Let's Talk About Sex... After Birth!
Ouch...sex after birth
You just had a baby. If you are like most, the idea of sex after such an ordeal is both preposterous and complicated. However, also like most, having information can help you figure out what the heck is going on with your body, and help you determine what you want to do with it!
The truth is that no one can prepare you for what your specific birth will be like, or how it will impact your body!
Generally speaking, you will be tired and sore in the early days. Depending on the type of birth you experience, you may also need special care for your perineum or cesarean surgery incision, or both.
You may not be concerned with sex now, but when you are know your live will be different.
What are some things that could complicate sex after having a baby?
complications from vaginal wounds
postpartum mood and anxiety disorders
or many more things!
Besides having plenty of support at home to help with your daily mental, emotional, and physical needs, we hope you also have a strong group of friends to vent and share with. This is not a time to go at life alone. Especially for the introverts out there, birth can be an isolating event, and you are not meant to do this alone!
In addition to your family, friends, and Facebook groups...
Professionals and products to know about once you have your baby:
1) Reputable pelvic floor physical therapist (We have a few listed here).
Your pelvic floor is a muscle group that is responsible for holding your body together. Not only does it form the bottom of your torso, but it also connects to your abdominal wall and hindquarters. Having a healthy pelvic floor is a huge part of having a robust recovery from birth, and transition back from your organs and tissues being consumed with supporting your baby.
Also, for future sexual intercourse, knowing all your pelvic floor does for your bladder, bowel, and internal connective tissue, it is a possible location to explore professional help should intimacy become painful.
*Urinary or fecal incontinence are also reasons to explore getting help from a pelvic floor physical therapist.
2) Personal lubricant.
When you are ready to have sex again, it is normal for your body to make less natural lubricant. Hormones and healing often impact your vagina and you may experience dryness. If this is the case, you are not alone, and you certainly are not broken! Water-soluble lubricate is recommended, and any natural oils or petroleum-based products should be avoided.
3) Sitz Baths.
A sitz bath is a shallow, warm, healing tool used to stimulate blood flow to your perineum. Using temperature therapy can be useful, both with warm sitz baths and ice packs in the first days after birth to help with swelling and inflammation. However, sitz baths are a helpful tool much longer in the healing process to help reduce the stinging from urination when a peri bottle may not provide enough relief.
A sitz bath is also an excellent way to relax. It can be difficult to transition from a busy brain of caring for an infant to then being intimate with your partner.
4) Gynecological Surgeon.
It is not uncommon for women to experience tearing from a vaginal birth. There are various ranges from 1st-4th-degree tears, depending on the layers of tissue affected. In the event an episiotomy is performed, healing from tears in this very delicate area takes time.
It is rare, but there are situations where repairs are made and are not done well. If there is ongoing pain, it may be an option to be referred to a gynecological surgeon to discuss perineoplasty surgery. We know that women can handle an immense amount of pain, but you do not have to. You deserve to have your body operate in a way that helps you feel whole, and without pain.