Sex after birth?
ITV This Morning programme (aired 25/3/13)
compiled a survey declaring that 3/4 of the respondents experienced distress and a reluctance to recommence sexual intimacy after birthing. Although medical advice suggests sex can safely begin after 6 weeks, many women are not interested at 4 months post partum. Some partners may also have disturbing images from being present at the birth which has made them lose their healthy sex drive.
Sadly, some mothers and fathers may experience serious communication difficulties around this issue which may lead to relationship stress compounding the challenges of becoming new parents.
So how can you or your partner understand this in a way which helps you stay together and become emotionally and physically intimate once again ?
Many women need to know they deserve professional support for themselves as individual women and not only for their roles and identity as mothers.
Meeting with someone who is actively interested in every detail you recount about your labour and delivery can sometimes be all that is required to help you reclaim your body and revive sexual desire. For the many women who have been disturbed and frightened during their baby's entry into the world, it is essential that a therapist experienced with psychological trauma helps you recover.
EMDR is a comprehensive therapy technique that can be life transforming. It is highly effective in reducing the negative thoughts, emotions and physical sensations which may be remembered or associated with any aspect of the labour. It isn't magic, although it has magical results.
Mothers can indeed be sexual beings. Sometimes waiting is not enough. Take action to understand your needs and identify what is upsetting and unresolved. Do talk to a trained therapist. The outcome of feeling safe, sensual and at ease again in your body is as precious as the new life you created.
No matter what you do or don't remember, if you are currently unhappy in your own body, please know there is trained and experienced help available. It really is possible to feel acceptance of your changed body and regain your senses in pleasurable ways !
Women who have made this transition can give the best testimonial that it is not only your baby that can have fun and play! Ask to speak to someone who has trusted a therapist and feels the relief from guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear and dread. Time is a healer of the stitches, but you may now want to heal from your emotional wounds.
Related articles from our experts
- Difficulties faced by new mums during the postnatal period
Lis Starkey-Smets17th October, 2017
- Pregnancy and remodelling of the brain
Annabelle Hird, MBACP5th October, 2017
- Postnatal depression and past trauma
Poole Counselling for Postnatal Depression S. Shimoda Reg. MBACP30th September, 2016
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