On a Scale from Tori Spelling to Never, When Do Most Women Want Postpartum Sex?

postpartum-sleeping-mom

Let’s talk about sex, baby.  Or more accurately, sex after baby.

A friend recently confided in me that after giving birth to her first child, she lost her sex drive for a long time.  She remembers sadly mourning her old friend, sex.

“I’d always been a really sexual person,” she told me.  “And then it was just gone.  I thought I’d lost it forever.”  Thankfully, her libido wasn’t really dead.  It was just hibernating.  Things got better in the intimacy department over time, but it took a lot longer than she expected to truly feel normal–and frisky–again.  Just in time for baby #2.

I could relate. After I gave birth, my OB told me to come back in six weeks for a check-up. The main purpose of this exam seemed to be to give me the greenlight to resume intercourse.

“Oh joy!” I exclaimed. “What great news. Because now that I’ve had my whole world turned upside down, my body is unrecognizable, I’m not sleeping, I’m trying to figure out breastfeeding, and I belong entirely to a needy newborn, shagging is totally at the top of my to-do list. Thank goodness it’s doctor approved.”

Okay, so I didn’t say any of that.  But I thought it.  Just because you can have sex safely six weeks after giving birth, doesn’t mean you want to.

Some women do, of course. Tori Spelling comes to mind.

A photo posted by Tori Spelling (@torispelling) on

She conceived her fourth child a month after giving birth.  (I remember my jaw hitting the floor when I thought about having two kids 10 months apart.)

But a lot of new moms just aren’t feeling it that soon. An Australian study found that most women actually wait longer than six weeks after giving birth to resume intercourse.

Here are just a few reasons why sex might not seem appealing soon after giving birth:

  • Your libido is flatlining thanks to those wild and crazy hormones
  • Extra pounds and loose skin can make you feel self conscious, even if your partner couldn’t care less
  • You’re still sore, particularly if you had an episiotomy or a natural tear.
  • Every bed in the house is occupied by a baby or toddler and shower sex sounds a bit too athletic right now
  • You’re all touched out from constant holding and nursing
  • When you try to think sexy thoughts, all that comes to mind is how you need to order more diapers in a bigger size
  • You’re so tired
  • You’re so tired
  • You’re so tired

I wish doctors mentioned any of this during the postpartum check-up. That way women wouldn’t feel guilty for not being “all better” at six weeks, and partners would have more realistic expectations.

Oh yes, our partners. Even the most understanding spouse is going to want to be close to you again, sometime in the next century. And we all know sex is important for keeping couples bonded.  It’s great for reducing stress. It’s what makes us lovers and not just really good friends.  So what’s a couple to do while the one who pushed a cantaloupe out of her coochie is still getting her mojo back?

Take it slow.

Keep expectations low.

Maintain your sense of humor.

And get some lube.

Yup. Every article I found about how to make postpartum sex more comfortable and pleasurable mentioned lube.  It seems obvious, right?  Not only does a personal lubricant help with lingering discomfort or hormonal dryness, but it can allow you to skip over some of the preliminaries that you may not feel like engaging in or have time for right now. Real talk, ladies.

That’s why I was excited to partner with K-Y on this post.  They offer a wide variety of personal lubricants (and even some surprisingly friendly-looking sex toys).  Plus, K-Y has helpful sexual wellness articles on their website that support new moms, such as “Intimacy after a Cesarean.”    I encourage you to check them out.

Moms, how soon did you get back on the horse after having a baby?  Any advice for new moms trying to figure it all out?

Brought to you by K-Y. 

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20 Signs You’re A Sleep-Deprived Mom

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You know how when your gas tank’s almost empty, you’re supposed to turn off the A/C and the radio while you cruise to the nearest filling station so you don’t waste fuel? That’s a great analogy for how I feel as a mom to an infant. I’m technically awake, but most of my higher functions are powered down to conserve my strength, and I’m running on fumes. Which is why I can’t remember your name. Or my name. Or where I left my purse.

Here are 20 other signs of the utter sleep deprivation moms of new babies experience:

1. You could easily fall asleep right after downing a venti macchiato (if anyone would let you.)

2. You left your cell phone in the refrigerator and don’t even realize it until later when you call yourself and the milk is ringing.

3. Someone took a candid photo of you and you’re like, “Who’s that old hag with the horrible posture?” P.S. It’s you.

4. You finally understand how it is that horses can fall asleep standing up.

5. You can yawn the alphabet.

6. It’s raining polka-dots. Oh wait, no, you’re just seeing spots from rubbing your eyes so much.

7. You’ve knocked your coffee over onto your keyboard so often that you’re on a first name basis with the folks at the Genius Bar.

Don’t fall alseep yet…continue reading at mom.me

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7 Things Your Second Baby Will Do Sooner Than Your First

My first baby didn’t roll over until she was seven months old, making her the last one in Mommy & Me to hit that milestone. (And oh, how I worried… for nothing.) So I was surprised to find my second baby rolling in both directions at just three months. Looking back, I credit benign neglect. I was so busy interacting with my high maintenance preschooler that the new baby spent a ton of time on the floor, just exploring. Is it any wonder she figured out how to roll?

