Sex after childbirth can be a sensitive issue, in more ways than one. That ‘giving birth’ thing is a life changing event which affects every aspect of your body, your emotions and your relationship with your partner. It may also have been traumatic, physically damaging and painful… so if you’re not feeling like doing it right away, don’t! But to help ease you back into the idea that *down there* really could still have some fun left in it yet… read on! (There is also some great information on post pregnancy sex on the Babycentre website here.)
Don’t give a second thought to what everyone else is (or says they are!) doing. You will be tired, hormonal, emotional, feeling fairly battered and bruised, possibly sore and tender… and did I mention TIRED?! But its not just the physical factors determining how you feel about sex after childbirth. Your body confidence may have taken quite a battering too. So even after the physical obstacles to sex may have subsided and healed, the emotional blocks may still be there.
“I don’t want him to see me naked” “I cringe when he touches me around my stomach” “I just don’t feel sexy” are comments I hear often from mothers struggling to find their Mojo after having babies. Your baby sharing your bed, breastfeeding and many other factors may also contribute to the likelihood and regularity of you *getting it on* with your partner in the weeks and months following childbirth. So don’t feel pressured and do what feels right for you.
But in order for you to want, and to enjoy, sex after childbirth, you will need to re-establish a few emotional and physical connections with your own body. I often say to my clients, that unless you really understand, and connect with, what went on in there, you haven’t got a chance of putting it back together. Many women cut off emotionally from ‘down there’ after childbirth. They don’t like the way it looks (and in fact probably don’t want to look), they don’t like the way it feels and they feel disconnected and out of love with themselves. Not very conducive to feeling sexy :(
I would encourage you to start with this rather lovely pelvic floor muscles -healing, pelvic organ -lifting, tummy -tightening Yoga exercise taken from the MUTU Breathe section from the Mutu System program.
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Close your eyes and focus on your lower abdomen as you breathe through your nose, allowing your belly to expand and fill as you inhale. Keep your shoulders relaxed and don’t hunch or raise your shoulders or chest. As you exhale, gently pull your belly button back towards your spine, ‘emptying’ your abdomen of air.
- Notice how as you fully exhale, your belly hollows and your lower back presses into the floor as your pelvis tilts slightly. At the same time consciously draw the muscles of your vagina in and up. As you inhale, keep a gentle grip. Then on the next exhale, lift higher and squeeze tighter. Repeat once more, and then come back to full breaths.
- Repeat at least 5 times, slowly and without any distractions.
Not only will this technique help to strengthen and heal your pelvic floor and core muscles, it will also re establish the emotional and nerve connections. Use this time to relax and to appreciate your body and what it has achieved.
Finding your body confidence and your Mojo is a big part of putting yourself back together after childbirth. The same principles apply to your nether regions, as to losing weight generally after childbirth: It’s hard to take care of, heal and improve something, that you don’t like very much. It’s also very hard to want or enjoy sex if you don’t feel sexy. Start by re establishing an emotional connection using this relaxing MUTU Breathe yoga exercise if you’d like to start feeling a little more *up for it* than you might do right now!