Article courtesy of guest blogger, Emily Graham. Emily is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.
It’s certainly not uncommon for new moms to have anxiety about having sex after the birth of their child. Many women are hit with a variety of concerns they may not have felt prepared to handle: from feeling over-touched, uncomfortable in their postpartum bodies or hesitant due to the potential for pain. Read on for tips on how to work through the issues that can hinder romantic intimacy after the birth of a child.
Breastfeeding and Your Sex Drive
The decision to breastfeed your baby is one factor that can affect your sex drive. According to a recent study, women who breastfed were more likely to delay a return to intercourse than women who did not breastfeed.A woman’s estrogen levels drop after giving birth, while their levels of prolactin and oxytocin rise. The increase of these hormones can have two different effects on your body, each impacting your sex drive by either increasing it or decreasing it. The change in hormones isn’t the only factor when it comes to a reduced sex drive and the challenges of breastfeeding. Most new moms feel drained from the demands of feeding a newborn. Researchers find that moms feel more inclined to resume intimacy once the baby begins sleeping through the night or is on some type of schedule.
Build a Better Body Image
Many women struggle with body image after giving birth. Images of celebrities who bounce back to bikini status fill social media and leave women unfairly judging their own bodies in comparison. If you’re feeling uncomfortable in your body, take steps to begin building a better body image to help you feel as amazing as you truly are. This doesn’t look any one way: for some it may mean putting on makeup, others may opt to wear sexy lingerie and others may decide to get outside and get some exercise. Body image plays an important role in rekindling your intimacy after giving birth. With time and perseverance, you and your body will find the way back to the bedroom for more than sleep.
Finding Time Amidst the Chaos
Changing dirty diapers and washing piles of laundry leave little time for romance. Babies need lots of attention, and caring for them during all hours of the day and night leave parents tired if not exhausted. Once the initial chaos settles down and you begin to develop a daily routine, start carving out small pockets of time for one another. Find creative ways that you can spend time togetherwhile the baby is napping. You may just find that nap time is a great time to rediscover and to reconnect with your partner.
How Soon is Too Soon?
Most medical professionals recommend waiting 4-6 weeks after a vaginal or cesarean birth before having sex. After 9 months of reduced sexual activity, the waiting is often unbearable either for you, your partner, or both. Your body needs time to heal, and doctors warn that having sex too soon can cause a postpartum hemorrhage or a uterine infection. Allow your body time to recover from bleeding, tears and any complications you experienced while giving birth. Make sure you are ready for sex by discussing it with your doctor. Find alternative ways to please one another until you receive the green light for resuming intercourse.
The birth of a child is a life-changing event for you, your partner, and your body. Adjusting to a baby in your home turns your schedule upside down and leaves little time for self-indulgence. As your body heals from the birth experience, keep the communication lines with your partner open. Sharing how you feel as you both adapt to the multiple changes can prevent misunderstandings and ease tension. There’s no one rule when it comes to resuming sex after giving birth. Listen to your body, communicate with your partner, and find creative ways to celebrate your love. Within time, sex will once again become a natural and pleasing event in your relationship.