Join us in this insightful episode as we sit down with Kaci Mial, an esteemed sex coach with a robust educational background in human sexuality and hands-on experience as a support provider for teen moms. Kaci delivers her expert insights into preserving intimacy during the postpartum period, a topic that many new mothers find challenging yet crucial for their well-being and relationships.
Here are the key takeaways from our conversation:
- Embracing Your New Body: Self-Care Postpartum Kaci emphasizes the importance of prioritizing self-care and acknowledging the physical changes after birth. She advocates for attending postpartum check-ups and introduces the idea of using lubrication as a helpful tool for comfortable intercourse during this time.
- Rediscovering Your Sensuality: Body Awareness Techniques The journey back to intimacy begins with understanding your transformed body. Kaci encourages new mothers to engage in sensory exploration, breathing exercises, and specific massages that aid in healing and comfort. She also suggests the novel use of a squatty potty and mirror work to foster a positive body image.
- Mental and Emotional Well-being: Psychological Support and Myth-Busting Mental health is as crucial as physical health in the postpartum period. Kaci recommends therapy, creating a robust support system, and engaging in mindfulness practices to maintain a healthy mindset. She also addresses the need to dispel common myths surrounding post-birth sexuality.
- Strengthening Your Partnership: Communication and Empathy Finally, Kaci outlines strategies for new parents to maintain a strong connection with their partners. Open communication about desires, expectations, and the emotional complexities faced by both partners is vital. She underlines the significance of empathy and mutual support during this transformative phase.
For those eager to deepen their understanding of postpartum intimacy, Kaci's tips provide a foundational guide for nurturing both self and relationships after childbirth.
Remember to follow and subscribe for more empowering discussions that help you navigate motherhood with ease and confidence.
More from Kaci Mial Here:
Visit Kaci's Website: SexCoachKaci.com
Grab Kaci's Free Checklist: The Yes List
Join our 5 Days to A Fearless Birth Experience and watch 5 Online Birth Classes FOR FREE!!
Connect w/ Trish:
For more pregnancy & birth education, subscribe to The Birth Experience on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Next Steps with LNM:
If you are ready to invest in your pregnancy & postpartum journey, you are in the right place. I would love to take your hand and support you in your virtual labor room!
If you have a scheduled cesarean, take our Belly Birth Masterclass and own that experience.
If you are a newly pregnant mama or just had the babe, you want to join our private pregnancy and postpartum membership, Calm Mama Society.
Remember, my advice is not medical advice. Always discuss what you learn with your team. See my Disclaimer here! Also, We make a small commission from some of the links (you don’t pay any more for using our links); however some of the recommendations, we do not earn anything; we love ’em and want you to know about them.
trish: [00:00:00] My name is Trish Ware and I am obsessed with all things pregnancy and birth and helping you to navigate with the practical and the magical seasons of this journey called motherhood. I'm an all day coffee sipping mama of seven. I've had the amazing privilege of delivering many babies. And my 15 plus year career as a labor and delivery nurse, and as a mama of seven, I'm here to help you take the guesswork out of childbirth.
So you can make the choices that are right for you and your baby. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only, and does not replace your medical advice. Check out our full disclaimer at the bottom.
kaci: of the show notes.
trish: Hello everyone, I am so excited about today's episode and I know I say that all the time but we are really [00:01:00] choosy about who we invite onto the podcast and today's guest Our next guest is a sex coach.
So this is going to be a fun conversation. I know a lot of you guys are still pregnant and some of you guys are in the early days of postpartum and you're like, Trish, really? This is the last thing I'm thinking of. But we want to give you guys some really good tips. So let's welcome sex coach Casey.
kaci: Hi, everyone.
Thank you, Trish. I'm so excited to be here and talk about sex.
trish: It's a great topic to talk about. When you're pregnant, I think that it's like for some women, it's top of mind because sex is amazing during pregnancy if you're feeling okay. That's for sure. Yeah. So we're going to talk about your top four tips for maintaining intimacy during Postpartum and I just am [00:02:00] so excited because we talk about this a lot in my postpartum membership.
