postpartum-love
Yes, we need to, so uncover your ears. We often get caught up in the excitement and grind of becoming parents (or parents again) that we put our very real and human needs to the side.


We need to remember that we are loving, living, red-blooded adults. This does not change when we have a baby, even if it almost feels like it does. Here are five helpful tips I give to couples in my prenatal classes (the first two are for those of you who delivered vaginally or pushed at all):


  1. Absolutely Do NOT look at your vagina for the first couple weeks postpartum.
I'm sure most of you out there are thinking, "Um, no problem." But, I introduced this as standard advice after I had a couple of clients tell me that they'd made this mistake. They looked pale and a little scared when they told me. They were curious, they said. They wanted to see. Nope. Don't do it. Respect your magnificent, human-birthing vagina enough to let the girl heal in private and with dignity. She's been through a lot. She needs some time.


  1. Absolutely DO look at your vagina between 4-6 weeks postpartum.
Yep, do it. I know I just finished telling you not to look for the first few weeks but now's the time, mama! Grab that hand mirror, lean back, get comfy, and have a good look. Your warrior vagina will look as good as new. Your body's mucus membranes (in your vagina, your mouth, and your nose) have remarkable healing powers. You need to see that. You need to believe it and know it, so you can move forward and re-embrace your sexual side. You need to change the way you think about your vagina from this point onwards so that you can get jiggy with it again. Up until now, it has been your baby passage, one that has been bleeding and healing, and the thought of it being a source of pleasure seems unfathomable. But, it was once, remember? And you can and should reclaim that part of you.


  1. Don't let sex (or lack thereof) become the elephant in the room.
Listen, I get it. I've been there. There are a million reasons not to have sex when you have a newborn: you're too tired to form a sentence; you're cranky and annoyed; there's a baby attached to your chest; you haven't showered in days; you'd rather your partner do the laundry than get down and dirty with you; and on and on. But, this is important to you as an individual and to you both as a couple. The thing is that it's easy to let this slide. The days and nights are blending and there's never time, let alone desire. You need to make it a priority. Even if you're not quite ready to get back in the saddle again (ahem), talk about it, joke about it, make a plan you can both live with. Don't let it become a Thing because before you know it, it will become bigger than just a dead sex life.


  1. Use a water-based lubricant the first time you have sex.
Please, for the love of Penelope and for the sake of your pleasure and future active sex life, be generous with the lube. If you are breastfeeding, your vagina is dryer than it used to be. There's also a chance that the first time you have sex postpartum you won't be overly… excited… and trying to put anything in a dry vagina is a terrible thing to do - especially after everything it's done for you.


  1. Breastfeeding is not a reliable form of birth control.
If you are having heterosexual sex, this is something you don't want to learn the hard way. Yes, breastfeeding can affect your ovulation. No, it does not do so in a predictable and reliable way. If you are not okay with becoming pregnant again at the moment, then do not count on breastfeeding as a form of birth control. Even if your period has not returned, you can still get pregnant. Ovulation happens a couple of weeks (on average) before you get your period. Use another, reliable form of birth control. The best methods to use while breastfeeding are barrier methods, like a condom, or other non-hormonal contraception.