BACK in the Sack!

After having a baby, there are a lot of milestones we are striving towards.

Most of these involve baby, but there are also important ones for mom!

How about that six-weeks post visit?

The one that clears us to return to all activity…including sex. For some new moms, this is a long-awaited benchmark and they are ready to “get back in the game” so to speak.  For others, there is a little more hesitancy. Regardless of your timeline, here are some tips for when you are ready to get back in the sack!

Don’t Rush

If your doctor recommends waiting a LITTLE longer…wait.

Depending on delivery and the trauma to your pelvic floor, it may take a little longer for your tissues to completely heal. Your doctor will let you know if it may be beneficial to give yourself a little more time. Avoiding unnecessary discomfort during initial attempts at intercourse can decrease stress and anxiety associated with future attempts!

Let go of Expectations

There is no “right” time to return to intercourse. Being six weeks postpartum doesn’t mean that you will automatically be ready for intercourse (even with doctor clearance) and that’s ok! Your body is adjusting to a change in hormones, lack of sleep, increased stress, and you are mentally drained! Sex may not be on your mind right now.

Most likely, sex is NOT going to be the same as prior to having kids. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily going to be worse. It could be better! Pregnancy and childbirth change our bodies and it may take some time for you and your partner to adjust and reacclimate.

Use Lubrication

Immediately postpartum and while still breastfeeding, estrogen levels in the body are lower than average. Decreased estrogen leads to a menopausal-type state contributing to decreased tissue elasticity, vaginal dryness, and possibly pain. Using lubrication to reduce friction can alleviate some associated discomfort.

Try Different Positions

Again, your body structure is likely different post-baby. Previously preferred positions may feel uncomfortable or awkward to you now. Experiment with different positions to find what feels best.

Relax

When you decide you are ready to return to intercourse, remember to breathe!

It is normal to get a little anxious or nervous about how things are going to feel that first time. When our central nervous system gets a little fired up, it can cause our muscles to tense up and guard. This can actually lead to more pain. Using your breath to keep your nervous system and muscles calm can lead to a more comfortable or even pleasurable experience!

Physical Therapy

Pregnancy and delivery places a lot of stress on your body and often results in trauma to our muscles and connective tissues!

A csection is one of the only MAJOR surgeries I can think of where mom is sent home, WITH A BABY, without the recommendation for physical therapy afterwards!

Once you are cleared by your doctor at that six-week visit, go see a pelvic physical therapist!

Physical therapists are the experts in the treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. The function of our pelvic muscles and connective tissues is important for organ support, breathing mechanics, bowel and bladder control, AND sexual functioning!

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