaxation.
3. A lot of women are insecure about their bodies after giving birth
Your body has gone through 9 months of stretching and expanding, so it is going to take some time to get back to how it was before. Be kind to yourself and remember to nurture yourself with rest, hydration, and healthy food. If you find yourself being critical of your body when you are intimate with your partner, pause, close your eyes and instead focus on the sensations you are experiencing. Most husbands are just happy to be getting physical love and don’t care that your body isn’t exactly the same as before.
4. Sex and physical affection are really important to the vitality and connection of your relationship, especially for the new dad.
Adding a baby to your family and going from two to three definitely changes the dynamic of your relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in your new identity as a mother and forget to invest in your relationship and partner. Taking time to give your husband undivided attention is crucial in the longevity of your relationship. Remember, you were a couple before you became a family and that romantic relationship and connection is the foundation of your family.
5. Your vagina is totally different than it was pre-baby
When you give birth, the structure of your vagina changes. Your pelvic floor muscles need to be strengthened and recover. Your labia has stretched and the parts of your pleasure anatomy have moved a bit. It’s important to talk to your partner about this because what felt good pre-baby might not feel good post-baby. The best thing for your sex life is to work together, communicate, and rediscover what feels good.
More about Christina Stein
Christina has a private practice in Santa Monica, California where she works with individuals and couples to reclaim desire and connection with themselves and their partner. Christina also leads workshops, for men, women, and couples to educate, inspire and empower each attendee to reclaim their own desire in love and life and ultimately create greater connection for couples to embrace their relationships with newfound curiosity and commitment. Christina has a Masters degree from Antioch University in Clinical Psychology and PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. (For more info go to www.christinastein.com)