ON-DEMAND

Approaching Sex After Birth

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Streamed
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Our bodies and sex lives change after childbirth. Pleasure Professional Lucia Pavone will break down the in's and out's of sex after birth and address anxieties about getting back into the sheets.

Video transcript

This is Lucia Pavone. I have been a sexuality instructor for many years now and a sensual researcher. My focus has been on full body orgasm for about 16 years now, and I'm really excited to be back today or tonight in some cases, talking about sex after childbirth and tonight's topic is gonna be pretty specific to somebody who identifies as a woman with a vulva and has given birth physically either through their vaginal canal or through Cesarean section. But I am also gonna include a couple pieces for parents who have adopted a child because they still have sex and they are new parents and things happen in their lives too and your sex life may change as well. So I just wanted to, that won't be the main focus, but I wanted to acknowledge those parents who have had children come into their lives and have to refocus their sex lives too. So a little bit about myself. So why am I even qualified to be speaking about sex after childbirth? Well, a little bit about me. I have been pregnant four times, and one time with the same person. I've been with my partner for 22 years. The first time I was pregnant I actually had an abortion, an elective abortion, and the second time I was pregnant I had a full birth and a planned pregnancy with our now 18 year old daughter and the third time I was pregnant I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks, and the fourth time I was pregnant I also had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. So, my body has experienced pregnancy and I have had one life birth and that birth was via C-section after a four day labor with a planned home birth. So, I wanted to give you a little context to where I was speaking from. I'm very passionate about this specific topic because it directly influenced me in my own journey of exploration around my sexuality and my sensuality and I don't think we talk about this as a culture, we're really misled into the dream of having babies. We really don't talk about what happens afterwards. And so before I dig in deep, I would like to welcome you once again if you're just joining on, welcome. This is Lucia Pavone. Tonight's topic is sex after childbirth, and so a little bit about this is that there's a lot of things I'm gonna be sharing tonight. One specific thing is going to be around the physicality of sex after childbirth, but I'm also gonna be addressing even more important issues which are how people who have just given birth might be feeling, and this is a physical birth. There are other times where people who have become parents through adoption or surrogacy where there's gonna be other kinds of emotions coming up and you're still gonna have to address your sex life, but tonight's topic in particular is gonna focus more along the lines of when your body has actually gone through or your partner's body has gone through the physical act of giving birth. So I'm gonna talk about that, and what happens afterwards as far as your sex life goes. Alright so first of all, I'd like to just acknowledge all of you for being on here. If you are just joining in, welcome. I'd love to know, say hi, let me know what you'd like to specifically know tonight if you're tuning in and you have specific questions, I would love to hear from you. This is going to be as a interactive livestream as possible 'cause I would love to have the conversation be more of a dialogue and if you have any stories particularly around your own sex life that you'd like to share, I want you to know that this is a safe space for you to be able to do that, for you to be able to join in the conversation. So, you're welcome to say anything that is pertaining to sex here. Alright. Sex after childbirth, okay. So, a little bit about my birth story. I think it's really important to acknowledge I personally had a big vision of having an incredible home birth and it didn't quite turn out that way. So before I got pregnant, I had been in an relationship with my partner who is also my husband for close to six years, and we had a very active sex life. We enjoyed a variety of sex acts and a variety of sensation and it was a lot of fun. We had so much sex, actually, a lot of sex. And when I say sex, I'm not just referring to intercourse, but most people when they talk about sex are referring specifically to intercourse. Penis, vagina. There's so many other ranges of, you may not be in a relationship with somebody who identifies as a man. So there's a lot of different sex acts. So I'm gonna refer to sex as a broader term and not just solely related to penetration with a penis. It can be penetration with anything else and it could also be no penetration. It could be oral sex, it could be anal sex, and I refer to all those things as sex. So I had a lot of that prior to deciding to get pregnant and have a child, and I wanna say I also had a very different body prior to having a child. One thing that I was experiencing in my body was that I was, I just felt like all the pieces were firm and I really enjoyed the shape of my waist and my belly and my hips, and at times actually I didn't enjoy those things about my body. And after I gave birth, I want to say that my sex