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Embracing Change and Intimacy Postpartum

Postnatal Care

So, yesterday I posted a blog about Sex during pregnancy and now I want to discuss intimacy postpartum which can be even more awkward and terrifying to talk about…because you might not be ready physically and emotionally to go there – as you’ve just had a baby and adjusting to motherhood, your postpartum body and rollercoaster of emotions.

Just like pregnancy and birth is different for every woman so is her postpartum journey and even though intimacy is important your focus might just be on recovery, healing and nurturing your baby.

So, take your time. Some things you may want to consider are:

Physical Recovery & Healing: Your body has nurtured, grown and birthed a baby be it vaginally or via a C- Section Birth, so it’s essential to give it time to heal. Especially for women who have had a C Section Birth, you have just had major abdominal surgery, so your body and scar need time to heal. A great website for more information about safe positions after a C Section birth is : https://www.drsherry.com/blogs/womens-health/6-sex-positions-for-after-a-c-section-to-help-you-avoid-postpartum-pain

Finding that Spark…Reconnecting with Your Partner: Once you’ve had your baby you may have a low libido due to all your hormonal changes, you may also find yourself focused on bonding and connecting with your baby through breastfeeding and skin to skin that you may feel ‘all touched out’ and exhausted to do much more and ‘sex’ or intimacy with your partner is the last thing on your mind  which may leave your partner feeling ‘neglected’, unloved or isolated. Consider other forms of intimacy instead without any pressure of it leading to having sex, such as holding hands, hugging, massage, eye contact, cooking a meal together, going for drives, walks, listening to music and watching TV together or playing boardgames.

Becoming parents is a transformative experience for both of you which will bring with it many changes, but it’s also essential to nurture your relationship with your partner. Open and honest communication about your desires, fears, and boundaries is key to navigating and respecting this new phase together.

Expectations and Patience: Sex post-birth might not feel the same as before, and that’s okay. Your body needs time to bounce back, and you might not have the same confidence in your postpartum body. So, remember, intimacy is about connection, not just physicality. So, there is no need to put any more unnecessary pressure on yourself. Go at your own pace, and don’t rush things. Be patient with yourself and your partner but remember to always keep talking and be open and transparent about how you are feeling so that you can still feel connected with your partner.

Making Time for Each Other and Self-Care: Prioritize self-care, both individually and as a couple. This could include date nights (even at home!), massages, baths, or simply spending quality time together watching Netflix without any expectations other than sitting close and holding hands and eating ice cream!

With knowledge comes confidence – Education is power so,  educate yourself about postpartum changes, and consider seeking advice from your GP or psychologist if needed and or you feel you are suffering form postnatal anxiety/depression.. There are also some fantastic books, podcasts and online resources available to help guide you. Some places to get help include:

Your Village – Support:  Lean on your support system—friends, family, or support groups, mothers and father’s groups. It’s reassuring to know you’re not alone in this journey and your experiences are ‘normal’ for this postpartum phase.

Intimacy is personal – So make it personal! so it’s not a one size fits all or prescriptive after giving birth – it’s what feels right, conformable, and safe for you and your partner. Be gentle with yourselves, be patient stay connected, and embrace the changes of parenthood and intimacy postpartum.

Share your thoughts, experiences, or tips below, and let’s create a safe and supportive space for this important conversation so that we can normalise it for couples that may be struggling.

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Photo: @drsherry.com


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