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Having Sex After Baby: Yes, Birth PTSD is Real!

“On this episode of “The Language of Love,” Dr. Laura Berman talks about Birth PTSD. This is a rarely discussed topic that impacts men and women alike.

“Going through labor and delivery is a massive experience that can take a physical, emotional, and spiritual toll,” says Dr. Berman. “Even if you had a ‘normal’ birth (using the word normal loosely, as all births are different and special in their own way), you might find that you are having a hard time getting back into sex. Once the doctor gives you the green light to have sex again, you might find that one or both of you are having a hard time getting back to your old sex life.”

That’s because, says Dr. Berman, your sex life likely won’t ever be exactly the same…and that’s okay.

“Sex after childbirth is different, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing at all. On the contrary, many parents can find that their sex lives will deepen and improve over the years, but often times there is also a period of adjustment where one or both of you may struggle to get back into the saddle,” says Dr. Berman. “Men are often nervous or even frightened to have sex with their partners after they have given birth, especially if they witnessed their partner giving birth. They may be afraid of hurting their partner, and they may even fear that they won’t be able to satisfy her.”

Dr. Berman also says that new moms often struggle with feelings of discomfort or shame around their bodies after childbirth, especially if they had a difficult labor.

“If you didn’t feel respected or safe during labor, or you felt as though you ‘failed’ in some way to deliver in the manner in which you hoped, you might no longer trust your body as you once did,” says Dr. Berman. “You might have feelings of resentment or anger about the way your birth was handled and you might be afraid to feel vulnerable or exposed after that experience.”

Dr. Berman talks about therapy can help to heal trauma and what couples should do if they are struggling from birth PTSD.

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