Your beautiful body grew and birthed your baby, either through a vaginal birth or belly birth. Showing connection and love to your now solo body can be challenging, especially if your birth experience was not what you had envisioned or traumatic.
If you are suffering from any lingering panic, depression, anger, dissociation, or inability to bond with your family or self, please reach out to a therapist. Contact any doula in your area and they will have a recommendation of one that specializes in birth trauma and postpartum issues.
When trying to reconnect to your body, it can be even more difficult if you are experiencing continued pain. PAIN IS NOT NORMAL. Pain is your body's way of telling you something is not right. Pain, numbness, dryness, random bleeding, tearing, or anything else that is anything other than happy healthy, is not normal. Inability to hold your bladder, sneeze, cough, laugh without peeing; is not normal! Again, a trip to a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist will help fix this all up. If you're in the Baltimore, MD area Dr. Samantha Duflo of Indigo Physiotherapy is my favorite.
At the end of your pregnancy journey, a baby, an organ, and a lot of blood came out of your vagina or your belly. Then you're an extra hot mess with your granny panties, milk leaking, squishy self. Reconnecting to your womb as something sexual can seem like an impossible task. We hear so much about self care, but what about self love and self-sex? Wonder if your partner is feeling a loose vagina; go find out for yourself and see they're not. Wonder if the stitches left you altered; grab a mirror and look. Do all of this when you're ready and feel called to reopen this aspect of your body and life.
Exploring your body and your postpartum intimate bits can go a long way towards claiming yourself back from birth and baby. The fabulous Layla Martin released a new guided meditation that is free and takes a whole 5 minutes. It can really help in reconnecting you to your pelvic organs. She calls it her Honey Pot Practice. The amount of warmth and love you can feel flowing through your hands is pure bliss. The triangle position of your hands allows the same benefits of skin-to-skin you had with your newborn. Our bellies can be such a source of negativity and shame in our current body image culture, the simple act of loving skin-to-skin contact can go a long way in feeling better and embracing your soul's new housing. This practice can help relieve pain, increase circulation and therefor healthy moisture, arousal, and pleasure during intimacy.
Your body belongs to you. Love it, embrace it, and visualize it covered in honey.
To conclude the main points:
First and foremost, what is herpes and what are the risks of becoming infected? Genital herpes comes from the sexually transmitted herpes simplex virus largely as either HSV-1 or HSV-2. HSV-1 is typically seen as an oral infection, but can be transferred and cause a genital infection. HSV-2 is typically seen in the genitalia. HSV, when active can cause one or more sores that blister and break taking sometimes over a week to heal. Most people remain asymptomatic or mistake symptoms for another skin condition like acne. Even when no active lesions are present, the person still sheds the virus 10% of the time in consistently asymptomatic people, and 20% of the time in symptomatic people. According to the CDC 11.9% of people are known to be infected with the virus, but 87.4% of people who have the virus never receive a clinical diagnosis(CDC Herpes Facts, 2019). This is largely because the CDC no longer recommends proactively screening for herpes in a standard STD screen. They found that someone diagnosed when not having active symptoms will on average not change their sexual behavior such as wearing a condom or remaining abstinent (CDC Screening, 2019).