Having a baby is hard enough. Now you have to be a mother, a wife and a lover. Worried about taking that post-baby body into the bedroom? Here are a few tips to help get you over those fears about having sex after giving birth.
Your body changes a lot after giving birth. And the changes in your shape aren’t the only things that take place. Your whole life has been affected, not to mention the relationship you have with yourself, your partner and what happens in the bedroom.
After having a baby, you often feel exhausted and your hormones are fluctuating, which means your body, emotions and energy levels will be very different from before you gave birth. You may even wonder: “Will I ever jump into bed eagerly again? And how will I feel comfortable again in my body and the bedroom?”
Like everything else in your often-overwhelming new life with a baby, it takes time, patience, and a big dose of self-love. It’s essential that you have your partner on board, too, so he knows what is going on in your world. Open communication goes a long way when building intimacy!
If you’re keen to get back in the bedroom, I have created some tips that will help you regain your confidence.
You don’t always have to have sex to be intimate
There is no point in rushing to the bedroom once the baby is down for its nap. Sex isn’t just intercourse, it involves many different forms of pleasurable activities. Why not curl up on the couch for some cuddles, kissing and touching? Or have an intimate conversation. I suggest talking about something else other than the baby. Maybe talk about something that you appreciate about each other? Or give each other some compliments? You can do this while looking into each other’s eyes and let a sense of anticipation build up. Trust me when I say, intimate moments with built-in anticipation are a huge aphrodisiac! Soon, you will want it to lead to more… well, when you’re ready!
Regain your body confidence
Learn to love your new body! Your body has just performed an incredible feat: delivering a tiny human into the world! I know it’s easier said than done, but try to leave your insecurities out of the bedroom. Your partner will be very happy that you show up and that he gets to connect and be intimate with you again.
Even if you know this and it doesn’t feel enough to help you regain your confidence, taking up some post-natal yoga or pilates will be great for your mind and body. It will also help you to heal and strengthen your pelvic floor, as that part of the body endured a lot over the past nine months and after giving birth. But before you start, wait for your doctor to give you the OK for exercise (and take it slowly), but more importantly – be gentle with yourself. If you want to strengthen your pelvic muscles but you don’t have the energy to exercise, a Yoni Egg could be the answer for. It helps repair damaged nerve endings, strengthens your pelvic muscles and speeds up your body’s recovery after childbirth.
Understanding your pathway to pleasure
Sex is not something we do, it’s a place we go. You could say it’s very similar to mediation. Sex can be a great way to unwind and help you relax, especially if you have been feeling some extra stress after having a baby. There are many different pathways to experiencing pleasure and arousal. Do you fully understand your desires and your pathway to arousal? After having a baby, it’s important to rekindle your passion and it’s an excellent opportunity to dive deeper into your sensuality. Even though a “quickie” can be great at times, it is also vital that you take time to connect with each other and that you take your time to do so. I have created a quiz for you that will help you understand your own erotic language and tell you which Erotic Blueprint you are. Learning how to understand your own desires provides you with compassion and understanding about each other’s sexual needs and turn-ons.
Positions and lubricants
Vaginal dryness is quite common after having a baby due to a drastic drop in oestrogen levels, which tends to be more common in women who breastfeed. Sex is for pleasure (and we don’t want it to be painful), so it’s important to lube up! Using the right lubrication is important, too; you don’t want anything too sticky as it can be quite off-putting. Ideally, look for something that’s natural. One water-based one I like is Yes WB, which can be found at Sally’s Toys (the Sassy Mama team suggests going there for other items as well!). I also make one myself, Yoni Bliss Oil (you cannot use it with condoms, however), that is all-natural and also acts as an aphrodisiac. I also polled the Sassy Mamas and they suggest trying water-based lubricants from Sliquid Organics, or Liquid Silk (one of the Sassy girls raves about it!) or the extremely cheekily named Pjur Back Door (it’s not just for anal sex!).
Take your time, enjoy lots of foreplay, so when the time comes for intercourse you can thoroughly enjoy yourself. Ask your partner to notice your body’s response and to keep teasing you until your body is yearning for him to be inside of you (just sayin’!). When it comes to sex positions, be creative with what feels good. I suggest you start being on top first, so you can control how deep you want to go, or with the spooning position. Again, if it hurts, say something. Trial and error may be needed to find a comfortable position at first. Don’t feel that you have to follow through for your partner’s sake or because you feel guilty that he hasn’t been able to have sex since your baby’s been born.
Being a mother and a lover
You might ask yourself, how can I be a mother, a caretaker, a wife and a lover? Of course your partner is overjoyed to meet his baby and is also in love with you. You probably even both feel that there is a new-found connection between the two of you. But now that you are a mother, you might ask yourself, “How can I be my sensual self, and get my sexy on, but also stay in the role of being a nurturing, caring mother?”
Well, let me set this straight. You deserve to feel good in the bedroom, just as much as you deserve to do all the other things that make you feel good. Your needs are essential, and they are not all mediated through your children. Splash on some perfume, get out your sexy lingerie, it’s time to bring out your sexy inner goddess and let your husband worship you!
There really is no right time frame for you to get back to sex. Each and everyone is different, it can take several weeks, to several months or even longer due to different types of circumstances. Just remember, be kind with yourself.