life, at first, seemed like it was gonna pop right back in. I thought oh my God, it's been six weeks. I can go ahead and have some sex, and it didn't quite happen that way. Actually I did not even think about wanting to have sex at all. I was mortified at the idea. I had gone through four days of intense labor, and I had my daughter was stuck in my pelvis. I had ended up having a Cesarean section and I spent many, many weeks healing from this and the first week at least I was on a very heavy opiate because I was in so much pain, and I surely could not move and I was nursing and keeping a baby, brand new human, alive. So right off the bat, the last thing that really came to mind was anything sexual. But what did come to mind was when I looked in the mirror, I didn't really know who the heck I was looking at. It was quite surreal so if you're just joining in, I would like to say welcome. Please let me know if you have any questions, if you would like to talk about something specific, but tonight's conversation is really gonna be about two aspects or maybe even more. One specifically around the physicalities that happen after you've given birth to a child or after your partner's given birth to a child and also the other piece that happens which is the emotional pieces, the chemical pieces that are going on. Like how we're actually feeling about everything that's going on. So one thing that I wanna share is that when I was pregnant, there was a sense of complete freedom and elation, at least for me. I felt really good, I was round. I looked at my body and I could say, oh, I'm pregnant. I gained 80 pounds during my pregnancy, by the way. So when I gave birth I was 203 pounds, holy shit. That's a lot to me 'cause I'm 5'1 in a half, and my body felt already big, but I could rationalize it in my head as far as my body image went because I was like after all, I am pregnant. So this body is meant to be this vessel to carry a human being and what I noticed during, 'cause I actually looked at my genitals a lot and I had a midwife that encouraged me to actually look at my genitals and prepare my vulva for expanding to have a head come through my vaginal canal. I noticed that my genitals were always engorged, always engorged. There was so much blood flow into my vulva and my clitoris that was very easy for me to have climax during that time. So during my pregnancy I was having an immense amount of intercourse, lots of other sex acts, and my body was responding and receptive to touch and feeling on a level that was actually greater than before I got pregnant. So now after the birth, after giving birth. Well my body had gone through major surgery. So I wanna say having a Cesarean section is, a lot of people elect to have Cesarean sections. I do wanna say that a Cesarean section is actually major surgery. So think very carefully when you're electing to have a Cesarean section that it is not something to take unless you have some really serious medical conditions. I did have a Cesarean section which left me with staples in my abdomen region and on top of that my daughter had been transverse in my pelvis. So I had a lot of stretching in my pelvic region and because I had dilated, I also had the sensation in my interior of my vagina of a lot of pain. We're so tired after all the work to get the baby to bed. Any advice for lazy sex or the lower impact sex? Yes, Chris4257, I will address that right now. So one of the things right after that first three months, four months, six months trying to do it all was intense. Trying, who's gonna put the baby to bed? All these things, going to work all day. It was intense. I did stay home and I nursed on demand and I did all of the pieces at the house. My partner did go and work. So we had this very interesting role playing going on which was pretty traditional, which I wasn't very used to. So mentally I was exhausted, physically I was exhausted. Lazy sex, my advice for lazy sex is don't have lazy sex because it sets a precedent. My advice is as far as sex goes to relearn the concepts around sex versus sensuality. So often times we feel like we're gonna go right back to the heavy intercourse or heavy insertion of things right away, and we really do it because it's like our duty or have we to just, if we would just have sex. I feel personally now looking back when I did that, it really had me feel resentful 'cause quite honestly just having to get it out of the way set this new precedent that it was just a act, and a act of having to do it for the doing sake, and that had me become very resentful. Or like lower impact sex, lower impact sex, okay. So as far as lower impact sex goes, what I look at this as is a reframing of the difference between sensuality and sexuality. So there's a lot of incredible sensations that we can feel even right after childbirth. There's so much energy still going on in our body, there's so many good feelings of oxytocin going through our body, especially for nursing our child that we're completely still feeling that love feeling. This is a wonderful opportunity to do things with your partner that are very sensual and acknowledging. So sensual touch is a wonderful way to connect and stay connected during that time where having intercourse or oral sex is not gonna be an option for a while because we're adjusting to our new bodies. So I highly recommend doing things where you plan deliberate times. Maybe in the morning, maybe in the afternoon. Set deliberate times at least two to three times a week where