A positive pregnancy test leads to a rush of deep emotions and a wide range of crazy thoughts. Sometimes we find ourselves so focused on the baby that we completely forget about the physical changes that begin during pregnancy and continue after the birth of your baby. The focus in our culture seems to be on postnatal weight gain, but the list of post-baby problems unfortunately doesn’t end there.
The problem very few women talk about
Physical changes after a baby are perfectly normal. Women should do their best to focus on their overall health instead of numbers on a scale or specific physical problem areas. One of the least discussed changes, though, is vaginal dryness after childbirth. This change can have a significant impact on your private life with your partner, especially in combination with a new baby. Many women feel that their sex lives change drastically postpartum, with sex being significantly less pleasurable than before. In fact, often times the thought of sex can make you cringe, altogether.
Why the dryness?
During and post childbirth, along with other hormonal changes, the estrogen levels in your body decrease significantly. This leaves some unwanted side effects, one of which is vaginal dryness. Your hormone levels take about six months to return to their normal state, which can feel like a long and frustrating time to wait.
What can you do to help yourself?
Even though hormonal levels can take some time to return to baseline, there are a few things you can do to lessen vaginal dryness:
- Stay hydrated to make up for the fluid loss that you experienced during pregnancy and postpartum.
- Avoid an excess of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, since they have a drying effect on the body.
- Don’t rush into sex. Indulge in foreplay so your body can have sufficient time to produce natural lubrication. This will allow you to feel less pain and discomfort and to enjoy sex as a pleasurable experience.
- Use a personal lubricant to help heighten pleasure for both you and your partner. Lubricants help tremendously when natural lubrication is not present or sufficient enough. Make sure to choose a water-based brand to keep your body safe as well as comfortable. Our personal favorite is SYLK – it is all-natural and made from New Zealand kiwifruit plant extract. It’s also free of parabens and harsh chemicals, and it’s FDA cleared!
If you’re looking to jump back into your sex life but are a little afraid of your postpartum body, try the above tips to see if they make a difference for you. Many women find that these small, simple tweaks are enough to do the trick. If you’re still not feeling yourself after a few months, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss your concerns.
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