The Longest Shortest Time

Must-Reads: For the Mom Who Wants Her Sex Life Back

Wow, it’s happening. We’re getting an honest conversation about sex & parenthood started! Some of you are inspired by what you heard in our first episode in this series; some of you are outraged. But, hey, we’re actually talking about this stuff in a real way, and that’s what matters, right? If you feel like we left something out, please, please, please write about it in the comments, and we’ll consider your topic for a future episode. We’re already thinking about doing sex advice again in the future because there is so much more to cover.

Anyway. Last week Joanna and I went to speak at the monthly Perinatal Connection meeting—a coalition of New York health care workers who serve expectant and new parents. We made so many amazing connections, and I am positive you’ll be hearing stories that came from those connections over the next year. One person we met was Celina Wigle, a doula who is also a sex educator. Celina told me she is working on inventing a new field of study and therapeutic practice: Postpartum Sex Therapy. Great idea, right? She then took out her phone to show me the picture of her shelf, brimming with books about sex and motherhood. I asked Celina to tell me her top titles for moms who are ready to start getting back in the sack but don’t know where to begin. These are them. I’ll let Celina take it from here. Enjoy! —HF

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Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever by Lauren Streicher
The over arching goal of the book is that of empowering women with the knowledge and vocabulary to identify their conditions, find treatment, alleviate vaginal pain and discomfort and achieve “SexAbility,” a term coined by the author to describe the ability in all women to attain optimum sexual health and pleasure. This book is groundbreaking. Never before has a single text tackled so many topics of female sexual dysfunction. Reading this book caused me to shout out “Yes! Thank you!” Finally, someone is talking about EVERYTHING! (This title was originally published in hardcover as Love Sex Again.)

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The New Mom’s Survival Guide: How to Reclaim Your Body, Your Health, Your Sanity, and Your Sex Life After Having a Baby by Jennifer Wider
I like this book because it is small and a quick read for an otherwise busy/exhausted new mother. The suggestions are simple and yet come as epiphanies if only because the problems they solve are so unique to the postpartum period and so rarely discussed. This book has become my new favorite baby shower gift.

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WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source by Alisa Vitti
Written by a holistic health coach, WomanCode is an anecdotally driven program for balancing hormones using holistic methodologies and lifestyle changes. Since our hormones affect just about everything in our bodies, from appetites, to physical appearance, to sex drive, I consider the information in this book to be pivotal to all women, especially those riding the wave of postpartum hormones. By understanding the chemistry of what is happening within their bodies, women are empowered to pursue the changes they desire.

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Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by Christiane Northrup
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom is THE book for EVERY woman and could very well be considered the canonical text of women’s health. While the book does not directly address postpartum sex, it does go deeply into the postpartum period as well as unabashedly approaches the topic of discovering and embracing one’s sexuality and includes a suggested program for connecting with the sexual self. —CW

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UPDATE: Here’s another recco that came in. (Thanks, Debra Goldman!)

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Reviving Your Sex Life After Childbirth: Your Guide to Pain-free and Pleasurable Sex After the Baby by Kathe Wallace
Written by a pioneer in pelvic floor physical therapy, this book offers practical self-help instructions (with diagrams!) on what to do before, during, and after sex to help minimize pain. Of course, this stuff is best accomplished with additional help from an actual physical therapist—and, lucky you, that is the topic of our next episode.

OK, your turn. What are YOUR favorite books for postpartum sex therapy?
GIve up the goods. In the comments.