your only goal is be in connection with each other and learn to touch each other's bodies. You're going to have to relearn to understand your partner's new body 'cause it is inevitably going to be new. It's been changing throughout this time period of being pregnant that after a birth, there's so many new pieces that could potentially stand between you and your partner actually having a gratifying sex life because not only the physical changes, but the emotional and mental changes that come along with it. So Chris4257, what I recommend or what I suggest is that you start to engage in fun things like preparing your meals together, feeding each other, taking the pieces of really learning how to connect in a new way and reconnecting to each other's bodies. Because your partner may be used to having had you all for themselves. Doesn't matter if that person has a penis or a vulva, that person is gonna be switching over from having had you all to themselves, having actually explore. Having you and another human being that you're keeping alive in their life. So there's this new dance that they're doing. They're going to have to re-pattern their time and they're gonna have to relearn what your body's about. So that sounds so nice, I like that. The goal is to relearn and be sensual and not time for, yeah, penis and vagina sex, yeah. Penis and vagina sex is something that our culture really uses as the high standard of the ultimate sex act. Now that is one beautiful sex act and it can feel really good, and it can be really different once you've actually had a birth. Whether you've had a vaginal birth or a Cesarean birth, it's going to feel very different afterwards or if anything that you're inserting inside a vagina inside after is going to feel really different. Now some of the things that you might notice after somebody has given birth is that you might see that their vulva is a different color and that is because there's more pigmentation. So, throughout nine months there's been a constant flow of blood to the genital regions and so when you give birth, whether vaginally or by Cesarean, there's gonna be a different amount of blood flow there and if you've given vaginal birth, you might notice that if you've had any type of perineal tearing or any kind of tearing in the inner labia or any tearing at all, you might see different colorations around the mending of those pieces together or any stitches. So, there's a whole new avenue to navigate there. There's also gonna be potentially more tenderness. There's been some really intense pressure that's been happening in the vagina. If you've had a vaginal birth, there's a lot of opening and people often say, well, they feel looser down there and they're wondering if they're ever gonna feel tight down there. Now, I'll address this is in just a minute. I actually have a whole talk about this called the tight pussy net. Often times our culture says once you've had a baby that your pussy is never as tight again. That may or may not be true for some people, but the thing that people tote right away is you must tighten your pussy, you must tighten, do your kegels. Now I want to encourage you to not do kegelsright away. That is because you're just gonna be clenched tight trying to tighten your pussy. Really enjoy your body, enjoy relaxing. It takes a lot of relaxation once you've had a child. So don't start trying to fix or tighten anything yet. Just focus on the tenderness and the connection you have with your child. As far as sex goes, you're gonna wanna be deliberate about putting attention on a partner, not necessarily for the goal of having intercourse, but you want to really focus on how can you remain connected with one another? So before this livestream, I connected with my partner. Actually, we've been together for 22 years and he came home and I just wanna say, because I'm on O.school, and because I think it's really important I had some really freaking awesome sex right before I did this livestream or got on and I think it's important to share that as A, as a testament to I have great sex, probably the best sex of my lifetime now in my late 40s after I've had a child than I did back then, and also because I got an opportunity to have a conversation with him, and I asked him what would you want people to know about sex after childbirth? And interestingly enough, the thing he said was, "You know, really wish that I knew "that it was important to be really patient "and wish I knew about not judging you, "not being judgemental." And I thought whoa, that was really profound to hear from my partner and it actually kind of had me tear up that my partner was sharing with me that nobody had actually taught him that after somebody had given birth that they could actually choose to have a little bit more tenderness and patience around me adjusting to my new body, and so one of the myths that I think people, and something that people don't understand, both people, is that somehow we're gonna spring back and be ourselves sexually after a week. So first thing is, most, whether you've had a C-section or a vaginal birth, most midwives or medical doctors will tell you that you cannot have any kind of penetration for at least six weeks, and that is for many reasons. You're still tender inside, there's potentially stitches. There's still probably some chance of infection. Your uterus is healing and still coming down. Your body has gone through some really huge changes, and you may not be able to get right back into the sheets and start those quickie fucks or going down on somebody. 