You just had a baby. Let's be real. Your body does not snap right back to normal.
Regardless of how 'perfect', or not so perfect, your birth experience was, it is undeniable that your body has had an extraordinary and perhaps traumatic experience.
Now that you are no longer "with child," you may be feeling eager to hop into bed with your partner and share a hot and sexy experience.
But suddenly it sinks in... Your body loudly telling you, "NO, NO, NO!"
On top of (No pun intended) the symptoms associated with recovering from childbirth, you might even be feeling self conscious about your new body.
Physical Pain + Self Scrutiny = Bad Sex, Bad feelings and sometimes... RESENTMENT!
So lets talk about how to get your head and your body back in the game
It starts with 2 simple words...
Let's start with relaxation.
Ask your partner to take a turn with the baby for a little bit while you take a warm bath, light some candles and allow yourself to unwind. The combination of the soothing water and candlelight will provide warmth and aroma. If you allow yourself this simple pleasure, this will help you loosen up both physically and mentally so that you may begin to consider sharing yourself with your partner again.
Here are some products that can amplify your relaxing experience.
The Rhythm Within is a 2 CD set designed for creating peaceful relaxation allowing you to connect with your natural rhythm. This music was built to mimic the resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute and bring you back to your most restful self. You can listen to a sample of The Rhythm Within before you purchase to get a taste of what you are in for.
Chamomile is most commonly used to aid in stomach pain and help with sleep; one of the deepest forms of relaxation. This Deep Steep Bubble Bath features Chamomile and Lavender. Researchers have revealed that the lavender essential oil can be useful for treating anxiety and other mental disorders. Pour a generous amount into the bath as you fill the tub with warm water. Sink. Soak. Rinse. Relax.
The combination of Lavender and a geranium bud is sure to lead you to relaxation, comfort and calmness. This geranium lavender candle is made with natural soy based wax and oil-based fragrances.
Taking some time for yourself might open you up to communicating with your partner about your fears which can ease your concerns. It could also open you up to inviting your partner to hop in the tub with you... which doesn't sound so bad either! Either way, relaxation leads to good things. Try it.
Some common fears associated with sex after child birth often stem from the fear of "damage" to the vagina during birth and physical discomfort during sex. If you had a cesarean birth, the thoughts of damage to your vagina aren't as prevalent but healing from a c-section takes an ample amount of time too and the anxiety associated with physical pain is still lingering in your mind.
Positioning and pressure is key when getting back to it after you have healed. Once your doctor has given you the "go ahead," don't be afraid to try out some new moves with your partner. This might sound extremely intimidating given all of the concerns that may be flooding your mind, but the combination of good positioning and the right amount of lubrication can take you to a whole new place! Another thing to ease your mind: After a 6 week "dry spell," your partner isn't exactly running a marathon so you'll likely be getting back into it a little bit at a time. lol!
Here are a few different lubricating products to consider investing in, prior to your first postpartum sexual experience.
Good ole, K-Y Jelly never fails. It is by far one of the most popular brands for sexual lubricants. A warming lubricant can further assist in relaxing your perineum, making your sexual experience a little less tense. This brand is very easily accessible and can be purchased at most pharmacies.
A water based, fragrance free, organic lubricant may be better for women who have a higher sensitivity level. Fragrances may be irritating to the vagina and may cause infection. When it comes to your lady parts, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Yes® is the only certified organic range of lubricants on the planet! YES® lubricants are free from harmful synthetic chemicals. This means that you can be worry free about what is coming in contact with your most sensitive bits.
Your medical provider will likely advise you to wait 6 weeks post birth before allowing anything to enter your vagina. Waiting this length of time ensures that your body has had time to heal and the risk of infection is no longer an issue.
This is a typical recovery period for both vaginal and cesarean births.
Your 6week postpartum visit typically includes a cervical exam to be certain that the cervix (the opening of the uterus) has closed and that you are no longer susceptible to uterine infection.
Sex should be relaxing, enjoyable and not painful.
Northeast Doulas advises that you contact your provider if you are experiencing pain during intercourse.
Most importantly remember that you are still you, just a better version of yourself than before, and remeber to openly communicate with your partner so that they may be supportive of you getting back on your... ahem... back!