How to navigate postpartum intimacy, calming baby massages, and more.
Last Friday I attended Motherly’s Postpartum Wellness Workshop in Los Angeles. The event was held at the adorable Big & Tiny, a unique, family-oriented co-working space where parents can work and kids can play.
I am not a mother yet myself, but I’m godmother to three beautiful little girls and have been part of their lives since the day that each of them was born. And I have watched how becoming a mother transforms every part of you.
It was inspiring to listen to the panel discussion about redefining intimacy as a new mom, led by Brandi Sellerz, founder of the blog Not So Private Parts; pelvic health physical therapist Allison Oswald; full spectrum doula and Foria Wellness brand educator Kiana Reeves; and Jen Schwartz, founder of the maternal mental health platform, Motherhood Understood. The panelists discussed the fact that we don’t talk enough about postpartum intimacy, and they stressed the importance of self-care, which includes listening to your own body. Nearly one-third of new mothers are being intimate before they feel ready, and 20% of moms report that sex is a topic of tension. While you might pass the standard 6 week postpartum check from your doctor and get the go-ahead to be intimate again, the panelists emphasized that it’s still okay to take your time and let your body continue to heal. Your body just went through a lot of change. Make sure to talk to your partner and let them know how you are feeling; follow your instincts, and speak up if something doesn’t feel right.
How many times have you seen someone tickle a baby? While listening to the workshop on the benefits of baby massage, hosted by postpartum doula and baby massage expert Stephanie Matthias, I learned something surprising: babies don’t like to be tickled the way that adults do, and for very young infants tickling can be overstimulating. Around four months old is the ideal stage to start baby massage, Matthias said. While massages can be a wonderful way to connect with and calm your baby, it’s important to pay attention to your baby’s cues and not force the massage if they are not interested. Matthias likes to start baby massages by gently asking babies for their permission first, so that infants can start to understand consent at the earliest age. When doing baby massage, it’s also important to use an oil that’s safe, nontoxic, and fragrance-free (like our Pipette Baby Oil, which Matthias loves!)
The event was pretty incredible, full of illuminating discussions and amazing female educators. As I start my journey to becoming a mother, I feel connected to this community of women that I know will be there to support me when I am ready.