'Cause there's a lot of things that are happening. There might be even some changes in odor, you might have bloody discharge that's still coming out. Even if you've had a C-section, you're still gonna have blood and mucus and fluid coming up, and there is gonna be a change in color and consistency as it goes in, but there's gonna be things that nobody tells you about. Like I didn't realize that I was gonna keep on bleeding for so long. I didn't realize that even though I'd had a Cesarean section that my genitals were gonna be different. So if you are somebody who has actually given birth or you're gonna give birth, the thing I recommend most is before you go into this piece of how am I gonna reclaim my sex life with my partner? Is to understand your new body. So on a physical level, you don't have a mirror. This is gonna be a time for you to relearn how your body looks, it's going to change. Now for me, I had a Cesarean section and my body image shifted drastically. I was very depressed. I had my belly, which was once nice high rounded belly actually hung over, and it still does, hung over my pubic mons because my muscles had been cut through. I felt zero sensation in my genitals for a good year, maybe even more. I had, had not a completely traumatic birth, but I'd had enough of an experience where I had my mind had thought I was going to be doing birth one way, but it happened another way. So I had a lot of trauma around my value as a woman not being able to function properly and this was my own mind saying that something was wrong with me. So I was dealing with this utter sadness and utter depression around my body, my ability to birth, and my self worth as was I lovable? Was I worth loving? So there was this emotional aspect to who I was that just, it tore me apart. And I wanna say in the process of all this, I actually was one of the co-founders of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network. So I was actually supporting hundreds of women in my community to birth vaginally after Cesarean section. I did a lot of work with women around being able to have a birth experience that would really support them. Interestingly enough, the one thing that we didn't talk about is pleasure. I barely ever talked about the importance of pleasure. We focused so much on the actual reproductive act and the act of birthing that pleasure and childbirth were rarely ever mentioned together, and what happened after was rarely ever mentioned after. Thank you, thank you clitosaurus, and thank you Chris4257. Yeah, no sensation for a year. And so Chris this really actually was one of the pieces that actually led me on my own journey to understand what was going on from having been a very yummy sexually active, kind of kinky ravenous 20 something and I gave birth at age 28 actually. So I'll give you the time frame, I'm 46 now. I was in my late 20s and I just could not fathom the idea that I was not going to be able to feel sensation. So that was actually something that led me, one of the pieces that led me on my own journey of finding out about my body. So this piece about understanding your new body is gonna be crucial for sex after childbirth. So if you're a person who's watching that you're the partner of somebody who's had a child. You too are gonna have to relearn their new body. So new, I'm so sorry. Hey Ellie, that's okay, welcome. It's great to have you on. Please no apologies, welcome, we're glad to have you here. So relearning your body is not only for the person who has actually given birth, but for the person who is going to be engaging in any kind of sexual act. What may have been pleasurable to them, the person who's given birth before they've had a child may not be exactly what is pleasurable after. Now this was a really key point for me. So, I used to love having really heavy, pounding kind of intercourse prior to having a child. And even though I'd given birth by C-section, what I noticed was when I had heavy penis and vagina intercourse, and fast and hard and wet. First of all, it wasn't that wet 'cause nobody told me that potentially after childbirth all of the hormones may have your vagina feel a little bit dryer which may be a potential. That is easily remedied whether you have had a child or not, lubrication. Lubrication. Gosh, I have so much lubrication. Lubrication. Keep it by your bed. The one great tip for any kind of post pregnancy penis and vagina, any kind of anything into vagina, just always have lubrication. Another tip around that, go three times slower than you think you should be going. So my favorite lube right now by way is HathorSutil, I love them. It's one of my favorites, water based, and it's long lasting. So one of the things that happen for me is I had, had a C-section, but because my daughter had been stuck in my pelvis and my cervix had actually opened up to about seven or eight centimeters, I had this duality of having something between my legs and having had a C-section. So yes, lube is the best. Does sex after childbirth hurt, and how long can you wait before you start penetrative sex? Okay, great questions. Sex after childbirth, does it hurt? Now that really depends on the person. It could potentially hurt or feel more tender, especially if you've had a vaginal birth because the tissue within your vagina it could be a little bit more raw. Now here's the thing, there's no pressure sensitive nerve endings inside your vaginal walls, so that's one great thing, that's a great thing. So where it might hurt actually is going to be more so on the exterior. Now your labia, if you've given birth vaginally, have stretched out immensely and I highly suggest if you have never seen a birth, you can go on Instagram and there is, I'm gonna look it up right now. Empowered Birth Project, I believe it's called. Where you can actually watch several births on Instagram because it is a completely natural thing that happens. So Instagram has allowed birth videos, and so it's really amazing to watch what happens to the vulva, the outer labia, inner labia. