One of the biggest complaints from mama’s after welcoming a new baby is an indifference towards establishing a postpartum sex life.
Between meeting the needs of the baby, lack of sleep because of said baby, feeling touched-out, your breasts serving a purpose other than pleasure, pain or numbness from tears, episiotomies, or birth trauma – having a baby can do a number on your sex life making you wonder when or if you’ll ever even want it back.
This issue stems from our lack of attention and treatment to postpartum women in our culture. Sure, we’re told to not exercise or have sex for 6 weeks and to start doing kegels as soon as it feels right – which is good and all but the truth is, we have some serious room for improvement when it comes to postpartum support.
Sadly, it’s the status quo to just deal with your new body and suck it up even if something feels off or not right. No one talks about incontinence, or pain or numbness around the vulva or vagina so the issue is never diagnosed or treated leaving sex the last thing you’re wanting.
But, with the proper knowledge and attention on your self care and pelvic floor health, things can go back to normal and have you feeling like the most energized and sexually satisfied new mama on the block sooner rather than later.
To create a rocking postpartum sex life, here are a few things to consider:
1) Understand that your pelvic bowl is probably way out of alignment and do something about it:
You’ve been growing a baby in your uterus for 9 months and have just passed a 6-10lb baby through your pelvis. This means all of your organs and muscles have gone through a lot of changes and could totally use some gentle manipulation to get things back in alignment and to support your body’s natural healing process.
The first thing you could do is to schedule a belly binding session with a postpartum doula or friend who’s familiar with Bengkung belly binding.
Bengkung belly binding is a traditional Malaysian belly binding method. Essentially it’s a practice of tying a long strip of cloth around the abdomen during the postpartum recovery period to ensure a strong support to your womb after childbirth.
It’s also a great way to help you get back in alignment because it takes advantage of the Relaxin in your body (a hormone that helped your body become looser and more flexible in order to birth your baby) by putting pressure on the hips and pelvis to go back to its pre pregnancy state. It also helps to firm and support the areas that are still loose from pregnancy as the Relaxin reduces in your body. (For a belly binding expert in Lafayette, LA, contact Samantha here).
Another thing you could do to facilitate getting your pelvic bowl re-aligned is to have a chiropractic adjustment and to schedule a Mayan abdominal massage to help get your uterus, pelvic bowl ligaments and sacrum aligned. If you’re not familiar with Maya abdominal massage, check out this post here.
If you’re experiencing pain or numbness around your vulva or inside of your vagina, be sure to request a referral to a pelvic health specialist (usually a physical therapist) from your OB/GYN because pain or numbness is NOT normal nor is it ok to suffer in silence.
Doing everything you can to support your physical body getting back to normal so you don’t have pain in your pelvis or abdomen will have you feeling better and more confident about sex sooner than later.
2) Consider encapsulating your placenta
One of the biggest shocks to your postpartum body is adjusting to pre-pregnancy hormonal levels. By day 4 postpartum, your body will experience a sort of hormonal crash that may leave you feeling exhausted and may take you weeks to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy hormonal levels.
But, placenta encapsulation could help you bounce back sooner. If you think it’s a new fad, think again. It’s actually an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine practice where you ingest the placenta after it’s been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into capsules.
Some of the benefits include increased release of the love hormone, oxytocin, which also helps your uterus return to it’s normal size, increase in corticotropin-releasing hormone – a stress-reducing hormone, decreased chances of developing postpartum depression, restoration of your blood iron levels, increased milk production, and increased energy levels… to name a few.
Reduced stress, balanced hormones, more energy? Heck yeah that sounds sexy! It’s worth a try.
(If you’re in Lafayette, LA, I can do that for you…check it out here).
3) Start a jade egg practice
One of my favorite tools for reestablishing great pelvic floor health as well as to awaken and ignite your sexual energy after having a baby is the jade egg.
