Sex, oh Baby!
Sex! The 3-letter word that can be pleasurable or painful in any relationship. How? Pleasurable when everything is in the right place including being in the mood and painful when become a mom and just birthed a baby. Yes, it’s a love and hate relationship. Well, as beautiful as sex is, it is not completely satisfying as you may think; especially for the new mom during the early weeks after delivery. It is recommended by the Dr. to wait at least 6-weeks postpartum before resuming sex if there were no complications during delivery. This is advised for a few reasons such as allowing the vaginal walls heal before adding pressure from intercourse, which could lead to vaginal hemorrhage or tears and even infection.
So, how is sex postpartum? Well, it varies from mama to so mama. Some have no issues returning to sex after baby while others may hit some roadblocks. Some common issues that happen after delivery include:
Vaginal dryness, soreness, perineal tear, low libido, extreme fatigue, pain and loose vaginal muscles. Let’s face it, your body has gone through a significant shift from the time you fell pregnant till the time baby arrived. This upheaval of hormones has thrown off a few things and caused a lot of imbalance in the body, which in turn affects intercourse thereafter.
Below are some great tips for enjoying sex after baby.
- Take it slow: it was a long process growing a baby so you almost have to re-learn how to have sex again. If you’re not ready, don’t force it. Go with the flow and start slow. You can try intimate activities like cuddling and massages. You will get there. Don’t worry.
- Get that pelvic floor active: as a certified pre/postnatal fitness specialist, I am very passionate about strengthening the pelvic floor, which houses the vagina, bladder and rectum. The weak muscles holding up these organs need time to heal after delivery and can only do so with repeated pelvic floor exercises such as core breathing, kegels, pelvic tilts (to mention a few).
- Create the time: set aside time for sex and be intentional about it. I know it may seem overwhelming trying to have sexy time with a new baby crying non-stop or needing to feed on-demand, however, planning can go a long way. Have a close friend or family member watch baby while you and your partner have some alone time.
- Involve foreplay: your vagina has gone through a lot in birthing a baby, so it is understandable if you don’t want to rock the boat too soon. Instead, arouse the vagina naturally allowing it to produce its own lubrication. If you’re breastfeeding, you are more than likely going to have a lot of dryness down there due to drop in estrogen levels so relax and let the body do what it was naturally made to do. You can also have your partner touch you in areas that will stimulate you both. Remember, sex doesn’t have to be full penetration.
- Have the talk: chat with your partner and be honest. If you’re not feeling it or ready, just be open and have that talk. Tell your partner what you’re ready to do and what you’re not comfortable with as you slowly heal. Sex should be pleasurable and not a chore so if you are not ready, don’t force it.
- Eat well: ensure to consume foods high in protein that will give you energy and make you feel good. Also stay as hydrated as much as possible especially if you’re breastfeeding. Eating the right foods and getting enough rests helps provide the energy needed to get busy in the bedroom.
If you’re worried about resuming sex after baby, talk to your health practitioner on ways to gradually get you back in the zone. There’s nothing to hide or be shameful of. It is normal to doubt and worry if you are up for it, but the most important thing is being open-minded and gradually easing yourself back. Good luck.