Full disclosure: I did not tell my husband that I was writing a blog post about a “mama’s healthy sex life” and “yoga poses for sex.” That’s because I figured he’d make a good-natured jab like “Don’t you need more practice to write about that?!”
So now that we’re up to date on my sex life and over that first TMI hurdle, let’s talk about Sex after Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.
After giving birth, I did not have a “woo-hoo, honey! Let’s get back in the sack!” experience. I’ve heard that that’s a thing for some lucky couples (Bless!). But my lady parts were seriously closed for business. CLOSED.
At my 6-week postpartum visit, when my midwife said I was all clear to have sex again, my reaction was not good. I cried. Nothing about my body felt desirable. Exhausted, touched out, confused – nothing sexy about that.
When Nothing Feels Sexy
New mamas face a whole checklist of hurdles to lovemaking …
- Sleep deprivation
- Leaky boobs
- Nothing in your closet –nevermind your lingerie drawer-- really fits
- Lady bits may look and feel different
- Brain feels permanently on baby-alert
- Zero desire. Zip. Nada. Not one hint of passion.
The journey back to my sex life was difficult. But the lessons learned in the early years of blending motherhood and womanhood have nurtured my marriage for more than a decade.
In a healthy relationship, sex helps heal the hurts brought on from the potholes of parenting: sleep-deprivation, snippy little arguments, conflicting ideas about raising kids, who put the toilet paper on backwards. Healthy sex is connecting, playful, joyful. It sweetly reminds you who you are as a couple, aside from being parenting partners.
The Yoga of Sex
If lights down low, candlelight, and quiet only equals SLEEP NIRVANA, THANK YOU!, consider this: What if you came to lovemaking like it’s a yogic practice?
* Practice regularly. Every damn day is (mostly) a myth. Weekly is good. Less than monthly, and you may need an intervention.
* Breathe, and move at your own pace.
* Communicate. Make adjustments as you go.
* Bring a sense of wonder and trust, in your body and in your partner.
* Focus inward. Shift your attention away from the sights and sounds of parenting. (Taking your little one to stay with trusted family or friends for a couple hours is ideal. And if you don’t have that kind of support, kiddo’s naptime will do just fine.)
* Listen to your body. A little discomfort may be something you can breathe through, but actual pain needs medical support.
In the early months after baby, each sexual experience may be different. Your body, and your relationship to your body, will change. Shifting hormones during lovemaking can lead to mood swings right in the middle of it all. Go back to your mindful breath. If deep fatigue has you feeling like “desire” is pure fantasy, revving your own engine with solo foreplay might be just what you need to get going in bed.
Yoga Poses for Sex
As for yoga poses to help your sex life, google that to your heart’s content if you like. But know this: Like so much of mothering, you can trust your instincts and intuition. Your favorite poses are the ones that will keep you coming back to the mat and back to yourself.
Moving and breathing mindfully and with joy will fan your inner flame. So take a deep breath. Get on your mat. Let your breath wash through your belly, breasts, hips and thighs. Feel your body. Thank your heart. Tune in and sense how your energy rises and moves from deep within your pelvis, up through your spine, and to your heart. From there, let that pulse of warm, loving energy radiate through your arms, hands, fingertips. Imagine how that pathway connects you to your partner.
Now might be the moment to text or call your person with an invitation to meet up in bed. ;-)
A Gorgeous Goddess, Even in Granny Panties
Motherhood feels all-consuming most days, but being a mom is not all that you are. You are a gorgeous goddess in your partner’s eyes. Even in your granny panties, sweatpants, and spit-up on your favorite faded sweater, your partner sees your beauty – and very much wants you out of those granny panties! What a gift to say Yes to yourself, and to love. Most importantly, sexy --like yoga-- isn’t about how you look. It’s about how you feel.
Written by Jennifer Derryberry Mann, prenatal yoga teacher, birth educator, wife and mother. She is the owner of Blooma Nashville. She’s not a medical care provider or a therapist, so be sure to do your own research!