Sex after Baby: milkmakers teams up with an expert
This past month, we’ve been asking you to send in your questions about the relationship between love, sex and breastfeeding. Well, we heard one question come up over and over again:
Where did my sex drive go and when will I get it back?
We’ve brought in an expert to answer your questions: Dr. Jen Landa is an Ob/Gyn and sexual health expert and the creator of the Rewire Your Desire Program. She teaches women how to increase their sex drive and passion for life through healthy lifestyle changes and hormone balance.
We sent Dr. Jen your questions, and here’s what she had to say:
Hi milkmakers moms, this is Dr. Jen. I’m so glad I get to answer your questions about breastfeeding and sex! Reading through your questions, the first thing I need to tell you is that if you’re a brand new mom and your sex drive is lagging, don’t worry! It’s normal. Your body is doing what it’s supposed to be doing – focusing on recovering and caring for the newborn.
Really, for the first six months of a baby’s life, new moms should not feel at all obligated or stressed out about not having a sex drive. Because all of their time and effort will be focused on caring for the new baby and any other children who are already part of the family. When new moms are not caring for the baby, they need their sleep!
For the first month or two after giving birth, women should not even have any kind of penetrative sex. The uterus needs to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size before sex resumes; otherwise there is a risk of infection. For women who experience tearing or have episiotomies during childbirth, they may need even more time.
I know it sounds like a lot, but you really need to give yourself a good six months to recover, and then you can start taking steps to increase your sex drive. It takes up to a year for a woman’s hormones to return to their normal cycles and levels following the birth of a child. This will happen more slowly in women who breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is an awesome thing you can do for you and your baby, but while you are breastfeeding, your body is not going to be able to put as much of its energy into creating sex hormones. The increase in the hormone prolactin that breastfeeding causes blocks the production of some of your sex hormones, including progesterone. The best way to enjoy sex during this time is to not focus so much on orgasm (although foreplay can really help). If you can orgasm, great! If not, just relax and enjoy the touch and the intimacy and bonding with your partner.
Here are the three best pieces of advice I can share with you about sex after baby:
- Go easy on yourself. You’re adjusting to a major change in your life and in your body. When you are ready to get things back on track, start slowly. Use lube (or coconut oil, my personal favorite), and have fun.
- Take time to maintain your relationship with your partner. Make sure you get some alone time. Make the extra effort to go on dates and to have sex. You’ll be giving your baby a good start, you’ll be doing something great for your health and your relationship, and it will ease the parenting process.
- Last and most importantly, remember that you have needs too. Take some time for yourself and make sure your needs are getting met. Pamper yourself, take a hot bath, get a little exercise, write in your journal, sleep! Anything that will help you get in touch with yourself and your needs. Remember to embrace all parts of your womanhood, not just the mommy part.
As a special bonus for all you moms, I’m including the chapter on Childbirth and Children from my book, The Sex Drive Solution for Women, so you’ll get to learn a little bit more about what’s going on in your body after baby.
To get your free download of “Childbirth and Children” from The Sex Drive Solution for Women, click here.