By Guest Blogger :: Naomi Hutchings – Clinical Sexologist
Mumma and soon-to-be Mumma Bears, gather around, this one is for you… Sex after having a baby — what they won’t tell you in your birthing class!
Image credit: Huffington Post
#1 You actually might find yourself really keen to get right back in to the sack. Yes, you read that right, that was not a joke. Despite the horror stories you may have heard, some new parents are really excited to sexually connect again. You might find yourself looking at your partner in a new light. With a new appreciation for their support during the birthing process and seeing them bonding with your child, it can create feelings of connectedness and in turn arousal and desire.
#2 Ok so number one might seem like a crock (it’s not trust me) Instead you may find yourself so bone tired that you literally could not think of anything worse. Bed is for sleeping. Sleep is all you want. Sleep is all you need. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
#3 When you do actually start considering that you might like to try and get it on again you then start worrying obsessively that your lady parts are ruined. Stretched. Scarred. Ugly. Yep I have heard words like these many times. Clients have told me they hate their vulvas and that they are pretty sure they are “a hot mess down there”. Vaginas are actually quite amazing. They are tough (why don’t we say grow a vagina? really, as Betty White once said, “they take a pounding”, literally) They can stretch to accommodate a baby (some say watermelon, meh – baby/watermelon – same/same) BUT they rarely stay that way! Learn to love the uniqueness of your vulva and vagina (if you still have trouble with this go to labialibrary.org.au and check out all the lovely labia photos there)
#4 It feels different. Yep, when you do engage in sexual activity (most people wait for the go ahead from their doctor after an examination and the green light to go for it is usually about 4 – 6 weeks depending on things like post natal bleeding, tearing, Whether there were stitches or not) You’ve also got to think about contraception too (use a condom not the withdrawal method it’s totally unreliable). Sometimes vaginal penetration literally feels different. This is not uncommon. It can also hurt. Yes. It might. But not always. Many women are worried so this can cause anxiety which in turn does not make for good relaxing sexy time. Your partner might even be worried they will hurt you too. Talk about this. Try some different positions. Go slow. Use lube. Lots of lube. Did I mention lube?
#5 Your boobs might leak. Yep. Super sexy hey? Some people actually like this. Others want the ground to swallow them up. Again, Talk. Communicate. Laugh. It’s not going to be like this forever. Use lube. (Breastfeeding can change your usual level of lubrication)
#6 You might find that you are not able to really get “into it”. You may think you want to be sexual but when it happens it seems that all you can think about is the baby. “Babe, did you hear that?” “What’s that noise?” Ok so a few tips here – Turn the monitor off. Or if the baby is in your room – don’t worry, its ok, remember they actually don’t know what you are doing. Make noise if you want. They are babies. They do not know what is happening. If that still freaks you out, go into another room.
#7 Some women loved the changes in their body that come after giving birth. They feel proud and sexy. Other women struggle with the changes, finding their stretch marks and soft round bellies are something they want to hide. If this is you remember it took a whole 9 months for your amazing body to make that baby and it might take even longer to bounce back. It can help to dim the lights, light candles, get some new lingerie (and yep be sure there is room for your breast pads) or even just a new pair of undies. Speak to your partner as you may learn they have a very different view about your body than you do.
Image credit: womenshealthmag.com
Naomi Hutchings is a Clinical Sexologist who has been working in the area of Sexual Health and Relationships Education for over 10 years. She’s is the founder of Adelaide Sexology. She has much experience working and supporting parents around how to approach puberty, sexuality, and other topics. Currently Naomi teaches the Sex and Sexuality Topic at Flinders University, is the Coordinator of Youth Worker Education at Shine SA, works privately at both Attuned Psychology and Pelvic Pain SA, and is the relationships expert for the University of Adelaide’s Health and Relationships website.