So let's go ahead and dive in. But first, can you tell everyone who you are and what your credentials are, like, why are you the one that we would have talking about this?
kaci: Yes. So I am Casey Mile. I am so excited to be here. I love talking about sex and making it something that's not as taboo. I know it can be a hard topic that comes up.
I have a master's of education degree in human sexuality. And people always ask me did you just wake up one day and decide, you were going to be a sex coach or I didn't even know that existed a degree in that. Wow. And, um, how I got here was a series. of experiences over my lifetime, right?
Seeing friends or family, um, go through things or myself and not knowing [00:03:00] where to turn to for support. I also used to work with teen moms and they were also somebody, people who were interested in how do I have sex and communicate with a partner after baby. And a lot of times, uh, the staff at the moment would be like, what do you mean?
You are a teenager. You can't think about sex. And my response would be they're already pregnant. They already had a baby. How do you think that baby got here? And so that's, One of the reasons that spurred me to get advanced education is how do we talk about it? How do we teach it? How can we make sure that, um, not only sex is a priority, but our well being, our mental, physical, emotional well being, um, particularly for me during pregnancy, postpartum, trying to conceive, such a vulnerable time for a lot of folks.
And I'm also a mama myself. So not only do I have that education, but I've been [00:04:00] through it. I've had my own struggles, my own highs and lows. And that's why I really want to just share with you all what I've learned and what you can do to tackle and become an expert in this, in your own life.
trish: I love that so much and I love that you've had experience with this particular topic because I know that there are so many changes in postpartum that you don't see coming and one of the biggest ones is that you don't really even know who you are anymore.
You're just this new identity altogether and I know our sexuality plays into that and who we are as women in particularly and So I am ready to dive in so however you want to approach it Let's hear your tips and then I want to see how that played out for you Like I want to hear how that played out for you during your own postpartum journey [00:05:00]
kaci: Sure, I'll definitely weave that in.
And I think let's start the first tip. Let's talk about what you just mentioned, right? Not feeling like yourself after birth. That is huge. And that for me is one that caught me completely off guard. Um, so thinking about the physical changes first, right? Uh, you have hormones raging and you might have stitches or you Just birth the whole human, whether you had c section or vaginal birth and whatever that experience was like for you, that's going to impact how you feel.
Postpartum, um, and I always heard about, snapback culture or, oh, people that have babies, they have body image issues after giving birth, oh, there's, you have to snap back to how you were pre pregnancy, or you have to have a six pack of abs eventually. And so I had those ideas in my mind from, I don't know, media or movies, social media, celebrities that you [00:06:00] see give birth and then pop back and look great.
So I was prepared to feel like that. What I wasn't prepared for was what you said, Trish, is not feeling like yourself. It took on a whole other meaning for me when I became a mom and gave birth to my daughter, that my body didn't feel like my own. It wasn't that I was even worried about, um, social media images anymore, what other people looked like.
I'm like, no, we have a much bigger identity crisis here, right? It's a much deeper problem to, Feel like your body doesn't work anymore, right? You're like, forget about what it looks like. It just doesn't function. Okay. I can't go to the bathroom the same anymore, or I can't walk the same. I am trying to take care of myself, my daughter, my relationship, all these things.
If you can relate to any of that as a postpartum parent, I would say you are normal. Let's start there. Give yourself permission to [00:07:00] accept it as a phase and a stage and you don't have to sit there in this moment forever, but acknowledge what you've been through and what your body has been through and what your relationship is going through and you're learning to bond with a whole nother human being.
And that impacts our sex life. So my first tip is, okay. Focusing on the physical aspect of it, you have to take care of you and I know you talk to your community about this because I see your awesome content and, taking care of yourself is so important seeing a pelvic floor therapist is huge.
When it comes to the physical changes. Some people know about it. Some people don't and find out what is going on in your body. Make sure you attend that postpartum checkup visit. I was terrified personally, after I had my daughter, I'm like, Oh, yeah, they said, that visit is really important.
