Guest blogger Elizabeth Kuster: Once you've had a baby come out of your hooha, you can never look at the sex act -- or your body -- in quite the same way again. What are the ramifications of this holy-s***-I-made-a-human-being epiphany? A sexpert weighs in on the most common issues (both positive and negative).
Okay, so you made a person. Well done, you! But now that you've achieved this miraculous stunt, it's pretty impossible to go back to thinking of sex as just a fun, rollicking frolic, or your vajayjay as simply a pleasure dome. Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., gynecologist and author of "What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex," has the lowdown.
Ramificiation #1: You may not feel as sexy in your own skin. "After you have a baby, your body changes," notes Hutcherson. "Even if you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, you'll be a little rounder, and everything will look different. Some women experience decreased desire because of that."
Ramification #2: You may worry about your vagina being "good enough." "Most women have heard the myth -- and it is a myth -- that childbirth changes your vagina forever," says Hutcherson. "They worry that they'll never be as tight as they were before, so therefore their man won't enjoy having sex with them as much as he did before. Even though that's not true--your vagina will go back to normal, especially if you do kegels--those worries can have an adverse effect on your sexual experience."
Ramification #3: You'll have a decreased libido. "Hormonal changes and extreme fatigue will make sex less desirable," says Hutcherson. "Sex is a little uncomfortable the first few times, too, especially if your tissue was torn or had to be cut. The discomfort -- or fear of discomfort -- puts a damper on things for a while."
Ramification #4: You may, on the other hand, feel more powerful. "Some women feel stronger after childbirth," Hutcherson says. "They think, 'I did something no man can do! I've brought life into the world!' Those thoughts can make a woman feel more feminine -- and ultimately improve things in bed."
Ramification #5: You may have more -- and better -- orgasms. "If you took childbirth classes, you will now know more about your body and how it functions," says Hutcherson. "You'll be more in control of it. That knowledge can drastically improve your sex life. Belly breathing in particular can lead to stronger, more frequent orgasms. To enjoy sex, you need to be centered and relaxed, and the belly breathing technique both decreases tension and helps you focus on the pleasure you're feeling."
Ramification #6: Your attention shifts from your partner to your baby. "After childbirth, it's very common for women to focus more on parenting than on their relationship with their man, unfortunately," says Hutcherson. "Whatever you do, don't let that part of your life disappear!"
Ramification #7: You'll feel more connected to your man during sex. "When you've given birth to a man's child, you and he have shared something very important," notes Hutcherson. "Sex, therefore, will become more momentous for both of you. You'll both feel more emotional during intercouse; you'll feel a much greater sense of connectedness. That's definitely a positive!"