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I hope I have my model right now with me, I do. So this is a model that I've done of a vulva. This is the outer labia, inner labia. The is the clitoral hood that's pulled back. The clitoral glands, the perineum, and the anus is down here. So now during childbirth, okay. Yes, isn't that great, Ellie? So all of your labia when giving birth vaginally will expand and almost look like super smooth 'cause the capacity for expansion is amazing, it's amazing. Holy cow, what the vulva can do is incredible. Now, the thing about this is if the person who's given birth has had any kind of perineal tear or any kind of labial tear, that is where you do have nerve endings. So most people will say that when you're having penetrative sexual acts, that those are the places that are most tender and often, so here's the thing, your brain, your body is a vessel that's actually meant to protect you. So if your brain is working and saying oh my God, there's something entering, it's gonna immediately do everything possible to try to protect you. So if you've had any kind of traumatic experience around childbirth, you might actually start to get those feelings of like, oh, this is gonna hurt because after all you did just within a few months potentially give birth. So your brain is actually trying to figure out what's going on. Okay, here's the biggest thing, be gentle to yourself. Be kind to yourself and I think there's this thing that goes on emotionally where we think that we have to do it for the sake of keeping interest of our partner or we have to do it 'cause it's something that if we don't do it, we're gonna lose it. You don't have to have intercourse, you can actually have other sex acts and have other exploratory sensations with a partner. This is actually an opportunity for you to kind of step up the range of sensation through other parts of your body, so this is one thing I learned after giving birth is I didn't have, my desire level, would fluctuate, and I was always trying to figure out, well how? The things that I used to do like to get turned on, I'd go buy some fun lingerie or I'd masturbate or I'd do fun things to get turned on. Well here's the thing, my time frame, I didn't have any more time, as much time to do those things. Surely did not want to go by lingerie because I didn't feel comfortable in my body. All those things that we are told to do, like just keep the juices flowing. Those things are good, but quite honestly, the thing that nobody told me was I had to learn how to communicate. When it came down to it, my sex life, we could try techniques or we could try scheduling a time or we could try having a vibrator or we could try this, but nobody really taught me how to communicate what I wanted and part of it was, I didn't know what I want because I had a whole new body and I wasn't willing to actually explore. So, the very beginnings of having sex after childbirth is really to relearn your communication skills. So on that level, knowing what it is that your desiring comes from what I was just talking about, self exploration. So one thing that you can do if you actually look, if you've had a C-section, look at your scar, look and massage it. Take some time to actually love up the places that have really given all this joy and love to you. There's great, beautiful olive oil, coconut oil. Take time to rub your vulva, take time to massage your belly. Take time to do those places that's really a beautiful way to self love and understand that your body is new and your body is worth it and you can actually start to send those places love by just saying you're beautiful. How do you manage privacy having sex with kids around? Chris, great idea, great question, I mean. So I'll let you know that I actually co-slept with my child 'til she was at least three and then we actually moved to San Francisco, lived in an intentional community of central researchers, so she had her own room and did not sleep with us, but when we moved back and out of that house and moved back to San Francisco, she also started to co-sleep again with us and she was like six. So most people will lie about that and say my kid doesn't sleep in bed with us, but you know everybody's kid comes into their bed and they sleep with you. So, how do you manage privacy having sex with kids around? So, from the get go, we actually started once our child was able to speak, we would say we're gonna have alone time. So we actually had our child could spend 20 minutes alone drawing. Privacy. Oh my goodness, I almost hesitate with this because it's probably completely out, nobody will tell you that you have sex. I co-slept with my newborn and if they're sleeping, you don't wanna move that child because you know they're gonna wake up, you just go to a different room. Or you just move to one side of the bed and you have slower sex, you have slower interactions. This