The New York Times recently published two articles relating to sex after childbirth:
While reading the articles and the comments, I found the overarching theme to be that the mind-body connection is often necessary for a woman to not only feel a sexual desire, but to feel comfortable with sexual activity vis-à-vis the physical and hormonal changes in her body.
But for many women, sex after having a baby is more than just being at a point where they are pain-free and getting a libido back; it’s about learning to enjoy life in its imperfections and unpredictability. The post-pregnancy body is a marvel of nature in its healing process, but from a weight loss perspective it can be frustrating for many, leading them to feel ashamed of being undressed or unworthy of being considered sexy. Learning to accept the imperfections and patiently work with them is an important process not just for feeling comfortable having sex again, but for general emotional wellness as a new mom.
The unpredictability with a new baby can certainly present new obstacles to feeling ‘in the mood’. Whereas before the baby the couple had a schedule they were used to — whether there are other children or not — now with the new baby they are pulled in new directions and without notice. Working with that unpredictability and finding time for sex can be difficult, but with flexibility, creativity, and a sense of humor it can be done.
Having a baby doesn’t have to mean that your sex live becomes bad; it becomes different. Riding the wave of change and not being too caught up on ‘how it used to be’ can enable sex after childbirth to be more than a dreaded chore. It can be a quick oasis for parents to reconnect, recharge, and be reminded of their partnership not only as caretakers, but as lovers as well.