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Let’s just start by clearing the air. There is no such thing as a “normal” sex drive. Whether or not your libido is “normal” or “healthy”, is dependent on what feels right to you. So, don’t compare yourself to others or feel pressured to have the same drive that you think others have.
That being said, extremely low or very high libidos can sometimes indicate health problems.
Shortly after having a baby, your mojo could be anywhere on the spectrum from raging to non-existent. For most new parents, lack of sleep, less social life, and less time for intimacy with each other can certainly have an impact.
But for a lot of mums, the changes to your body, chronic pain, and your mental state can have huge influences on your desire to get it on… and it could take some time to get it back, but there are ways to speed things up!
Understandably, not everyone copes well with way these changes look or feel. Even after you’ve cleared to have sex (around 8 weeks after birth), you may not feel like the sultry goddess you once were. But keep in mind that these changes are completely normal after pregnancy, and many of them are temporary.
Focusing on the basics like healthy eating, getting regular gentle exercise, and sleeping well, can help your body recover more quickly. But don’t focus on getting your pre-pregnancy body back, focus on feeling healthy and well. You might be surprised to know that a number of women actually prefer their postnatal body!
I find that yoga, stretching, and dancing are the best for getting back in touch with an appreciation for your body and how sexy you are. (And you totally are!)
Pain can also have a huge impact on libido, and it could be anything from healing from birth trauma or caesarean section, to changes in pelvic floor muscle and prolapse. If your joints become unstable during pregnancy, which is common due to the hormone Relaxan, they could continue to cause pain afterwards if not properly addressed. Seeing an osteopath or chiropractor can help with these issues.
When women continue to have vaginal pain many months after birth, it could indicate an imbalanced pelvic floor or even vaginismus – a painful condition where the vaginal muscles spasm. A pelvic floor specialist is your best bet, in these cases.
In almost every case, mental health support can be beneficial for reigniting your sex drive. This could mean one-on-one sessions with a psychologist or counselor. Or, it could be joining a support group for mums who are dealing with the same concerns you have – whether it’s pain, anxiety, body image, or something else.
Postnatal anxiety and depression is common and too many mums are dealing with it in silence. It’s estimated that at least one out of five women will experience mental If you are not coping with stress, or are feeling particularly anxious, down, or alone, there are many resources your can reach out to for immediate support. Please don’t feel hesitant to reach out, we all need help sometimeis
Dr. Sarah Hennessey (TCM) is a registered acupuncturist and herbalist. She has worked in women’s health for the past 8 years. Her background is in Western health science and traditional Chinese medicine. She lives in Melbourne, Australia where she runs her own clinic, South East Natural Health. When she’s not helping women sort out their health concerns, she enjoys making memories with her 3-year-old daughter.