In today’s modern society so many of us are still not comfortable talking about sex. This is one of the many reasons I opened my therapeutic practice here in New York City – to be that confidential ear you need when you find it difficult to talk to members of your regular support group.
And let’s face it, as you have just experienced…everything changes after you bring a new baby into your family. There are many wonderful changes in bringing forth life, but in the case of you and your significant other…well, the time you have to spend together an that intimacy you shared now needs to be scheduled and possibly thought of in a very different way.
Timing: Usually after birth, a woman will need to wait approximately 6-8 weeks before resuming intercourse. This allows your body to heal (based on how you delivered). This timing can be frustrating or viewed as a gift – but if both parties do not view it in the same way, that can be a problem.
Accepting your body: After birth you may have a few extra pounds sticking around or notice your skin did not bounce back the way you were hoping. You might feel embarrassed with your shape and size. Your feelings and reaction to your body are normal. You are going through a period where you do not feel sexy, and certainly do not want to get naked. I understand. It is important that you accept the current state of your body and work with your partner so he/she is understanding about your feelings. But this isn’t always easy. Together we can work through a plan so you can begin to acknowledge and even discuss the issues.
Accept that you are riding the hormonal wave: Just as when your body was going through the first three months of pregnancy, it is experiencing a tremendous hormonal shift. This can lead to a variety of feelings and symptoms. You may be more emotional (also from exhaustion) and seem mad at your partner (for nothing). Everything may be overwhelming. Your body may be more sensitive or you may be experiencing dryness for the first time. This is all extremely normal.
Get in the Mood: You both may want to jump into bed but find that it all isn’t working quite the same. You may need more time to warm up and this could include a date night out, bath for two, or just sharing a glass of wine.
You just gave birth, bringing forth life into the hustle and bustle of our amazing city. And throughout that process your body and your pscyhe went through a rapid transformation. Enjoy the afterglow of the expansion of your new family, let your partner know when you need a nap due to exhaustion, and then talk about the issues of re-starting your physical relationship.
Most importantly, if you are struggling with getting starting having sex after giving birth, know that you have welcome space with me to discuss your feelings. We will work together to sort through your feelings and can even work with your significant other to move forward and build a stronger relationship now that you are parents.