is pretty common in other countries that have multiple people in a room and in our culture it's something that we're like oh no you can't have sex in the bed 'cause there's a baby there, but that's how you got the baby in there. You had intercourse, that child is not listening to you, you're in your separate little area, and I have had intercourse multiple times with a newborn baby close by. There's a bug here. Because I did not want to wake the child. Manage privacy. If you have multiple children, multiple children, then what you're gonna do is you're gonna be much more deliberate about setting the times for penetrative experiences. Otherwise, you're gonna become a creative genius. Quite honestly, you're going to become a creative genius. You're gonna find places and if anything, you're gonna start having sex. Potentially, you could make this a fun game. Make it playful. So when you're making coffee in the morning, maybe get the baby sleeping. Maybe your partner gets up with you and maybe you have kitchen sex right there on the floor. Maybe you take more showers together and you have more sensual touch. So privacy quite honestly when you have a family, the first many years and pretty much anytime you have kids, privacy is one of those things that we tend to value as sex is private. I think once we have children, we realize that sometimes I know that I have locked the door in the bathroom and had a quickie with my partner while there were people in the other room. I mean, it's been if the feeling it comes on and I think we have to break those rules. Quite honestly Chris4257, privacy and sex once you have kids, it changes. You have to be reacquainted with the other possibilites and look at it as a fun game. Where can we have sex today? Maybe we have sex outside. Hey, maybe we trade sex nights or sex hours with I had a mom's group. So sometimes we would actually be like you take all the kids for two hours tonight so I can have some sex here. That's a really valid way, if you don't have people to support you and having that privacy alone time is something you value, then I suggest that you actually invest in a babysitter, somebody to watch your child once a week or take them for a walk, have somebody else take them for a walk or a girlfriend come over and take your child for a walk. If we can actually have sex be least taboo, then we can start having these conversations and as women, as people who have vulvas and have babies, your greatest asset is going to be other people who have given birth or have children. So people who have, let's say, brand new children, whether they've given birth themselves or whether they have adopted a child, we're all gonna face this piece around sex after having a child. Generally it's gonna be less sex because we have less time on our hands, we're more tired, we're more irritable, our hormones are different. Have your community of people that you can count on. Why does it seem so taboo? Chris4257, it seems so taboo because we've made sex so taboo and it's been such a shameful piece that even though that's how we got impregnated, we only think of the reproductive aspects of sex. So, it's so taboo in our culture to actually experience sex for pleasure, talking about sex as a pleasurable act, any kind of sex act pleasurably is almost against the grain. It's okay to say yeah we got pregnant, but you know what you did to get pregnant, you had some kind of sexual act whether you had an insemination or whether you had a penis and a vagina. There was some kind of physical penetrative act pretty much that got somebody pregnant somehow and it was through the vagina. So that seems okay. So when it comes to pleasure though this is the part where it's taboo because suddenly you're not doing it an act for an act procreation, you're doing it for the sake of having fun. That is part of our culture that we shame people for. Fun is a frivolous way of being in our culture and that's why it's so taboo. I find it so frustrating that there is this social expectation for women to stop being sexual after they have kids. Like motherhood boards up your vagina. No shit Ellie, for sure. Yeah there is this expectation and there is this idea that somehow we've gone from maidenhood to motherhood and we are all dried up, but that's it. We somehow are no longer sexual beings, but quite interestingly, Ellie, it actually for me was quite the opposite once I realized that I was a highly sensing being, some of the things I realized were that there was more blood flow in my genitals and once I actually regained connection to my genitals specifically. Now here's the thing, we place so much value on penetrative sex acts that we forget the clitoris . The clitoris is going to be your biggest friend after you have had childbirth, a child specifically vaginally or C-section because the clitoral glands is on the outside. There are the other pieces that are interior, but there's 8,000 nerve endings. So, this could be an opportunity for your partner to completely learn how to have your clitoris stroked. This is a new opportunity for a whole new awareness around pleasure. Now the clitoris is the seat of all orgasm. It's the root of all orgasm, all of it. So it's a good opportunity to take advantage of it. The vagina is not the root of your orgasm. There's no pressure sensitive nerve endings in there. Aw Chris, thank you, thank you. I'm gonna say Chris4257, it's almost like I'm so curious if that's just a random number or not. Thank you, yeah, I feel like the gift