Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reclaiming your Sexuality after Birth

Sex after Postpartum – sounds so clinical doesn’t it? Sadly its treated as such by healthcare professionals and a subject held taboo even amongst the closest of girlfriends. Men and women have different worries and reactions when it comes to sex; without adding the complications of childbirth along with the reshaping and search for meaning and identity as a parent.

No doubt you will have searched the internet and book stores for information, and perhaps asked friends and family for their perspectives and experiences on this subject. I would hazard a guess that you have not found the answers or validation you are seeking and believe that there must be ‘more’ to it. The information available on the internet regarding sex after childbirth is enough to confuse and distress the hardiest new mother ( or those thinking about it). Much of the helpful hints only outline practical observations such as the use of lubricants, pelvic floor exercises and nutrition and very few address the emotional and hormonal rollercoaster that both parents face after the arrival of their baby. Popular parenting and relationship websites skirt around this subject or fob it off to be ticked off in a medical check up.

I have started a journey of discovery surrounding this subject, wanting to dispell and defuse the deeply embedded belief that women should ‘Just get over themselves and get back on the job’ when it comes to sex - it is far more complex than that. There is an entire emotional, psychological, physical, social and relationship change after birth, which cannot be assessed in a 10 min ‘medical ‘ check up – which is what most couples assess the ‘readiness” upon. I want women to stop carrying the guilt that it is ‘their fault’ that a couple’s sex life is not like it once was. This is unfair and destructive to a relationship in the short and long term. In no way do I wish to demonize men as they are an integral part of the emotional and physical healing process. It is my desire to show that many assumptions around initiating and maintaining a sex life after birth are wrong or simplistic. My intention is to create a resource that is a beginning point in reclaiming sex after childbirth.

I would like to invite you to share your wisdom, personal stories and practical suggestions - if you are a mothers who has, or are in the process of, reclaiming sex after childbirth – OR if you are a father who is also on this journey. Comments and insights are welcomed from soon to be parents, new parents, couples or singles with children of any age who want to reclaim this important aspect of their lives and relationships.

Please feel free to comment either here, on my page or on the blog at www.reclaimsexafterbirth.com

I look forward to your wonderful responses.