Dr Julie Durnan

Bringing Sexy Back: How To Liven Up Your Libido After Childbirth

One of the least talked about topics in women’s health is libido, and this is especially true after women give birth. So, in the true spirit of raising awareness on a most important subject, I want to open the flood gates and have a chat about your mojo post-partum – how to check in with your libido and to make sure that you’re doing all that you can to feel your best in the bedroom.

After a baby, hormonal changes occur:  our hair falls out, sometimes in clumps; we lose our pregnant glow; our periods return.  One of the most common shifts to occur hormonally for women, is a drop in libido. Here’s why:

You. Are. Exhausted.
Nobody can deny that new mamas are tired.  Sleep deprivation can cause some pretty extreme fatigue and be like an antidote to sexy feelings. Caring for a baby all day is tough.  Add in managing a household, other children, a spouse, and things can get unruly. The truth is, at the end of a new mama’s day, sex is simply not on the agenda and even if our partners are keen, we are spent.

It Hurts to Love You
Whether you delivered vaginally or via a c-section, it takes time to heal.  Pain in the vaginal vault post-partum can last for months and it is normal.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Once you have a baby you are never alone. We snuggle, sling, gaze, kiss, coo, cuddle, massage, feed, and repeat, 24 hours per day. With all this loving, often there just doesn’t leave much desire for more touching.  Research supports this theory. Mamas release oxytocin (the hormone that causes women to seek touch and talking) through contact with their babies. This full tank of oxytocin, leaves women satisfied and less likely to seek out affection from others.

Singing the Baby Blues
Post-partum depression affects 20% of all new moms and it can come on fast and furious.  It’s important to look for signs in new moms within the first 6 weeks after baby’s birth.  While loss of libido is only one symptom, others clues are withdrawal, irritability, loneliness, guilt, and tearfulness.  It’s important to seek treatment not just to benefit your sex-drive but for your overall wellbeing.

Just Eat It
Poor nutrition post-partum is a common cause of low libido. Moms are busy and often their own needs take a back seat to those of their cuddly new baby. Inadequate protein, fat, calories and also low iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D can all occur after childbirth. Especially while nursing, it’s important for women to continue taking a multivitamin and often higher amounts of certain other nutrients.

Serenity now!
I have three words for you new mamas:  treat your adrenals. These glands that release female sex hormones, stress hormone cortisol, and adrenaline, get a workout with all the changes that a new baby brings. It’s simple. When stress and anxiety are high, we can deplete our reserves of nutrients needed to deal with stress. Without the proper nutrient building blocks, libido will take a nosedive.  Taking herbs to support and nourish the adrenals as well as extra minerals can give your adrenals a tune-up they so desperately need post-partum.

So what’s a mama to do?
There are plenty of natural vitamins, minerals and botanicals that can liven your libido up to van-rocking shape in no time.  Here are a few:
Multivitamin – Nothing can replace a healthy diet, but if your diet is less than optimal, you need it.
B vitamins – these nutrients support metabolism, stress response, and oh yeah, mojo.
Magnesium – important for supporting your adrenal glands, immune system and inducing relaxation.
Ashwagandha – a wonderful herb that helps mamas better adapt to stress.
Tribulus – those who know me, know that I’m cuckoo for this plant!  Supports libido in both women and men.  Since it takes two to tango, Tribulus is what this doctor orders.
Maca – a powerful tonic for increasing sexual libido. It even helps to increase libido in women who are on antidepressants.  It’s strong and it works.
Damiana – heightens the senses of our nerves, increases endurance, and promotes erotic dreams.  Are you ready for this?

It’s helpful to find the cause of your low sex-drive and to seek help from your naturopathic physician if you need support. With a bit of patience, plenty of nourishment, and a creative dose of herbal medicine, you will bring sexy back.

xoxo Dr. Julie “mojo medicine mama” Durnan, ND

P.S. Please leave a comment below!  I want to hear how you relate to this. We need to support each other through the ups and downs of this transition time.

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