in childbirth was A, I have the best freaking daughter in the whole world and I'm not just saying that. My daughter's pretty awesome, and hopefully, she just turned 18, so there's plans at some point for her and I to do a little O.school livestream together. So keep a lookout for me and my daughter, and second of all it allowed for me to actually understand that there was more to be had than just sex acts, like intercourse, and I became a much more sensing being because I was able to relearn what my body really liked. So I relearned what my body liked for me how that went and this doesn't happen for everybody 'cause I actually decided to actually go on a journey of sexual emancipation. I wanted to understand what it was that I was desiring, so I took courses in sensuality, communication, relationships, and lived in an intentional community. I researched full body orgasm and I have had thousands and thousands of hours of orgasm produced in my body, full body clitoral orgasm and through that what I learned was that even though my body had changed, that once I actually reconnected to my pussy, to my clitoris that I became incredibly confident in my body that I loved my pussy so much more because I realized, like oh my goodness, this body not only did it carry a human life, I kept a child alive for many months. I nursed for three and a half years, but I nursed exclusively for close to a year. So I kept a human being alive with this body. So there's pieces of who I was that were changing. Yes, mom and daughter livestream. Thank you Mia, yeah, so if you are loving, please there is a little tip jar on the side and we gladly, gladly will receive. Hold on, let me take a sip of water. If you are somebody who has a child, I think a lot of the things that people say are you're never gonna have your sex life back. Some of the things that women come to me for, I lost my desire, my partner doesn't find me attractive anymore. They have no interest in me, in sex anymore. So there's a couple things I wanna address here. So if your partner is actually seeing you give birth vaginally there are some things that could potentially happen. There's many ways that, that could go. Like oh my God, there is something that came through your vaginal canal, can I put my something, penis in there? Can I put a dildo in there again? Can I ever put anything in there again? And so there's a psychological thing that could potentially happen there. So how to address that is blood flows into the tissue of your vagina. Just because you've pushed out a baby does not mean that your vaginal walls are going to be loose, that is a myth. There is gonna be a little bit of time like come back into normal, but most likely your body now knows how to get blood flow into your genitals. So if anything, you can actually train your body to have more sensation. When there's more blood flow in your genitals, there's actually more engorgement in there and that acts for a much, much more receptive cushion for anything that enters your body, your pussy. So I had to do a re-frame around that. Blood flow comes into my genitals, it actually feels better instead of trying to tighten your pussy, relax it. That was another thing. You're gonna be spending a lot of time with a child regardless of if you had a vaginal birth, C-section, or adoption. This is the thing nobody tells you is that you're spending so much time with your partner, so much time with your new child that often times the partner will feel like they're being neglected. Now if you're the partner that's feeling neglected, one thing that you can do is you can actually choose to put some non-judgemental attention on the person that has just given birth to a child or just has been the primary caretaker of a new child. Well you can do this by kind words, words of affirmation. You can do this by sensual touch. Maybe brush their hair, offer them a nice massage, and it also offers you connection with that person. You can spend some time looking at them. Just gazing at them for a few minutes, and acknowledging them in a really positive way. You can actually take the newborn baby out of the house because that person is probably really exhausted, and so if that person gets to sleep, it's much easier to actually want to have more time with the person who feels neglected sexually. So couple of things to remember when you've just given birth or you've had sex after childbirth. Be patient, okay? The sex that you were having before actually may not have been the most pleasurable kind of sex to begin with. Now you have a new body and that this is an exploratory time, a time to explore what else is possible. So stay positive and go for something different. Learn about the clitoris because this alone, this one piece on a physical level, if you learn how to stroke a clitoris, you're just gonna be so grateful that you have this kind of connection. It feels good to really put attention on the clitoris especially after childbirth. It can be very relaxing, it can be de-stressing. It could feel like you really want to have a connection with that person. So the clitoris is gonna be your friend more so than the nipples because the nipples could potentially be used for nursing and they're very sensitive. If you're nursing a child, we often don't like our nipples touched 'cause they are sensitive. If you think your vagina, vaginal canal feels looser, just know that you can rest and people say, oh, if you've had a C-section your vagina won't be loose, well that's not always