It’s not uncommon for new moms to face challenges regarding sex after they welcome a new baby into their lives. There are a whole host of reasons for this, and we invite you to check out our Postpartum Page for a comprehensive explanation of potential causes and evidence-based solutions that can get you back on-track.
All postpartum bodies go through natural changes after pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding (if you choose to feed your baby this way. We know this is an intensely personal decision, and we support all women, no matter how they nourish their children. Fed is best!). Some moms welcome these changes and are proud of what their bodies have accomplished; others aren’t so thrilled with parts that are perhaps bigger or smaller or softer. Women with eating disorder histories are at greater risk; so are those who were criticized or body-shamed pre-pregnancy.
But any woman can feel unhappy about her body – and society doesn’t do new moms any favors. The worst culprit? Social Media. Everyone has access to body-tuning apps. Print ads are notoriously photo-shopped. So, what are we really looking at when we see other mothers’ bodies? Who knows? But if certain body types (read: prepubescent, skinny-as-a-rail) weren’t revered, then women wouldn’t feel the need to emulate them and in turn feel badly about themselves.
When we’re exhausted and nervous and hormonal, the last thing we need is to judge ourselves (and each other) so harshly. Self-care, self-compassion as well as encouragement from partners can go a long way. Also, remember that it took nine months to grow your baby – your body needs time to adjust and recover. Many women report that when they can catch adequate sleep and get some regular exercise (seek clearance from your midwife or OBGYN first), they feel stronger, which often leads to improved body image. However, if you find that any of this is taking the wind out of your sex life sails and your overall well-being, don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, peer support group or professional therapist.
Need help with body image or other concerns that are weighing you down? Contact Maze for a free consultation. We can help you navigate postpartum-related sexual concerns and help you feel more like yourself again.