If you've given birth you may be experiencing some pain and discomfort for the next few weeks. Usually we get cleared at 6 weeks to return to our regular activities but to just "take it easy" for many of my patients the pain and discomfort associated with those first few weeks or months when returning to intimacy never goes away. Frustration builds and fear sets in "will sex always feel like this?" then they check in with friends and hear that yeah once your a mom sex is never the same. But that's not true.
We always say, “Once postpartum always postpartum” and issues that you thought might go away at 6 weeks at 1 year at 5 years are still valid and you deserve to have them addressed and Whether you had a baby vaginally or by C-section your pelvic floor and core muscles have been affected! During delivery the pelvic floor muscles are subject to micro tears which become scar tissue postpartum now factor in a perineal tear during a vaginal birth or a C-section scar and these muscles no longer work as good as they used to. Paired with the effect of decreased estrogen that happens after delivery and continues through breast feeding, many people feel adverse to touching because of the physical demands of their newborn. All of these lead to a decrease in arousal both physically and mentally. Returning to intimacy doesn't need to be sex it can be a different language of love; words of affirmations, quality time, acts of service or gifts.
Top 3 Tips
For Returning To Intimacy Postpartum
#1 Show Sweet Physical Affection
Hugging, massages, hand holding, cuddling, sharing a meal. These actions help to relax us. It's normal to feel anxious about returning to intimacy postpartum, you just went through immense physical pain and it can be hard to reconnect with your sexual side. These sweet physical actions of affection peak our interest and allow us to reestablish a connection and show love.
Share your concerns and needs and be understanding of your partners' concerns and needs. You both are experiencing a new season of life and re establishing that communication can help relieve the stress of new parenthood. Being touched out is a common feeling postpartum, you have another human connected to you at all times and it can be hard to complete your daily routines and take time for yourself. Making sure you get some you time can do wonders for your self esteem and your relationship.
#3 Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Seeing a specialist postpartum who can eliminate your scar tissue and increase blood flow to your core muscles will help sex feel pleasurable. Kegel's are not the answer! An Expert Pelvic Floor PT can address any other physical aches or pains you might be experiencing; achy hips, knees or back, pelvic pressure or incontinence. All of these are symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction and by addressing the root of these issues you can regain your strength and restore your confidence. I've had patients come in embarrassed that they're leaking or queefing during sex. I just want to reassure you that these are common and can be addressed during pelvic floor physical therapy.
Author: Allison Feldt
"We Help Women Through Pregnancy And Beyond So They Can Live Active, Confident And Healthy Lives To Prevent Surgery And The Need For Medications."