true. A lot of people who have had C-sections where there has been a head gone partially through the birth canal or a cervix has opened, so it's tender. So don't just judge on that one piece. C-sections, major surgery. Somebody's gone through major surgery, so somebody's had a Cesarean section and you're hoping to have sex with them in six weeks 'cause they didn't push a baby through their vagina? Just know that sometimes it actually takes longer to recuperate after Cesarean section than it does a vaginal birth. Your body is not used to or not made to be cut open like this. It's major surgery and it can be potentially very traumatic. Your body atrophies and shuts down because it's protecting you. So I lost a lot of sensation in my genitals from having had a C-section and had to regain that particular sensation, okay? Things to notice that the color of a vulva could change because what once had a lot of blood flow has less blood flow. The labia may have changed shape for temporarily because of having been opened wider, but they do regain, they do come back into shape. You may have bloody discharge for a while, so you're not supposed to have sex technically for six weeks, and then you can go to your midwife or a gynecologist to get the get-go, but I think most of us really know that when our bodies are ready. So sex after childbirth does not have to, it might change, but it might not. So I wanna give you that perspective. It's an opportunity to relearn what your body likes. That's the number one thing. If you're worried about your partner so much, it's gonna be really difficult to go right into going back to what you had. So you're gonna have to relearn what you do like. You're gonna have to learn communication skills more than ever because not only are you trying to communicate what your new body likes, but you're communicating like how are we gonna plan and deliberately make time for each other to have pleasure? So that's the new conversation. You're not necessarily talking about how do we plan time? Remember if you were trying to have a baby, we were talking about can you come home and do a quickie or it's time. Now it's like, oh, how do we fit in sex? So how you fit it in is very deliberately, and sex doesn't always have to be just the act of penetrative intercourse and really allow for yourself to experience smaller cycles of sensual connection through sensual touch. Create a kit, a sensuality kit with all your favorite things like a really nice massage oil. Potentially some great smells, always keep some chocolate nearby and maybe have a 10 minute session of, hey, how can we connect and just connect our fingers, our bodies together? Even getting naked for 10 minutes, just to feel the warmth of each other's body, that. You'd be surprised how the good feelings start going, and it doesn't always have to lead to penetrative sex. So that's the one thing I have to say is that if we can let go of this idea that it has to always lead to intercourse or any kind of penetration, and that we can actually have a new array of possibilities and kind of slowly come into a new level of awareness around pleasure rather than just reproductive function around our sexuality. I could probably talk about this topic for a long, long time. Moms come to me all the time privately in my own private practice and they take courses from me. The biggest thing I get is I just don't wanna have any kind of sex at all. I have no interest in this person anymore. Now, what I say is communication. Start to have conversations. Things that meant a lot to you before may not mean as much to you anymore. Things you thought about your partner prior to getting pregnant, you may not feel about that partner. A lot of attentions gone on a new being. Be kind to yourself, be gentle to yourself and just know that pleasure is your birthright. So when all is said and done, if you've just had a babyexcuse me, however you've had that child whether through adoption, through vaginal birth, through Cesarean section, through surrogate. That sex is most likely going to take a little bit more deliberate communication and relearning of your new beautiful body and that's it. Oh my gosh, it's 6:01. Mia, thank you so much. Thank you for coming to O.school tonight. If you have any questions, go ahead. I'll leave this thread going for just a minute. Any questions that you have, find us on Facebook at O.school. Go ahead and I'll answer anything afterwards if you have specific questions. Please private message me if you're having any kind of issues around sex after childbirth. I really love supporting new parents around this. This is really near and dear to me because it really, quite honestly, it almost ended my relationship with my partner and we just celebrated 22 years of relationship. So yes, take your time. I don't mean to push you offline. Oh no, honey. Thank you, Mia, thank you. Yes, I don't feel pushed offline. Thank you Ellie, I really appreciate you coming on. There's no too late, be good to yourself, be kind to yourself and know that fun is your birthright. You can have fun doing a lot of things out there. Not just intercourse. So enjoy and have a great night, thank you.

Approaching Sex After Birth

Date
Wed
Sep 19, 2018
|
2:00 pm
|
Calendar
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
|
2:00 pm

Our bodies and sex lives change after childbirth. Pleasure Professional Lucia Pavone will break down the in's and out's of sex after birth and address anxieties about getting back into the sheets.