There are plenty of things your friends and doctors don’t necessarily tell you about after having a baby. Few people mention just how tired you are going to be when you’re up feeding every 1-2 hours. Your nipples will kill when you are feeding that much, and after having a baby, sex may not be as comfy as it once was. These are important things to mention, and affect so many new moms. Why are we shy to talk about our breasts and vaginas? Us women all have them! As a proponent of no-nonsense health advice, here we go…
After giving birth, women experience a wide range of concerns and problems, from weight gain to stretch marks, to low libido and vaginal dryness. Your hormones are bouncing all over the place with pregnancy and the post partum period , which can lead to a less-than-ideal situation when it comes to sex. Don’t despair; there are things you can do to fix it! Luckily, it tends to resolve on its own within a few months as your hormones stabilize, though this can take longer if you are breastfeeding.
How to deal with postpartum vaginal dryness:
Drink a lot
Delivering a baby can lead to fluid loss, thus leading to dehydration. When you are dry, your body doesn’t see the need to send fluid to your vagina, your brain and heart need it more (well, duh). So drink plenty of water, ideally 8-10 glasses a day. If you are breastfeeding, this will help immensely.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Both caffeine and alcohol have a drying effect on your body and can lead to dehydration. Drink water instead and avoid these to keep dryness at bay.
Avoid perfumed soaps and douches
These can meddle with your normal vaginal bacteria and environment. Try using a non-perfumed, non-medicated soap instead.
Easier said than done sometimes, especially when you are sleep deprived, achy and feeling heavy, but foreplay plays a major role in naturally lubricating the vagina, preparing it for penetration. Yep, I said it. Play.
I think many of us young-ins feel that lubricants are for old people or for ‘other’ areas. Lubricants can be a great way to minimize pain, increase comfort and bring you back to connecting with your partner. Choose water based lubricants and read the instructions carefully. Products like K-Y® JELLY can effectively promote comfort from vaginal dryness, which is a source of discomfort and soreness during sex. K-Y is the #1 most trusted by couples and professionals and has a versatile range of products with a medicinal heritage. Wash your body afterwards and you’ll feel like a new woman again. Please do not use petroleum jelly or lotion in place of lubricants. They contain chemicals and perfumes that are not safe for inside your body.
A diet high in fatty acids can decrease vaginal dryness. Fish, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin are great sources. Eating well will aid in weight loss, making you feel sexier again, and who doesn’t want that? Foods high in vitamin A, E and B can help as well. Isoflavons in flaxseed, cherries, apples, nuts and legumes can also help. Eat the rainbow I say!
See your doc
As always, if you have a medical problem it is best to speak with your doctor or midwife. Most cases are self-limited and easy to remedy.
Although this post has been generously sponsored by K-Y®, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect opinions of the K-Y® brand or the Reckitt Benckiser Corporation.
Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.