Alright new parents – listen up! I’m going to strongly encourage you to read on and learn why I REALLY think you should use a lubricant after baby and throughout the postpartum period. You can thank me later.
Intimacy after a baby can be challenging. Adjusting to a new family dynamic, exhaustion, a baby stuck to you almost 24-7…not too mention trauma from a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section incision, and possibly sore nipples from breastfeeding or pumping. For some women just the thought of returning to intercourse is scary.
On top of all this, hormones are shifting after delivery, especially for those who are producing breast milk. These hormonal shifts can leave you dry, like the Sahara desert, down there, and with less sexual desire.
This is why I think lubricant is so important. There is certainly an increased chance that there will be some discomfort when you return to intercourse. And it is my experience that vaginas are very smart. Once they feel pain, they know to anticipate it again. This anticipating pain leads women to tense up and kegel the next time they try intercourse. And those kegel muscles can make the vaginal opening smaller, leading to more friction and potential discomfort. So, do yourself a favour and start with a lubricant right from the start. (Want to learn more about kegel muscles, click here.)
But Which Lubricant?
I don’t believe that any old lubricant will do (well especially not old lubricant – that stuff expires). According to the World Health Organization many of the familiar brands from the pharmacy can actually be irritating to the vaginal tissues and lead to discomfort and potential infection. That’s because many lubricants don’t pay attention to the proper pH levels of the vaginal environment and use additive that increased osmolarity (too concentrated a solution).
If you are someone who has never had pain with intercourse then a really nice glycerine-free/paraben-free water-based lubricant will do just fine. If you have had discomfort in the past, it’s my belief to skip the water-based and go straight to a silicone lubricant. Silicone-based lubricant isn’t absorbed into the skin as easily as water-based and therefor lasts longer. Word of caution though, while both water and silicone-based lubricants are fine to use with condoms, silicone lubricants can stain sheets and can wear away the surface of a silicone sex-toy or insertable silicone medical devices (like dilators), so do a test patch first!
Interested in seeing which lubricants we recommend? Check out these links for our preferred water-based lubricant and silcone-based lubricant. As always, if you purchase from on of our links, we do stand to make a small profit – just like if you bought a product from our clinic.
Katie & Eryn,