Life after a baby can be stressful amidst the joy of being a new mom. Physical changes, engorged breasts, urinary incontinence, and sleepless nights are only half of the problems after childbirth. Then, there are the dreaded “intimacy problems” no one warned you about. It’s time to get the 411 before you think you’re losing your mind.
Changes Down There Can Make You Self-Conscious
Pregnancy affects your whole body including vaginal muscles, causing sex after childbirth to be awkward for some women. According to Fit Pregnancy and Baby, hormones during pregnancy and postpartum can cause vaginal muscles to become loose. The culprit is most often low levels of estrogen. It has happened to women who have had a vaginal delivery or a C-section. You may no longer feel sexy, or you may feel anxious, self-conscious or embarrassed.
You Will Be Too Tired to Have Sex
Caring for a newborn is demanding and tiresome, it’s easy to get super tired! Breastfeeding, diaper changes, and taking care of other responsibilities will suck the energy out of you. There is literally no time to “sleep while the baby sleeps.” But once baby settles in for a “long” nap, all you will want to do is slump into the nearest bed. The thought of sex hasn’t even crossed your mind. Do try to catch some sleep where you can (here are some tips).
Your Libido May Take a Nosedive
Low sex-drive plays a significant role in the loss of interest in intimacy after childbirth. The hormone oxytocin is released during breastfeeding, often suppressing the libido. According to Bellybelly, exhaustion from the demands of motherhood and sleep deprivation are also responsible for lack of sexual desire. Additionally, a loss of libido may be accompanied by vaginal dryness.
Vaginal Dryness May Add to the “Baby Blues”
If the baby blues have you down, vaginal dryness may have you feeling even more unhappy. Not to mention the ‘ouch’ that could be caused by lack of natural moisture down there. According to Parenting, if you had an episiotomy, sex after childbirth can be quite uncomfortable. Once again, low estrogen levels during pregnancy and breastfeeding are the cause. Dryness is usually accompanied by itching or a burning sensation of the vagina.
Hopefully, you are relieved to know these intimacy problems are usual, but gradually improves. In the meantime, vaginal lubricating oils or gels can help relieve vaginal dryness to make intimacy more pleasurable. Also, Kegel exercises to tighten vaginal muscles have proven to help women regain vaginal sensation.