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It turns out second babies experience a lot of things sooner, which certainly keeps a mom on her toes. Steel yourself, because here’s what your second one will probably do early:

1. Catch a Cold – There’s not enough hand sanitizer in the world to shelter that second baby from the onslaught of kid germs. I recently caught my 4-year-old with her finger in the baby’s mouth. (“She likes it,” was her defense.) It’s awful hearing your precious infant cough and sneeze, but hopefully the virus will be mild and you’ll be one step closer to building up Baby’s immunities.

2. Watch TV – Wow, did I pat myself on the back for waiting the American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended two years before giving my first baby any screen time. Now that we’re all sharing a living room, it’s nearly impossible to shield Baby #2 from the TV. I wonder if the AAP would give a special dispensation for Doc McStuffins.

3. Eat Ice Cream – If I remember correctly, when babies start solids, it goes rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, hot fudge sundae, yes? Try as you might to stay on track with Baby’s nutrition, it’s inevitable that hungry little monkeys are going to want to partake in the older kids’ snacks—especially anything cold and sweet.

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“Good Night Moon” for College Students

This time of year, our Facebook feeds are all flooded with back to school posts. What’s strange for me is that I had my kids so late, I’m completely out of sync with many of my peers.  While I’m still trying to get an infant to sleep through the night, I’ve got friends sending kids to middle school, high school–even college!

But I’d like to think that parents of the littlest and biggest kids can still find common ground.  That’s why I’ve rewritten this classic baby bedtime book for college students.

Sleep well, everybody.

good night moon

In the great dorm room,

There was a three foot bong.

And a bag of shrooms.

And a picture of Jim Morrison, gone too soon.

And there were three open beers for saying “cheers.”

And The Catcher in the Rye and a tapestry, tie-dyed.

And shower shoes and moldy food.

And a guitar amp and a lava lamp.

And a stranger passed out who has a tramp stamp.

And a next door neighbor screaming, “Stop playing Crosby Stills & Nash already—this isn’t summer camp!”

Good night, dorm room. Good night, moon.

Good night, Jim Morrison, gone too soon.

Good night, bong and good night, shrooms.

Good night, beers. Good night, cheers.

Good night, Rye. Good night, tie-dye.

Good night, shoes. Good night, food.

Good night, amp. Good night, lamp.

Good night, whoever that is, with the tramp stamp.

Good night, bars. Good night, stanky air.

Good night, lucky bastards everywhere.

dorm room with arrows

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All The Times I Said “No” to My 4-Year-Old Today

I used to be a “Yes” mom.

Yes, you can jump off the swing.  Yes, you can squirt shaving cream in the bath and pretend it’s snow.  Yes, you may peform opera in the supermarket.

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But now I have two kids.  A little one who’s up all night and a bigger one who is a bottomless pit of need.  Factor in sleep deprivation, constant nursing, juggling two wildy different schedules and my general irritation, and it seems I have turned into a grumpy old “no” mom.

No, you can’t carry the baby.

No, you can’t stick your finger in her mouth.

No, do not use her body as a drum.

No sneezing on the baby!  For Chrissakes.  No.

No, I’m not going to unlock your car window so you can open and close it 30 times.

No, you can’t eat all of my ice cream and your ice cream too.

No, you cannot share my water while you have green snot.

No, I will not be making jelly sandwiches for all your meals.  (Thanks a lot, Bread and Jam for Francis.)

No nudity on our front steps.

No picking the neighbor’s flowers.  Fine, one.  I said one!

No, I will not paint your nails right before you eat popcorn.  That is just pointless.

No more Bubble Guppies today. Or maybe ever.

I told you no video unless you cleaned up your toys.

Hiding all your dress up clothes under a blanket does not count as cleaning up, no.

No, don’t stick your nose in my bum crack.

No, the people in Target do not need to see my underwear.

Nope, stop it, my nipple is not a toy.

No, I am not going to leave you in the car while I go into the house, as tempting at that sounds.

No, my checkbook is not for coloring.

No, Barbie can’t wear my good jewelry.

Nooooooo why is the magazine I just started reading ripped into 10,000 pieces?  Did I say you could make a collage with Vanity Fair?  No, I did not.

No matter how many times you ask me, you cannot carry the baby up the stairs.  No.

V and C honeymoon dress

Sometimes, the kid gives me no choice, but I don’t like how I sound.  And I don’t want to crush every last one of her dreams just because I’m too tired and cranky to reframe the request into a suitable alternative.

I wish I could change the conversation so I can be that “Yes” mom once again.  In my fantasy, it goes like this:

Mommy, can I sit here and color while you stare into space?

YES.

Can I be the doctor and you be my patient and I examine you while you lie down?

YES.

Do you love me even when I drive you crazy?

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