I don't want to go. And, um, [00:08:00] you definitely have to, you have to find whatever courage is within yourself to go to that visit, talk to your medical providers, be vulnerable, share all the. Nasty details that are there, I'm sure you have heard it all before and. Whether it's, you've already tried to have sex prior to.
Six or seven weeks whenever you're going to your checkup, or you are terrified and don't envision having sex ever again in your life. There's a spectrum and you have to find out about your hormones and your sexual health. Do you have any infections? Are you well physically? And so those are some of the things pelvic floor therapy, going to your, um, checkup, making sure that you are nurturing your body, drinking all the water, eating nutritious foods, um, trying to somehow rest.
And I know that is I don't want people to hate me for saying that because I [00:09:00] hated people for saying that, sleep when the baby sleeps. It's not that simple. I know. And. We know how important it is, right? So whatever that ends up looking like for you, you have to prioritize that. So that's my first tip of focusing on the physical changes.
And Trish, I'd love to hear any feedback or further questions from you on that one. Yeah,
trish: I love that because I think it's so important, most of all, it's so important for you guys to remember that, like Casey said, it's normal, your body has been through a tremendous change. physically, hormonally, mentally, and I say it all the time too, like you birthed an actual, factual human being, like a full human being that will contribute to society, hopefully in a good way.
And you have to allow yourself time to find the new normal, because unfortunately I don't think we [00:10:00] ever go back to what we were before. Um, and I think just being in the present is really important. And like you also mentioned, I think it's really important to pursue these different specialties that can help you adjust and find your new normal, like pelvic floor specialists, chiropractors, different, uh, avenues of self care really.
And if you're pregnant and you're listening, go to a pelvic floor specialist at least once during pregnancy to get a baseline. So they have an idea if there are any changes and if so, what are those changes? But I think that's great to, to just know this is normal. I think sometimes just hearing from other moms and other professionals, like this is absolutely normal.
How you're feeling is normal.
kaci: Yes. Okay. Thank you. We're told so many times that we're not normal, or we're told that as a parent, [00:11:00] you can't be sexy and a good parent or it's the opposite of you're putting this pressure on yourself to be both at the same time all the time and not leaving any room for yourself.
So that's why, um, starting with the physical is so important because those are some of the more obvious things that come up. Other things you can do are, um, for the First time that you want to try intercourse or penetration of any type is to use Lou before you even get there. I recommend just tapping back into your body.
Whether that's breathing, whether that's when you have that. Maybe 3 to 5 minute shower when you have this newborn, um, taking, trying to take a breath, um, tap into your senses of what am I smelling, hearing, tasting, feeling, um, what is this environment around me? Maybe it's smelling your body wash is that simple pleasure in your day, right?
[00:12:00] Um, and while you're in that shower, um, that is high pressure, uh, I want you to also tap into your body and really feel what does your new body feel like, what are your. We had to tell really, but if you want to prioritize, your chest or your breast area, maybe you want to explore your genitals a little bit.
You might be facing hemorrhoids or stitches or bleeding and all of the things and, getting used to that over time before you ever. try, sex or penetration with a partner. And then once you are able to do that with yourself, um, trying to use lube or hormones can change, uh, how much natural lubrication our body makes as well.
So you may feel drier, um, especially if you're also lactating or breastfeeding, um, that can change things. You want to maybe do some perineal or Scar massage as well. [00:13:00] Again, you could do that in the shower if you have a moment or even if you're in bed just to feel the areas that either cesarean section, um, where your abdominal was cut and stitch.
That's. that can also impact sex, right? Because it's a major surgery and impacts your pelvic floor and your functioning and all the things. And then if you had a vaginal birth and have stitches there as well, or even not stitches, just the impact of, um, your, pelvic floor expanding for this is doing some massage and touch on your own.
Um, key goals, exercise, breathing, using a squatty potty and looking at yourself in the mirror are all also physical things that you can do.
trish: Oh I love that so much. Just realized you couldn't hear me. I love that so much because I think it's really important, even during pregnancy, that we get familiar with our own bodies.
