When you’re a new mom, you have a habit of oversharing. Whether its your postpartum support group or the playground mom who’s always there when you are, you’re probably giving up some intimate details that you’d never normally tell strangers.
But one thing that we moms aren’t talking enough about is post-baby sex. Specifically, when are you supposed to be ready for it? And what if it’s been months, and you still aren’t even-at all-no way-girl, bye–remotely interested.
This is completely normal. And even necessary.
As women, our bodies and minds and souls go through cycles. When they’re honored, things flow quite beautifully. But too often, we get in our own way, and muck things up with our expectations.
When we give birth, our biological predisposition is to care for our babies. However, speaking again biologically, sex creates more babies — so a lower drive is one of nature’s brilliant built-in mechanisms to ensure care of our already-born and, hence, the survival of our species. Science! Eventually, this circles back around. If you’ve honored your cycles, you might find yourself raring to go again before you know it.
But if the idea of postpartum intimacy is still stressing you out, it’s not surprising.
And it may be society. Our culture puts an enormous burden on postpartum women to “bounce back,” even in subtle ways. In the United States, for instance, doctors generally advise postpartum moms to wait “at least 6 weeks” before resuming sex after having a baby.
But most of us need more time. Sometimes, way more. If that’s true for you, are you okay with it? Or are you on your own timeline, or someone else’s?
Rushing into post-baby sex before you’re ready is like the baby cry alarm at 4 am. It feels better when you get to wake up on your own clock.
You can force yourself awake, with willpower and lots of caffeine, but it won’t feel as easeful or enjoyable as waking up when you’re ready. And as a new mom, you need as much ease as possible. You’re keeping a new, tiny human fed and dry and cozy and alive.
Motherhood gives you a dozen new job titles that you never knew even existed, and the number of hats you have to wear requires an extra mental closet. Each day, you’re expected to fulfill these roles — the parent, the partner, the cleanup, the cook, the referee, the nurse, the chauffeur, the house manager, the planner, the decider of all decisions… and somewhere in there, you’re supposed to be the vixen, too.
When you wear all the hats (especially in the beginning), it’s hard to switch from one to another. Lighten your load by listening to your body. Tuning into your own timeline. Continuing to process your birth experience, without any pressure of sexual intimacy.
When you rush, you’re more likely to miss the ebb and flow of your emotional and biological seasons — each with its own gorgeousness, rhythm, and perfect timing. Stay intimately connected with your needs, and you’re more likely to notice when your sexier cycle returns on its own.