From Lovers To Parents And Back Again: A Comprehensive Research Review on Perinatal Sexuality

All parents expect sexual adjustments during the postpartum period, however few report feeling prepared for the many changes that occur. This session reviews the research on postpartum sexuality through a biopsychosocial framework, examining factors that influence adjustment and how trusted professionals can help.  As an AASECT certified sexuality educator, Dr. Gilliland’s decade of experience teaching adults puts participants at ease with sensitive topics. Through her experience working with families, she effectively bridges the gap between presenting research and applying it in her presentations. While this session is directed at health care and therapeutic professionals, all community members are welcome to attend.  

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.    State the 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.    Examine the common sexual concerns of parents during the first year postpartum. 5.    Appraise current research knowledge regarding postpartum sexual experience and compare with lived experience of patients and clients. 6.    Apply the PLISSIT model to discuss sexual health and issues with patients (for licensed professionals). 7.    Relate five strategies within a paraprofessional’s scope of practice that can assist with effective sexual adjustment. 8.    Review the criteria for referral to a pelvic floor physical therapist.  

Who Should Attend This Workshop?    Physicians, nurses, doulas, midwives, home visitors, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, therapists, counselors, physical therapists, clergy members are all welcome.  Anyone who works in a supportive capacity with postpartum families can benefit from increasing their sexual knowledge and comfort level with these topics.

Continuing Education:  Three Nursing CE's are available. AASECT CE's have been applied for but not yet approved (Nov 2020).  Once they are approved, the following will apply: 

“This program meets the requirements for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 3 credits. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT Certification. For further information please contact”


I'm not really comfortable talking about sex with strangers.  What can I expect? 

Sex is an activity of daily living, yet many of us aren’t taught the skill of discussing it effectively. This session focuses on normalizing sexual topics using terms we are familiar with on a professional basis.  Personal self-disclosure is not part of the course. Any learning activities will focus on the needs of postpartum individuals and families.

 Are any scholarships available?  

Yes, some scholarships are available for people who would not otherwise be able to attend.  Please see the event web site for details.   


Sign-Up for access to Research, Articles, and Skills Development Tips

By signing up, you will receive access to free printable handouts, our newsletters, and more!