I cannot [00:14:00] tell you how many times I have had very educated patients who are not familiar or aware of the female anatomy and ask me questions that make me realize they don't understand their body and, um, especially, I've, many times during labor when I go to put a Foley catheter in, they're like if you're going to put the catheter in, um, how's the baby going to come out?
And so a lot of times we have a little anatomy lesson. And so getting familiar we all know that guys are familiar with their bodies. Women need to also be familiar with our bodies. Our bodies are incredible. And so I love that. So moving on to, so that would be your tip number two, get familiar with your body, know your body physically.
What would you say would be your next tip?
kaci: Sure. Tip number [00:15:00] three is focus on the emotional and psychological aspect of this. And you could even do this as number one, right? Whatever order you or 10 or 20, right? Yeah. All of it at the same time. Um, but Whether you have experience with a perinatal mood disorder after birth, depression, anxiety, OCD, postpartum, uh, depression or PTSD, any of the things that come up, or just the natural fluctuation of your mood and depression.
Emotions after birth. Again, all of that's normal. Um, and can impact your sex life. So some of the things to focus on for that are I always recommend attending therapy. Find somebody, um, who understands what you're going through. I have a therapist myself. She's a mom and most of the things I tell her, she's Oh.
That's that's it. Girl, you have years to[00:16:00] focus on this stuff. Like you're a mom. It's hard, it's hard. So just validating that, even if it's a mom group chat or a sister, mom, grandma, whoever it is, find your support system. Um, or if you don't have one, make one. Um, and join Trisha's support groups.
Um, the community that you really can rely on to talk to each other and just hear the other experiences. Um, try to practice some practical mindfulness. Throughout your day. It doesn't have to be a full hour long yoga session that may take a while for you to get back to not saying you can't do it.
You can use that as your time for yourself. But even if it's just a minute of sitting still, you can even be holding your baby and taking a breath. So take a deep breath in, relax your shoulders, breathe out. And feel the difference that the breath in your body can make. These seem like [00:17:00] really woo or hard things sometimes in postpartum.
Um, to try to put more on your plate can feel more like a chore. So you don't want to add this as a to do list. You want to incorporate this as something in your everyday life that feels good to you. Debunk myths and say affirmations to yourself. There are so many myths out there about postpartum sex that you should be doing it sooner.
How often should you be having postpartum sex? Um, right at that 6 week mark, we hear about after you're cleared by your medical provider, then we're going to go to a partner and have intercourse. And that's not realistic for everyone, right? Throw that out the window whenever you are ready and whenever you're able to communicate with, um, whoever your partner is, or even just by yourself, if you're focusing on self pleasure, um, and seek help.
If you do have any of those perinatal mood disorders, you can again, [00:18:00] either attend therapy, or there's wonderful resources online, such as postpartum international that you can get some professional help as well.
trish: Oh, I love that so much. And I just. I just want to point out so many areas of our lives as mothers and women, one of the top tips from experts is to find your community and support through community.
And this is part of why we created Call Mamas Society for our mamas to have a Safe place to share how they feel and, um, it's been incredible. It's been an incredible journey for all of us and learning and bonding. And it's just been really sweet. So I appreciate that you said that. And if you guys want to check out calm mama society, be sure to do that.
Cause we would love to have you join us. Okay, let's move on.
kaci: I love that. All right. My last kind of group of tips for [00:19:00] this, right? I think we're on number four, even though there's a bunch of gems packed in here, is how would somebody navigate this if you do have a partner? This is a big struggle that comes up and maybe one of the most common things, because sometimes we don't even think about ourselves, right?
Of oh I have issue with self pleasure. There's no rush on Self pleasure. You can go at your own pace. A lot of times the pressure comes from those who do have a partner and are postpartum and the partner is like, Hey, I have been waiting months. Okay. For some intimacy, some connection with you.
