Not Feeling Like Yourself Since the Baby? Here’s How to Get Your Sexy Back
After nine months of morning sickness, heartburn, mood swings, a sore back and feet, swollen ankles, widened nose, and acne; followed by labor, vaginal healing, stretch marks, diastasis recti, sleepless nights, postpartum depression, a low libido and many sacrifices, getting your sexy back can be a challenge. Ob/Gyns recommend at least two weeks before intercourse resumes, but it is important that you are ready for it, despite any obligations you may feel to your partner. Most new moms will not feel attractive right away, let alone have the energy to “make it do what it do,” so don’t take things too far too soon.
Men can’t help it that they do not always empathize with our needs. So that he understands what you are going through, explain to your partner that you need time to regain your strength and heal. You may feel virginal again or anxious at the thought of sex being painful after giving birth. Seek out ways to express your love and affection outside of sex. Cuddling, kissing, hugging, massages and bathing one another are all ways to promote pleasurable physical contact in an effort to get that spark back. Think of it as extended foreplay. In time, your love life will return to normal and may be even better than before.
Make Time for You
It won’t be easy, but try to set aside alone time just for you and your thoughts whenever you can. Many mothers experience postpartum depression as a ‘side effect’ of giving birth. In some cases, you will be very anxious or unable to focus. In other cases, the idea of being a mom will completely elude you or lead to dangerous thoughts. If the latter occurs or intensifies beyond a couple of weeks, it is important that you address the issue and seek treatment. Always remember that you are not alone in your experience.
Experts suggest that breastfeeding is the best way to rear an infant, but it has potential perks for your postpartum body as well. Steady nursing promotes weight loss and may ward off periods due to the lower amounts of estrogen your body is producing. Do keep in mind that lower estrogen levels will decrease natural vaginal lubrication. But never fear; there are plenty of awesome water-based lubricants right in your neighborhood drugstore to help with that.
Targeting and improving specific areas such as your belly will encourage you to work on others. A common belly concern is diastasis recti – when the abdominal muscles separate and need to be worked back into place. (See these links for some useful tips: Postpartum Exercise: Self Check for Diastasis Recti or Postnatal Core Workout.) Daily vaginal exercises like Kegels will help tighten the vaginal walls. Kegels can also help support bladder control and a better sexual experience once you are back in the mood.
Enjoy Your Body
If you have never been comfortable exploring your own body, now is as good a time as any. Reacquaint yourself with the span of your hips, the space between your thighs, and all your parts from head to toe. Your nails may have become stronger or your hair may have grown. Your skin may retain a certain glow. You may have different breast and genital sensations. All of these things are great ways to own your womanhood and your right of passage as a [new] mother. Make time to be sensual with yourself and accept the things you may not be able to change. Your partner will appreciate your newfound confidence as well.
Find a way to pause thinking about the baby’s next bottle or what to cook for dinner. Maybe a relative or close friend would be willing to babysit (mothers-in-law can come in handy for this task.) Steal some time meditating on things that make or have made you feel good. They may be your accomplishments, goals, or things that remind you how much you have achieved or explored. Don’t be afraid to let your mind venture to sexy thoughts! Think of these things and pride yourself on them. Positive thinking is the key.
Role play is a good way for partners to experiment with communication. Host your intimate times in-character, whether intercourse is the goal or not. Give your partner a massage as a character with a sexy accent, and don’t be afraid to let him be creative too. Spicing up your interactions will enhance pleasure even when orgasm is not intended. If you feel your mate is in dire straits during the time it takes to fully get your groove back, a massage with a happy ending can be a plus.
Don’t reject your right to feel good about yourself after you’ve brought a new life into the world. No matter how we view one another, as women our sentiments are often the same when it comes to matters of experience. Even Beyoncé voiced her concerns with self-image on her latest album after having her daughter. It’s natural to wish you could jump right back into the swing of things after having a baby, but it’s only with patience that you will find new ways to regain your sexuality. And when the time is right, throw on H-Town’s “Knockin’ Boots” and “get that ‘ole thing back.”
Aisha A. Boyd is a connoisseur of all things relevant to the undiluted palate. Follow her on Twitter @theQueenPen (Aisha Ayana) and look out for her exciting upcoming blog.
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