Well, the last episode of my podcast was about pregnancy and sexuality, and it seemed to make sense to go right into the next obvious topic, which is postpartum sexuality.
Talk about a lot of change to adjust to! You’ve got not only the physical impact of carrying and birthing a baby, but you’ve got the emotional, the psychological, and the relational impacts as well. Life is not the same once you’ve had a baby. It’s a complex time with a lot of changes and challenges.
You’re going to be exhausted. You’re going to be focused on the baby. You’re going to have trouble getting the bandwidth to take care of other things in your life right away. You’ve got the transition of your role with your partner now that you’re a mom or a dad. Everything is different, and it really can throw your sex life for a loop.
The physical changes are often expected and anticipated, but the psychological challenges are hard to imagine ahead of time. Not only do you probably need to wait some amount of time before you resume sex, that’s just before you are allowed to resume sex. Then there’s the issue of when do you want to?
How do you get back in a state of mind where you want to engage physically with your partner? How do you nurture that? How do you communicate about it with your partner? Do hormones play a role in all of this? There’s a lot of transition to go through.
Tammy Senn is a certified nurse midwife and a women’s health nurse practitioner and she’s practicing in central Maryland. She’s got over 20 years of experience guiding women through pregnancy, birth and new motherhood and working with families in those same stages of life.
She provides reproductive and gynecologic care for women of all ages, and she’s received advanced training in sexual concerns, including evaluation and treatment as well as counseling and education.
I think she’s the perfect person to talk about everything that happens when you add the baby to the family: the impacts on sex, what you can expect (although there’s not just one thing to expect) and what you can do about it.
We talk about how a six-week check-in is based more on tradition than evidence and is only a guideline. This leads us to cover how there is no “normal” and that it is important to listen to your body. Everyone is different. You will be ready when you feel ready.
We also cover some postpartum depression issues, including how it can often manifest in the partner, and how awareness and early communication are key to addressing any issues before they grow.
Tammy will be a presenting an educational session entitled Beyond the Pink Pill: A Step-wise Approach to Female Disorders of Desire and Arousal, at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Nurse-Midwives in May of this year. Listeners can learn more about Nurse-Midwives and the personalized care they provide at http://www.midwife.org
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