Um, I'm saying it nicely because they don't always say it this way, right? We have to have sex. Did your doctor say you're cleared? Because it's time to go. And, um, again, going back to if you're not ready, but communication is key, right? You have to be able to communicate not only about sex, but about roles and responsibilities, about [00:20:00] who's going to do what with the new baby, about what do you need to feel supported.
All of those are so key. And some Things you might run into with postpartum sex is with concerning a partner could be desired differences. 1 person, 1 sex. Seven days a week and is yeah, it has to be spontaneous and back to the way it was pre pregnancy and you're like, oh, that's so cute. Not good to happen.
Or it might be happening for folks like postpartum sex can also be great. I know for me, just to give a positive aspect, sex with my husband improved postpartum. And the reason it did for me, and that's not to say we didn't experience pain or need to see a public floor therapist and all the things I definitely did need to give myself time to heal, but on the emotional aspect of it.
I was able to feel vulnerable and comfortable [00:21:00] with our birthing experience. I felt so supported and loved and cared for. And that when we get to, um, try penetrate penitentiary sex afterwards, it was this wonderful connection. So you can also have that experience. And what you want to do besides communicate is incorporate non sexual intimacy with your partner.
Whether that's. cuddling, a hug, kissing, it might just be a shoulder rub at the end of the day. And again, things like you can do holding a baby that could be practical, right? You don't have to put this pressure on to have a two hour long, I don't know if you were even having that pre baby, marathon sex, it could be, um, Those small moments throughout the day.
It could be a quickie if you are trying to, um, get back into that. It could be a date night out or a date night in. [00:22:00] Uh, it doesn't have to be, uh, anything grand you can maybe if you have a family member or a friend or somebody that can watch the baby for you for, um, maybe an hour or two just to get some alone time or watch some TV or chat about how is each other's experience or how is each other's day going.
Create boundaries with children and relatives. If you have older children, you might be having some knocks at your door. Uh, add a lock on your door is always good. Um, making sure that they know that you need some alone time, uh, whether that's for yourself or with your partner. And lastly, encourage your partner to learn about Not only like Trish said, anatomy, but postpartum in general, about sex, about what is going on in, um, your body, because a lot of times it's focused on, a lot of men, right?
Or people that have a [00:23:00] penis, they know, like you said, they know their penis. So do they also know the vulva, the vagina, the clitoris, right? Do they know how to maybe incorporate toys into the experience or? Do they know what you truly want out of the experience? And I think that's so key. So opening up that communication, I do have a free checklist, Trish, with.
If it's okay to share, it is called the yes list. And I created this with a fellow pelvic floor therapist. So she is familiar with the perinatal period and time, and this gives people quick ways to have a communication. Communication increase and, uh, a conversation with partners and it gives you a quick checklist of things.
You can ask each other and tell each other. What are your yeses postpartum? What are your no's? And how can you truly feel supported in that journey back to
trish: great site? Oh, I love that. I'll [00:24:00] add it to the show notes for sure so that you guys can have it. So this has been a great conversation and I'm so excited because you're coming in to Call Mama Society to teach a couple workshops.
For those of you guys who are listening, we have expert workshops a couple times a month and those recordings are housed in the community. So we're going to have a couple with Casey, I think in August, correct? So you guys can See those, hear them and ask Casey questions. So make sure you guys join soon so that you can take part in that.
Thank you so much, Casey. Can you let everyone know where they can find you?
kaci: Yes, you can find me on social media, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter at. Sex Coach Casey, KACI, is how you spell my name. And uh, that's also my website. So sex coach casey.com. And if you want to reach me via email, sex [email protected], [00:25:00] feel free to reach out.
trish: I love it so much. Thank you so much for coming today, Casey.
What an important topic, even though it might have been a little out of your thought range right now, especially if you just had a baby, but thinking about intimacy after birth and planning for intimacy is really a powerful move that you can do so that it doesn't take you off guard. So make sure you guys hit subscribe.
As always, another episode will come out next Friday. Bye for now.[00:26:00]