Reclaiming Intimacy After Pregnancy

Bouncing back is not a thing! Expecting ourselves to go from nine months of growing an actual human being to reverting to the woman we once were – physically, mentally, and emotionally – in the space of weeks or even months is quite simply a fallacy.

It takes a year (or more) to heal from pregnancy and childbirth. Because of this, sex may be the one thing that is furthest from our minds as we juggle motherhood and newborns. While intimacy was often high on our agenda before baby, now it’s likely to be much lower on the scales and may cause a little frustration in our relationship.

Intimacy After Pregnancy And Childhood

Our mismatched libido after pregnancy often comes down to a few factors. We are still managing the physical pain of childbirth. We may feel completely touched out, self-conscious about our body, or have a fear of getting pregnant again. Added to that, we may be experiencing vaginal dryness making sex uncomfortable, having no free time to get in the mood, or being exhausted.

Low Sex Drive, Libido And Desire

Low libido after pregnancy is not unusual due to hormones or stress levels. It’s important to recognise that there is nothing wrong with you when it comes to a low sex drive after having a baby. Helping your partner appreciate all your body has gone through will help you not feel guilty or worried. You are not alone in how you feel - 20% of postpartum women experience low desire.

Pressure To Be Intimate

The idea that we may feel pressure to be intimate is also not unusual. We are in a relationship, and sex can play a significant part in our connection. This leads to frustration, anger and resentment. We can forget that sex comes in many forms, and intimacy is often about connection rather than its orgasmic potential!

Those hot and heavy sessions may not be on the cards for a while, but regaining our connection with our partner is a positive first step to reclaiming intimacy after pregnancy. If we feel pressure to be intimate, voicing our concerns and upsets to our partner can help them understand how we feel, building on that connection.

Rebuilding Intimacy Step By Step

Taking small steps in rebuilding our intimacy

Adjusting our expectations – Start slow and don’t rush things. Know what you and your partner are capable of and recognise the barriers in place, such as exhaustion, mental fatigue, pain and other body and mind adjustments.

Simply Touching Each Other – Never underestimate the power of touch. Intimacy is often about connection before anything else. Deep conversations, really listening to each other and simply caressing and touching can build intimacy.

Taking Sex Off The Table – By taking away the expectation and pressure of having sex, you allow yourself as a couple to connect emotionally before physically, which builds trust, compassion and understanding.

Geraldine Walsh

Mum of two Geraldine Walsh happily works from home as a freelance writer chatting about parenting, wellness and mental health.

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