Disclosure: This is a compensated post written in collaboration with Lubrigyn but all opinions about how to feel sexy after having a baby are my own.
I’ve had pregnancy and babies on the brain lately because, any day now, we are expecting a brand spanking new baby nephew. The business of making and growing babies is a miracle. It also happens to be a lot of hard work but, as all of you know, totally worth it. The thing is when you are 40 weeks pregnant, you are usually too exhausted and feeling way too much like your body is a foreign territory to feel sexy.
Sure, we all do that last round of “get this baby outta me” sex but there is nothing sexy about it for us. It is 100% functional. There is a goal, get that baby out. It’s the same reason why we walk miles and eat pineapple by the buckets in that last week. It’s us, trying to deliver an eviction notice to our beloved little miracles. Sure, we want to meet them but also, we want to see our feet. It’s all hands on deck desperate times, desperate measures. I won’t lie, by week 39 of baby girl number 2, I was ready to go full on succubus on the Big Guy.
But I had no idea of how to feel sexy after having a baby.
You promise yourself that after that baby comes, 6 weeks, and boom! It’s on like Donkey Kong. You just know that you’ll be feeling extra sexy once that giant belly is out of the way and you are still rocking those “I just had a baby” breasts but that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of that works.
Aside from the fact that it is impossible to feel sexy when you are sleeping in 2 hour increments and are hearing phantom crying, even when that newborn is asleep, you’ll find that being covered in your baby’s spit up, no matter how much you love them, does not help you get your groove back. Plus, your mind is just not that into it: when you have an adorable munchkin suckling your breasts non-stop, it’s hard to see them as sexual.
The reality is that your body went through profound changes during pregnancy. That doesn’t all just go back to normal as soon as the baby comes out. Sex is one of those things that changes. In fact, 83 percent of female participants in a recent study said they experienced sexual problems in the first 12 weeks after their first delivery.
One of the most common issues is postpartum vaginal dryness. It is very common and a natural condition. We’ve all been there. Many new moms find that vaginal dryness makes sex uncomfortable or even painful. Who wants to deal with that, right? Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ease the vaginal dryness situation and get your sex life back on track.
Vaginal dryness is opposite of how to feel sexy after having a baby.
Let me explain, I know you probably know this from 9th grade sex ed, but bear with me… The hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced in your ovaries and are what trigger puberty, breast development and menstruation. These hormones are also responsible for the buildup of lining in your uterus during your menstrual cycle. If you do not become pregnant during your cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and the uterine lining is shed during your period. Life goes on as normal.
Estrogen and progesterone levels increase while you’re pregnant because instead of shedding your uterine lining, it develops into a placenta. The placenta also produces estrogen and progesterone, which is crucial to the health and development of your baby during pregnancy, so you are living in the world of estrogen and progesterone abundance.
However, estrogen and progesterone levels drop drastically almost immediately after you give birth because you just shed the mother of all linings. Hormone levels return to their pre-pregnancy levels within 24 hours of giving birth. Your body’s estrogen level can drop even further while breastfeeding because estrogen can interfere with milk production. These are all your body’s way of keeping your baby healthy, but all that missing estrogen can cause vaginal dryness.
Estrogen is absolutely vital to sexual arousal because it boosts the flow of blood to the genitals and increases vaginal lubrication. And every woman knows, that sex without arousal and lack of vaginal lubrication is pretty terrible. I like to see it similar to trying to swallow a mouth full of crackers with no water. No one wants that, right?
This lack of estrogen is also what’s responsible for many of the symptoms women have during menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness so that’s something to look forward to, right? But seriously, it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to and shouldn’t be suffering. Women deserve great sex too.
“Be mindful of your intimate health as you get older. As estrogen levels decline, so does your intimate skin become more delicate. Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion provides rich hydration and is free from harsh, potentially irritating ingredients contained in other soaps and body washes.” – Dr. Alyssa Dweck
There are a couple things you can do. You can power through, if you are the rub some dirt on it kind of gal, which I am not. I am not a fan of pain, in any way, shape or form. Not even in the name of sex. A little hair pulling and lip biting I can do… but sandpaper vagina? I’ll pass.
So what does all this vaginal dryness mean for you? Well, the tissue of your vagina may become thinner, less elastic and more prone to injury. Your vagina can become inflamed, which may cause burning and itching. Intercourse can be painful and can even cause vaginal bleeding. Now, I don’t know about you but when I gave birth, I felt like I had a nuclear bomb go off in my vagina, so no, I didn’t really relish the idea of further damage.
The good news is these symptoms are not permanent and should disappear when you stop breastfeeding, when your estrogen levels return to normal. But no woman should be physically punished for breastfeeding, and stopping breastfeeding should not be the answer to the problem. We shouldn’t have to choose one or the other. We deserve to feed our babies and be able to have good sex.
What can you do to figure out how to feel sexy after having a baby?
I’m here to tell you that you can have a stellar sex life, despite postpartum vaginal dryness. The following are tips to help:
- Avoid harsh soaps and body washes in favor of a hydrating formula like Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion. Today, more women than ever are taking charge of their vaginal hygiene and comfort with Italy’s #1 choice in feminine care. pH-balanced and made with botanical ingredients, this rich, silky formula soothes, protects and moisturizes the delicate skin of the vaginal area. It’s an all-in-one intimate wash that will keep you clean, confident and comfortable all day. It contains hyaluronic acid and elastin which is an effective synergy to alleviate vaginal dryness. Lubrigyn cleanses gently with natural oils without irritating lather or harmful ingredients, it has non-lathering with deodorizing properties. Lubrigyn can also be used in the shower or simply applied with a tissue, making it convenient for use at home, while traveling or on the go.
“There are easy ways to alleviate postnatal vulvar dryness and irritation. My patients love Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion because it cleanses, moisturizes and lubricates so you feel refreshed and hydrated throughout the day.” – Dr. Michael Krychman
- Talk to your doctor about prescription options
- Use a lubricant when you’re having sex.
- Drink water. Keep your body well hydrated.
- Avoid douches and personal hygiene sprays.
- Last, but certainly not least, increase foreplay and try different techniques and positions. Seriously, talk to your partner. He doesn’t want it to be painful for you. He wants you to enjoy it too.
How to feel sexy after having a baby is a tricky situation, what did you do to get your groove back?