Sex After Baby: Pleasure yourself first
Returning to sex after baby is as unique as each birth experience itself and an area women and men need to be educated on during the prenatal period. Let’s be honest, right after baby is born there are a million new things to navigate, so making sex after baby part of the prenatal conversation removes a pressure, adding pleasure to the unknown.
Statistics tell us that 62 to 83% of women experience dyspareunia (pain during intercourse) or sexual dysfunction in the first three months postpartum and 31% at the six month mark, yet only 15% report talking to a healthcare professional about their dysfunction (1,2). Furthermore, there is a higher correlation of no return to intercourse at the 6 month postpartum mark in breastfeeding women or those experiencing postpartum depression (3).
In BIRTHFIT Core and Pelvic Floor consults with women around the globe, one of the most frequently recommended steps to healing is self exploration. The early postpartum period is the ultimate time to relearn your body and develop a deep trust and confidence as a woman and mother. Motherhood and sexuality are not separate but beautifully intertwined.
Whether you are currently pregnant, newly postpartum, or years postpartum seeking information on sex after baby, use the following steps to begin an internal dialogue and conversation with your partner.
1) GET TO KNOW YOURSELF
Get a mirror special to you. Use this mirror to actually look at your vulva. While looking in the mirror touch the outside and inside of your vagina with your opposite hand. Notice any areas of discomfort or pleasure. If you have already given birth notice any area of scar tissue.
2) SCAR TISSUE HEALING
If you had tearing or an episiotomy, it is important that you receive the proper support in healing your scar tissue. Soft tissue treatment directly on and around scar tissue can prevent long term adhesions and pain or other chronic issue. (This is also necessary if you have had a c-section, as scar tissue in the lower abdomen can directly impact the pelvic floor.) Start by scheduling an appointment with a pelvic health PT trained in internal care. In the meantime, use coconut, jojoba, or emu oil on the scar site and begin with perineal massage and soft friction or skin rolling.
It is important to find self pleasure and feel comfortable with yourself before trusting another human with the same level of intimacy. The recent blog, Female Masturbation by BIRTHFIT founder and CEO, Lindsey Mathews, is a MUST READ in starting this journey.
Talk to your partner openly about expectations, fears, and desires. Due to societal or religious taboos, intimacy is frequently left off the table for discussion. If this rings true for you and your partner, this is an opportunity to get vulnerable with one another in expressing your desires. Vulnerability in conversation is a deep form of intimacy that can bring you closer and help you both feel heard and supported.
More than just intercourse, there are several different ways to access intimacy and achieve orgasm. Find what you love, want, and desire. Know yourself and pleasure yourself first. It is from that space you can more authentically and directly communicate with a partner.
Peace and Love,
Erica Boland, DCBIRTHFIT Professional Seminar Director BIRTHFIT Wisconsin RD @birthfitwisconsin @emomdc