Struggling with sexual confidence?
When you’re a new mother, getting intimate and having sex with your partner again after birth can be challenging, especially in the first few months.
For you, this loss of interest in sexual intercourse could be due to various factors like sleep deprivation, fatigue, or the dramatic hormonal changes that occur right after giving birth.
But it can also be due to psychological factors, driven by fear of infection or injury, the trauma of childbirth if you had a difficult labor or a more straightforward loss of confidence due to the physical changes in your body.
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But the critical thing to remember is that it’s pretty normal to experience a lull in sexual desire after giving birth. Don’t lose (even more) sleep over it. If it’s still early days for you, give it time, and things should naturally get back on track in time. Patience is key – for you and your partner.
However, if your sex drive remains drastically lower than it was before childbirth for a long time, in that case, we recommend you seek professional help.
In our experience, many women expect that their sex drive will be lower after the birth of their child, but they expect it to be a temporary phase that passes quickly once their body heals. While in some women, this revived interest in sex occurs within four to twelve weeks of childbirth, it may take longer in some women.
Interestingly, if you choose to breastfeed your baby, this can paradoxically increase your libido due to the release of the hormone oxytocin: the “love drug,” which can make you feel even more connected and attracted to your partner.
The hormone oxytocin is released in women during sexual stimulation, delivering a baby, and breastfeeding. This increase in the hormone oxytocin can increase libido in some women, but this phenomenon doesn’t always happen – so don’t worry if breastfeeding hasn’t had that effect on you.
One of the most common questions we hear from women who come to the Nancy Branberg PT clinic ask after their delivery and healing is “…if and when will I get my regular sex drive back?”
The constant worrying about whether it will return – combined with the additional demands of taking care of your newborn baby – can be highly stressful. In addition, many of the women we see tend to worry about the changes in their bodies because of the pregnancy and subsequent childbirth.
These changes include stretch marks, baggy skin, and curves in places that didn’t exist before. But the truth is that although there are noticeable physical changes that come with motherhood, they should not in any way dimmish having satisfying post-partum sex with your partner when you’re ready.
Physical Changes After Pregnancy and Childbirth
One of the more common concerns we hear from women about the physical changes after pregnancy and childbirth is whether the vagina will regain its original shape and how their partner will react to their new post-partum vagina. Unfortunately, these typical concerns are more psychological than physical changes to concern yourself with.
If you have a natural delivery, you will experience stretching in the vagina, which is normal and part of the natural childbirth process. However, the good news is that the vagina is elastic and, over time, will generally return to its original size and shape (in most cases).
In time, most women do not feel that different sexually after the recovery process. In fact, sex could turn out to be even better than it was before – because changes to the direction of your vagina could result in G-spot stimulation during intercourse.
But if you’re one of the unlucky ones who have persistent pain during sex or urinary stress incontinence, we urge you to book an appointment to come and see us. Also, in the case of vaginal dryness after giving birth, you may like to try vaginal lubricants to help you resume a normal, pain-free sex life.
How To Reinvigorate Your Sex Life After Childbirth
The most important thing to remember if you’ve just given birth is to take your time. Do not rush it. If you have a husband or partner worth keeping, they’ll understand and wait until you’re mentally and physically ready.
You should always ask yourself, do you want and feel the desire to have sex naturally, or are you just feeling the pressure to do so because of your partner’s needs? If your answer is the latter – and you’re just trying to keep your partner happy, you need to hold on a little longer and let things take their natural course. First, try to tune in to your internal sex drive before continuing sex with your partner after pregnancy. Then once you are confident and sure that you want to get back into your sexual groove, try the following:
- Take time out for yourself: When you become a mother for the first time, it’s essential to learn to take some regular “Me Time” for yourself. Spending time alone can help you tune in to your thoughts and emotions – without distractions. You can take this time when your partner takes care of the baby or when your baby is napping. Choose something you enjoy doing – like taking a hot bath or shower to gather your thoughts and relax in silence, undisturbed in the bathroom.
- Try something sexy: From shopping for sexy lingerie, getting a relaxing massage, or spa therapy, do things that you would usually have done and made you feel sexy before you had a baby. Get your partner, friend, or relative to babysit while you take some valuable time out to get pampered. Even the simple act of doing these regular activities can be enough to reignite the underlying passion within you that has been dormant because of your maternal responsibilities and the monumental event your body has endured.
- Take pride in your body: After giving birth, it’s important to not only learn to accept your post-partum body but to love and admire it for the marvel of creating a brand-new human life. For example, wear your stretch marks with pride to symbolize the resilience and strength that only a female body can accomplish. Most of them will reduce and fade away with time anyway, but those that remain you should celebrate as “tiger stripes” that you earned the right to show off. Also, focus on the body parts that you are proud of instead of focusing on the ones you feel are less attractive. The likelihood is that your partner loves every piece of you – especially the parts that symbolize the birth of their child. But even these parts will return to close to normal over time, so be patient and focus on the parts of your body that you feel most confident about. You could also consider taking up a new physical activity like dancing or Pilates to get back in shape and help you feel even more confident again.
- Learn to love your body: Celebrate the beauty of your female body and explore it independently without any pressure from your partner. One of the easiest and most pleasurable ways to love your body is self-masturbation. It is a practical way to get in touch with your post-partum body’s erogenous zones and ways to stimulate them for the ultimate sexual pleasure. Plus, even if you’re not ready for sex with your partner, having orgasms is physically and emotionally relaxing and is a great way to relieve new motherhood stress. Orgasms make us feel sexy and help improve the tone of our pelvic floor muscles to prevent problems with urinary stress incontinence or pelvic organ prolapses. Try self-stimulation to achieve orgasm, or try one of the many different types of vibrators that are available to purchase online. This self-exploration allows you to try “penetration” after childbirth at a speed and depth that you are comfortable with – before inviting your partner to join the party when you’re ready.
The Second Leg Of The Journey
After you have completed your exploration of your post-pregnancy body, you can include your partner on the second leg of the journey.
In a relationship, sexual satisfaction isn’t a solo trip but a mutual experience for couples to enjoy together.
When you’re ready, use your natural senses: touch, sight, and intimacy to strengthen your mental and physical bond with each other. Just remember to take it slow and find ways to ensure that both partners experience as much pleasure as possible in your post-partum sex life.
Post-partum sex can be much more exciting and intimate physically, with childbirth enhancing the ways a woman can achieve orgasms.
Learning to accept and adjust to the physical changes of the female body can help you rediscover a whole new sexier side of being a woman now you’re a mother.
Would you like to talk more about this? Get in touch with me through my contact page.
Don’t feel embarassed or shy about reaching out for help. That’s what I’m here for!