Sex. It’s a topic that we need to create space to discuss. There is such little guidance regarding sex and intimacy in the postpartum. The generic instructions given are: “don’t have sex until your 6 week check up.”
Um, okay? Great. That’s it?
Here’s the deal – sex and intimacy are tough for new parents. This is true, basically across the board, for the majority of people who have had a baby. And here’s a fun fact: this is not exclusive to those who have had a baby in the last 6 weeks! This low libido can last for quite some time and it literally has nothing to do with either of you. It’s just hormones, new parenthood, and exhaustion. It’s super important that you are able to have an open conversation about what the expectations are regarding sex in the postpartum.
Thanks to high prolactin levels paired with estrogen and progesterone suppression, low libido and vaginal dryness is common in new mothers. This is normal and it seems to be nature’s way of helping space pregnancies. Typically speaking, lactating mothers end up feeling so touched out by the end of the day that they aren’t necessarily seeking out pleasure and affection from the partner.. because, all. the. touching. can be super overwhelming.
Intimacy doesn’t always mean sex. There are ways to share intimate moments with your partner that don’t include penetration. There isn’t one normal and it’s okay to not want to have sex while you’re in the trenches of new parenthood.
Let’s discuss forms of intimacy that aren’t sexual:
- Holding hands
- Watching a movie together snuggled up on the couch
- Open communication
- Showering together
- Going for walks together
What ways can you think of that would allow you to be intimate with your partner when you’re just not feeling it?
* Another quick fun fact: Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for both milk ejection and orgasms. So, the first time you have sex and orgasm, you may leak. 🤷♀️