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Intimacy after birth
And when you don't feel like having it at all
I remember my midwife advised me to refrain - or - be extra careful for the first 6 weeks. As my uterus would contract during early breastfeeding I reflected on her words over and over again. At one point I was no longer sure if the channel to the said uterus was even meant for having any other pleasure than birthing new life.
I didn’t see myself having intercourse any time soon at all.
A Postpartum “all clear” at 6 weeks by the GP feels a little short-sighted
A few virtual lines to make an estimate of how Yoni is coping and offering different options for birth control from now onwards just aren’t aligned with what most birthers need at this time in their healing process
The six-week mark passed and although the GP gave me an all clear, my mirror told me something else. Holding it between my legs, I could still look right into the loving eyes of my cervix (honestly my mirror is actually not that HD - but you get the idea). The three-month mark passed and although my vulva had healed incredibly well from the outside, I still wasn’t sure about intercourse. In my mind, I wanted to try it, but in my body, I wasn’t ready.
Now that babba is 15 months I can happily say that the readiness has changed. And so has intimacy as I knew it: the environment, the timings, the spontaneity of it all to name a few… I meet many different birthers in my practice, and everyone’s intimacy story is just as unique as their birth story.
But I can tell you this: many of us experience a significant change in time management. The day-to-day life has changed, and so has the energy that there’s left at the end of the day. Naturally, lots of mamma’s just want to catch some Zzzz’s when the evening has come. Rather than, you know, taking out some more energy to make love.
Many birthers worry that their libido has completely left their bodies after birth. Will it ever come back? And how does my partner feel about this?
Ayurveda goes a few steps beyond connecting nursing to the womb. Metaphysically, your womb also houses unconditional love and your subconsciousness. Besides any birth trauma that may be there, she is also very (!) aware of your angel baby. All the unconditional love that motherhood brings simply activates her all day. Your intuition has also received “an update”: motherhood comes with a raised Vata Dosha (Space and Air element). Vata rules the nervous system, taps into your intuition and is extremely sensitive to sound and touch. Western Medicine would say that Vata is closely related to the hormones oxytocin and cortisol. According to some experts, these hormones are raised in new mothers for about 18 months! There are links between this aggravation and breastfeeding as well.
Increased intuition as a result of these hormonal changes is both magical and essential in so many ways. But it doesn’t come cheap: the gift comes with an inclination to exhaustion. A lack of energy makes it harder to process thoughts and feelings. Sum that up with decreased dreaming (broken nights) and you’re likely to have some accumulation of unprocessed feelings in the subconsciousness. With feelings hanging in there that you may not even be consciously aware of, it’s likely you’re also juggling with some needs that aren’t met too. If you don’t know you need them — how can anyone else?
Amongst those unprocessed feelings and unmet needs may be the need for loving touch
To draw a conclusion I would like to say these 3 things:
Metaphysically speaking your Womb is absolutely “full”. Since women are typically on the receiving end between the energy exchange that is intercourse, it’s only natural you don’t long for this as much at this point in time.
On a physical level - especially when you’re breastfeeding - your body may simply not want to reproduce right now. Your bundle of joy still needs you a lot and your energy levels aren’t exactly peaking.
Amongst those mentioned unprocessed feelings and unknown meets may very well be the need for loving touch. Somatic sex practices can really lift the energetics between partners. I love this podcast episode by the sacred window for inspiration.
Ayurvedic self-care that helps you reconnect to Yoni Shakti
Yoni Shakti is the female energy behind the creation and the gift to give life. It’s closely related to your libido and so nurturing Yoni Shakti will help you nurture your sexuality. I would love to go into detail about each one of these practices, but I am reaching the limit to this space (oops). For now, I will just serve you with a sum-up, requests for details are oh-so-welcome!!
Schedule some quality time with yourself to rediscover the things you enjoy. Anything that sparks your creative energy, lifts you up. Maybe it’s a journal practice, decorating a room, painting, dancing, playing chess… The time is yours! Since creativity and your libido are both down Yoni Shakti’s lane, one will automatically complement the other.
Nurture your Nervous System. This will contribute to a feeling of restfulness and therefore stop your subconsciousness from accumulating unprocessed thoughts and feelings. Moreover, it will calm your cycle of thought down. Good examples are Motherwort, Lemon balm, Chamomile, Brahmi and Skullcap.
Nurture your Womb Space. Especially as a result of breastfeeding, your Yoni’s local environment may have gone a bit desert-like. Leading to itch, bleeding after intercourse and overall discomfort. You can contact an Ayurvedic Practitioner to help you formulate your own blend of herbs like Gokshura, Punanarva, Guggulu and Manjistha. PS: I also offer personalised journeys to your ideal plant medicine match which includes your own bespoke herbal blend.
Indulge into a daily self-massage practice with Sesame Oil and the essential oils of Pomegranate, Frankincense and Myrrh. These oils all nurture the nervous system externally and care for your womb. Pomegranate even has the properties to prevent prolapse — it’s an excellent uterine toner.
Practice Yoni Mudra whenever you see fit in your day. Set the timer for 3 minutes and build up to 15 minutes. But even if building up never happens, 3 minutes makes for a strong foundation. Yoni Mudra holds the energetic shape of Yoni Shakti’s energy. It’s calming and helps you bring awareness to your womb space. It reconnects you to your womb and supports in healing any fear or past trauma.
Shakti is the feminine aspect of cosmic energy, which is endowed into the womb of every female, willing her with the most potent inherent medicine to nurture, nourish and heal. It is the axial power of a woman — from which the gift to give life, create art, nourish, nurture and maintain equanimity arises. Shakti provides the necessary generation of energy for the ongoing cycles of life to continue.
— Maya Tiwari in Women's Power To Heal
Deborah Rose xx