The jade egg is actually a small egg-shaped stone that you put up your vagina to help regain strength, feeling, and sensitivity within and around your vaginal muscles.
It’s way better than doing kegels alone because the jade egg activates energy channels in your body and opens you up to pleasure and reconnects you to your sexual and creative power. It does this by massaging reflexology points in your vagina within your pelvic floor and encourages balance, beauty and youth.
The jade egg has been around for thousands of years and it comes from China where ancient Toaist highpriesteses, (who were pretty much spiritual badasses) used the practice to increase their sexual energy and awaken spiritually. It’s like yoga for the vagina.
4) Establish a daily self-care routine
Just as establishing a rhythm and ritual in birth is vital to an effective labor, you need to establish a daily self-care ritual to fuel your own fire and fane your own flame to allow more pleasure into your life.
Yes, you just had a baby but you are still a human being with needs and desires too. So instead of expecting others to meet your needs, (like your partner) and secretly becoming resentful, you need to carve out a good 30 minutes each day to take care of yourself and refuel.
A woman who takes care of herself is radiant, wanting, energized, and turned on, but a woman who doesn’t and puts her needs last is needy, clingy, resentful, and turned off.
Taking care of you is NOT selfish. There’s a reason that flight attendants always tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others: it’s because you must take care of yourself before you can be effective at taking care of others!
How this looks in your daily life will vary depending on what you like. For some, it may mean taking a 30 minute undisturbed, candlelit Epsom salt bath, followed by lathering yourself in coconut oil and your favorite essential oil while your partner takes care of the baby.
For others, it may look like scheduling a mani/pedi appointment or going for a walk with a good friend in your neighborhood for an hour in-between breastfeeding sessions while your partner takes care of the baby.
Whatever it is you like that makes you feel good, it’s YOUR responsibility to make it known to your partner and ask for help and some undisturbed time for self care away from the baby every single day.
This will help you from feeling touched-out or feeling like a human pacifier. So, by all means, make your needs and self-care a priority because you WILL feel more tuned in and turned on if you’re allowing yourself a wee bit of time and space to just take care of you every single day.
5) Get enough sleep
Most new mama’s have no idea how much they’re actually going to be up every night with the baby. That’s why it’s important to understand what getting enough sleep means.
It means that you keep a notepad and pen by your bed and track how long you sleep in between each feeding and you don’t get up or dress yourself for the day until you’ve gotten at least 8 hours total.
If that means you go to bed at 10:00pm but you wake up 3 times to feed the baby and are up for an hour each time, than you don’t get up and dress yourself until 9:00am, not 6:00am.
It probably goes without saying, but being well-rested will have you feeling way more ready to give and receive pleasure than being exhausted. No one feels turned-on and ready to go when they’re exhausted.
6) Shift your focus from sex to connection
Having a rocking postpartum sex life is so much more than just the sex – it’s really about the connection. And having a new baby in the house will cause you to have to get a little more creative about when and how you connect.
It may mean that you spend less time actually having sex and more time sharing your fears, desires and things you love about each other with each other.
Whether it’s intense eye gazing for a prolonged period of time, giving sensual massages, him giving you all the attention without pressure for penetration or you giving him the pleasure without performance pressure – getting creative about ways that you can connect with each other outside of penetration for a few months postpartum could have the two of you feeling more connected and turned-on than ever.
The great thing about shifting your focus from sex to connection is that it will allow the two of you to explore each other in ways that you never have further increasing the connection and chemistry.
It might take some time, but the more you focus on connecting deeply with one another, the sooner you will be ready.
If you’re curious about ways to more deeply connect with your partner, be sure to check out this amazing online masterclass for couples here.
With so much love,
p.s. Not postpartum yet but wanna feel really confident about having a natural birth? Be sure to sign up for my free webinar: 6 Keys to Reclaiming Your Power and Confidence in Birth. Learn what it takes to get confident, empowered and free to give birth on your terms right here on October 17, noon CDT.