With Mother’s Day falling in the month of May, I thought it would be fitting to talk about the sexual aspects surrounding new motherhood.
Before there were kids you were able to get your sexy on without any problems. Now, as a new mom, you are sleep-deprived, your breasts are two massive milk jugs, your vagina feels like the dry Sahara Desert, and when you think of the word ‘sex’, nothing positive even comes to mind. Are you normal? YES!! Your sexual functioning will change as you go through each chapter of your life. A well-regarded sex therapist in Australia once said that the number one reason for low libido amongst women is having kids younger than 4 years old in the house. And I can’t agree more.
Sex is a fine balance between excitement and inhibitions. Imagine a seesaw… at the one end we have sexual excitement and on the other we have sexual inhibitions. If excitement is high enough it will override our inhibitions, but if there are a lot of inhibiting factors (such as kids in the room next door or overtiredness) it will block excitement.
Let’s go through all the factors that may cause sexual problems being a new mom.
Your hormones go through major changes after pregnancy. Your estrogen levels, as well as your testosterone, drops dramatically, which can result in poor sexual arousal and low libido. A woman’s libido functions as a responsive desire, in response to arousal. So, if you’re not getting turned on you will not have the desire to have sex. One way around this is to really take your time with foreplay – the more stimulation, the more aroused you will get.
Without hormones your body will have a hard time responding to sexual stimulation, resulting in vaginal dryness. Poor lubrication can cause severe discomfort during sex. Now is a good time to stock up on loads of lube.
If you experience pain with penetration, don’t wait for it to get better; talk to one of our doctors as soon as possible. It becomes a vicious cycle: once sex is painful, the muscles around the vagina will tense up, making the pain worse. We have treated hundreds of patients with great success, you are not alone!
So you just put the kids to bed, the dishes are done, and you are exhausted! Your partner approaches you with that lustful look in his eyes… You feel flattered but SERIOUSLY?! Can’t he understand just how tired you are? Yes, you will have a lot of sleepless nights as a new mommy and sleep might sound sweeter than getting frisky, so planning is the key here. Planned sex is better than no sex. Set out some time for each other; being intimate is a very important part of a relationship and shouldn’t be neglected.
Children in the house
Having small kids just outside your bedroom can be a major passion killer. But again, planning is crucial. Get a babysitter to look after the kids for a few hours so that you and your partner can have some quality time. Or work in a quickie while they watch their favourite TV programme. Teach your children that mom and dad need time alone, so that you can have some privacy (obviously the kids may need to be a bit older to understand this concept…).
Yes, your sex life will change as a mom, but it is just a phase of your life. You are a sexual being, and you can still enjoy great sex if you remember the following keys:
- Your sexual function will go through different chapters
- Get lube
- Take your time with foreplay
- Plan sex and make time for each other
Happy Mother’s Day, mommies!
* This article was originally written for BabyYumYum.