So, I have this friend… she and her husband – happily married – had a couple of kids…and then she realized that sex after baby wasn't happening. She simply had no interest.
Sex after pregnancy?
And many, many sleepless nights?
Among my peers (the parents-of-small-children type), the topic of sex – or lack thereof – is popularly lamented. For many women (and some men) the prospect of mustering up the energy to rub naked bodies together after long days of working and/or parenting is hardly appealing. After all, it was that very act which won you the endless nights of disturbed sleep – and the associated bundle of joy – in the first place.
So why bother with sex at all?
Well, as it turns out, sex is an integral part of most healthy marriages. According to one expert, “There is a feedback relationship in most couples between happiness and having sex…people in sexless marriages were more likely to have considered divorce than those in sexually active marriages.” Not good news for asexual couples.
Some lucky pairs jump back on the proverbial horse without a hitch. In a recent study published in the Journal of Family Practice, fewer than 20% of participating couples returned to sexual activity in the first month after childbirth. More than 90% had resumed relations by four months after birth. The average time before resuming intercourse was seven weeks. For some women, however, the readiness for intercourse may take much, much longer and a lack of sex can begin to create a strain on a marriage.
In short, physical intimacy seems to be an essential key in successful marriages. This doesn't always have to include intercourse, and the frequency requirements will vary from couple to couple.
There's tons of advice out there on how couples can create space for intimacy in their lives – warm bath, glass of wine, weekend away, dim lighting, even scheduled sex dates. But what if you've tried all of this and still can't find your mojo?
The trick to sex after baby? Reconnecting with your own body first.
Just like the air masks that fall from a plane's ceiling if cabin pressure changes, one of the best lessons of motherhood: It is essential that you take care of yourself first before securing the needs of others. This applies to getting rest, eating, and in many cases, this applies to sex too.
When you were pregnant, you grew an entire human. Inside of your body. Then you birthed that human out of your body. Regardless of your birth experience (natural, intervention-filled, or surgical – blissful or stressful) birth is traumatic. This doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad experience, it just means you and your body have been through a powerfully disruptive event. A trauma that each woman needs to recover from in her own unique way and own time.
While becoming a parent is a truly awesome experience – the aftermath of pregnancy and birth – lack of sleep, poor body image, and adjusting to life with a new baby can often feel exhausting and disempowering. Consequently, sex – or the withholding of sex – is one way that a new mom can subconsciously conserve some of her waning power.
Enter the magic of self-touch
Sex with yourself gives nothing away. Self-pleasure actually gives something back to you and can even help to heal any residual trauma from the birth experience. Over time, masturbation as an awakening of your root chakra. The gift of self-pleasure refills your sexual gas tank, making you more likely to seek out and enjoy sex with your partner.
Three tips for exploring sex after baby
#1 – Start solo
Your baby will learn to walk before she runs, so become acquainted with your own sexual energy again before you attempt to connect with your partner.
#2 – Be loving
Life after baby can be filled with delicate emotions and subtle physical sensitivities – tread gently and with patience.
#3 – Enjoy!
Without the pressure of performance with a partner, the early days of sex on your own are a time for you to relish in your physicality, your femininity, and your sexual power – despite whatever faults you can find. Cherish a few quiet moments to connect with yourself and show yourself some love.
Sex after baby – easy or challenging? What are your top tips to new moms wanting to find their mojo?