5 Things I Learned about Sex After Becoming A Mom
Sexual Wellness

5 Things I Learned about Sex After Becoming A Mom

16/07/2023

Becoming a mother can be a transformative experience that brings immense joy and fulfillment. But it also introduces new challenges, including navigating the realm of your own postpartum sexuality. Sex may be the absolute last thing on your mind for some time after giving birth, and that’s perfectly normal. Or, you may find the “six week wait” completely unbearable, as you’re longing to reconnect with your partner as soon as possible. Either way, and anywhere in between, we’re here to help you navigate through this transition. 

So, without further adieu, let’s delve into the topic of sex after becoming a mom, exploring its physical, emotional, and psychological dimensions. Join us as we unravel the complexities, share personal experiences, and offer insights to help mothers embrace their sexuality and cultivate a fulfilling intimate life.

1. Embrace Physical Changes 

One of the first aspects of postpartum sexuality to address is the physical changes that occur after giving birth. It's important to acknowledge that everyone’s birthing journey is unique, and the timeline for recovery varies. Physical healing, hormonal fluctuations, and changes in body image can impact your comfort and desire for intimacy. It took me a very, very long time to heal physically and emotionally from the birth of my daughter. Add feeling touched out by my newborn and the hormonal changes that come with breastfeeding, and we had the perfect cocktail for incredibly low libido for quite some time.

Open communication with your partner, patience, and self-compassion are key during this phase. Engaging in gentle exercises, practicing self-care, and seeking professional guidance can aid in the healing process.

2. Nurture Emotional Connection 

The emotional aspect of sex and affection after becoming a mom is also really important. Balancing the demands of motherhood, sleep deprivation, and adjusting to new routines can leave little energy for intimacy. I found myself leaning on my partner emotionally in ways I never could have imagined prior to having a child. I had a tough labor and was very weak for many weeks, and my partner did everything for me so I could breastfeed our child. I’m talking, helping me shower, preparing my meals, sometimes literally spoon feeding me while I had my hands full nursing the baby around the clock. 

The intimacy we shared in these moments has set the foundation for me to feel safe and secure enough to reintroduce sex and pleasure. For me, postpartum intimacy was not at all sexual, but was absolutely intimate and emotional. Engaging in open and honest conversations about desires, fears, and expectations can deepen the bond with your partner. Small gestures of affection, quality time together, and expressing appreciation can help reignite the emotional spark.

3. Navigate Psychological Hurdles

Psychological hurdles are so important to discuss when rekindling your sex life after becoming a mom. A range of factors, including fatigue, body image concerns, and anxiety about parenting responsibilities, can dampen sexual desire. I found the transition into motherhood to be entirely overwhelming, and sought out help from my therapist, psychiatrist, and new mothers’ and breastfeeding support groups. My experiences with new mothers and lactation consultants were the most meaningful in helping me navigate this change and to discuss my concerns about how my relationship was changing. 

It's essential to prioritize self-care, seek support from loved ones, and consider therapy if needed. Exploring relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and sensate focus exercises can help ease anxiety and encourage a positive mindset towards intimacy, in addition to finding support from people who are experiencing similar transitions. 

4. Communication and Intimacy 

Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship. My partner and I had kind of an unspoken agreement for months that sex was not on the table. This wasn’t ideal–not the ‘no sex’ part, but the unspoken part. We found that we needed to discuss our concerns and our desires without pressure or resentment. Once we did, we found small ways to reconnect and build back up a strong physical connection. Baby steps, as they say. 

Discussing desires, boundaries, and experimenting with new experiences can reignite passion and strengthen the bond between partners. Being patient, understanding, and adaptable to each other's needs fosters a supportive environment where intimacy can flourish.

5. Self-Care and Prioritizing Pleasure 

As a mother, self-care often takes a backseat. However, prioritizing self-pleasure and exploring one's own desires is essential. AKA masturbate, masturbate, masturbate. Whenever you’re ready, start by exploring your own vulva slowly. It’s likely that things have changed down there, especially if you’ve had a vaginal birth, so reconnecting with yourself first is a great way to understand what pleasure means to you now. I was pleasantly surprised to find that orgasm was actually easier to achieve afterwards. And the orgasms were better. 

While this doesn’t necessarily happen for everyone, there is some research that suggests that pregnancy, birth, and the physical changes that occur afterwards can actually increase the nerve endings in your clitoris. It’s certainly worth exploring, and doing so with external stimulation toys can help ease you into penetrative masturbation if that’s your thing. 

Ultimately, sex after becoming a mom is a complex and personal journey. By acknowledging physical changes, nurturing emotional connection, overcoming psychological hurdles, prioritizing communication, and embracing self-care, you can reclaim and redefine your sexuality. Remember, everyone’s experience is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Celebrate your journey, communicate openly with your partner, and embrace the transformative power of motherhood while cultivating a fulfilling and satisfying intimate life.

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