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Postpartum Sex 101

Chelsea Gonzales

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In the weeks after giving birth, you probably aren’t going to be thinking too much about having sex. Your newborn and a distinct lack of sleep are both responsible for this—but really, it’s just as well, all things considered.

You see, just as you might imagine, intercouse is not usually very comfortable immediately after giving birth. This is true if you gave birth vaginally, of course, but can even be true for those mamas who’ve had c-sections. On top of that, postpartum bleeding can make intimacy quite difficult, and your care provider will probably want you to wait awhile before jumping back into things anyway.

Still, the time will come when you and your partner are ready to get back into the swing of things, so to speak. It’s good to know when you can do so, and what to expect when you do.

Wait It Out

First and foremost, you will need to allow your body to heal a bit. Failing to do so could lead to infection. In most cases, six weeks should be plenty of time. However, in some cases you might need to wait longer. Therefore, it is always a good idea to get permission from your care provider.

Tone Up

While you’re waiting for your time to arrive, you might as well make use of your time by toning up a bit down there. Doing kegels every day will help strengthen your pelvic floor, making sex more enjoyable for both you and your partner when the wait is over.

Not sure how to do kegels? Check out this article to learn how.

Know What to Expect

Even after waiting a full six weeks or more, your body will still be healing. Because of this, and because of hormone fluctuations and physical changes in your body, sex will likely feel different. When you consider what your body went through to bring a baby into this world, this isn't at all surprising. Still, this change in the way sex feels does come as a surprise to some women.

If you go in knowing that things will feel different, at least for a while, and that you might even experience a small amount of discomfort, you’ll be much better off.

Get Protection

Women can and do get pregnant immediately after giving birth. This is even true for breastfeeding mamas. Therefore, unless you want two babies back to back, and unless your care provider has given you the go-ahead to get pregnant again, you will want to ensure you have some sort of birth control before hopping in bed.

Relax and Warm up

Having sex for the first time in weeks or even months might make you feel a bit uptight. This isn’t fun for anyone. Help yourself relax by having a glass of wine beforehand.

On top of nerves, hormone fluctuations can cause women who have just given birth to be quite dry down below. A bit of lube can solve this problem in a jiffy. Add in plenty of foreplay and you should be good to go.

Communicate Your Needs

Don’t be embarrassed to communicate your needs to your partner. If you need to go a bit slower than usual, let them know that. If something hurts or is uncomfortable, put a stop to it. Remember that you can stop at any point if you need or want to.

Preparing for Your Postpartum Care

Chelsea Gonzales

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Gathering baby stuff before your little one arrives is tons of fun. For this reason, most new mamas get everything set up for baby with time to spare. Unfortunately, not many new mothers think much about themselves during their preparations, and this can leave them without the tools they need to ensure a pleasant healing process after baby arrives.

If you are currently expecting, trust me when I say you don’t want this to happen to you. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a complete list of items you’ll want to gather in order to ensure a healthy postpartum healing process and a smooth transition into your role of new mother.

 Padsicles — Giving birth is magical. However, it is also physically taxing and can leave a woman feeling quite sore down there. Padsicles are one of the most effective remedies for sore lady parts. To make your own, simply follow these instructions.

 Herbal Sitz Bath — Another great option that is both soothing and healing is an herbal sitz bath. A DIY sitz bath recipe can be found here, and the relaxing bath experience can be shared between mom and baby to promote healing and bonding.

 Motherlove Nipple Cream — A good nipple cream is a must for anyone who plans on breastfeeding. One of my personal favorite products is the Motherlove brand nipple cream. It is organic and 100% safe for baby, meaning you can rest easy when using it.

 AfterEase Tincture by WishGarden — The perfect solution to after-birth pains, this tincture is easy to use and completely natural. It is definitely something you’re going to want to have on hand during the first few weeks postpartum.

 Peri Bottle — After giving birth, toilet paper is less than pleasant. Save yourself some pain by keeping a peri bottle on hand. It’s much nicer to use when you’re sore down there, and you’ll be sure to get everything nice and clean.

 Witch Hazel Wipes — Another great option for getting clean and soothing sore spots are witch hazel wipes. These wipes are moistened with a lovely blend of witch hazel and aloe extracts for a soothing cleansing experience.

 Extra-Large Pads — In the first few days after giving birth, extra-large pads are a must. In fact, many women prefer to invest in Depends or mesh underwear to use during this time in order to preserve their panties. Whatever you choose, make sure the product is very absorbent, and be prepared to use them for 2–4 days.

 Organic Pads — Even after the first few days of incredibly heavy bleeding, you can expect to continue bleeding for quite some time. During this time, tampons will be off limits due to risk of infection. Therefore, a good stash of pads will be necessary. I personally prefer organic pads for this, as they tend to be gentler on sensitive areas.

 Mother’s Milk Tea — Establishing a good milk supply is key in a budding breastfeeding relationship. For this reason, you might want to keep a box of Mother’s Milk Tea on hand. This amazing product will help bring your supply levels up should you experience any issues.

There you have it, mamas! Once you have baby’s stuff all set up and ready to go, go ahead and check off these few things for yourself as well. You’ll be happy you did.

Want someone to help you during your first weeks with the new addition? I’d love to offer my assistance! Please contact me today for information on my postpartum doula services.