Your Sex Life After Baby
Challenges -- and solutions -- to getting your intimacy back on track.
Breastfeeding May Get in the Way
Breastfeeding has many benefits. But it can create several pitfalls when you try to resume your sex life.
Spending tremendous amounts of physical and emotional energy feeding baby may block access to a nursing mom’s sexual mind and body.
“The baby is physically on you, sucking on you, cuddling you - leaving you ‘touched out’ by the end of the day,” Saltz says. Partners often say it leaves them feeling frustrated and left out.
Compassion is just as important as passion. Let your partner bring these feelings out into the open, so you can address them together.
Constant nursing or pumping milk can make your breasts feel so tender you just don’t want to be touched there.
Caressing a nursing woman’s breasts may cause her milk to let down, which can be a turnoff for both partners. Orgasm sometimes can also make milk involuntarily release.
If you’re worried about leakage or tenderness, try keeping your bra on during sex, Ross says.
Body Changes, Inside and Out
During pregnancy, a normal-weight mother typically puts on about 25-35 pounds. It can take a while to shed those extra pounds after the baby is born. Add on newly acquired stretch marks and a fresh scar if you’ve had a c-section, and it’s no wonder so many women say they feel self-conscious, turned off, and even depressed about their new body.
If you’re not feeling so hot about how you look, your partner's positive feedback can go a long way.
“You’d be surprised how many people say they still find you quite sexy. That’s what I usually hear,” Saltz tells WebMD.
Enlist your mate’s help in working toward your body goals. For example, you can ask for a half hour to exercise while they watch baby, or for more support in preparing healthy meals.
Meanwhile, Saltz suggests buying some lingerie that makes you feel sexy while strategically covering up some of your new problem areas.
Another physical issue is that delivering vaginally usually stretches the vaginal walls, which could decrease friction and thus reduce sexual enjoyment.
It can take a while for those muscles to resume their original tone. For some, it never does, according to Ross.
Try some Kegel exercises to tone your pelvic muscles. The repetitive tightening and releasing of those muscles can also help heal the area after vaginal tears or an episiotomy.
With all the changes that might be happening to your body, try your best to embrace them as a part of motherhood.