From Lovers to Parents and Back Again

A Time of Shifting Sexual Identity (for birth professionals)

Audience: Birth Professionals

Description: All parents expect sexual adjustments during the postpartum period, however few report feeling prepared for the massive changes that occur. The birth experience may also have a psychological impact that shows up in a couple’s sexual relationship. Both birth and postpartum doulas are uniquely situated to fill the educational gap and provide postpartum support as parents work through these changes.

Objectives: By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the subtle messages communicated to women about their bodies and sexual functioning during typical labor and birth experiences in North America.
  2. Restate the possible emotional and sexual impact on husbands and male partners of viewing medical procedures and childbirth on their wife or female partner.
  3. List birth procedures that affect sexual functioning and those that do not.
  4. Explain the sexual concerns of both parents during the first year postpartum.
  5. List strategies within the doula’s scope of practice that can assist with effective sexual adjustment.

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