Previa Alliance Podcast

Interview with Taylor Cordell (Part 1)

June 17, 2024 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 113
Interview with Taylor Cordell (Part 1)
Previa Alliance Podcast
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Previa Alliance Podcast
Interview with Taylor Cordell (Part 1)
Jun 17, 2024 Season 1 Episode 113
Previa Alliance Team

Ever wondered how to maintain a spark during pregnancy or even post-baby? Guest Taylor Cordell and Sarah dive deep into the complexities of intimacy during and after pregnancy, breaking down how changing physical and emotional states can impact desire and comfort levels. We also offer practical tips for balancing intimacy with the demands of existing children, emphasizing the importance of clear and compassionate communication to navigate differing needs and comfort zones.

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Previa Alliance (@previaalliance_) • Instagram photos and videos
Keep the questions coming by sending them to info@previaalliance.com or DM us on Instagram!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how to maintain a spark during pregnancy or even post-baby? Guest Taylor Cordell and Sarah dive deep into the complexities of intimacy during and after pregnancy, breaking down how changing physical and emotional states can impact desire and comfort levels. We also offer practical tips for balancing intimacy with the demands of existing children, emphasizing the importance of clear and compassionate communication to navigate differing needs and comfort zones.

Follow Previa Alliance!
Previa Alliance (@previaalliance_) • Instagram photos and videos
Keep the questions coming by sending them to info@previaalliance.com or DM us on Instagram!

Speaker 1:

Hi guys, welcome back to Preview Alliance podcast. This is Sarah. I'm here with you today and guys, okay, so we are going to dive into a topic that I've heard a lot from our Preview Alliance moms. I'm going to put a preference. If you got littles listening in, this is one conversation, probably for earbuds or time alone. So don't have this layering during carpool like we all tend to do. So I have on a mom, a therapist, sex therapist, taylor. So welcome Taylor to the Preview Alliance podcast. Thank you so much for having me. We are so excited to dive into the world. I think, especially in the South, a little taboo when it comes to talking about sex, being moms and what that can do to us. Post baby.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and I'm also from the South, I'm in Texas, so it's something that I see a lot. I see a lot of moms. You know, we don't talk about it Me and my husband don't even talk about it or me and my partner don't even talk about it. So, yeah, it's something where there's a lot of education that goes into it. But, yeah, I'm so happy to be here to talk about it with you, you know, and being from the South, I totally get the, you know the, the taboo topic that is not really talked about. So Perfect.

Speaker 1:

Well, tell our listeners a little about you your personal life and then professionally, like what drove you to this area.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so personally I am from the DFW area, now live in the Houston area, I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two little boys. We have a two and a four-year-old. So we're like I'm in the thick of motherhood right now and I did experience postpartum anxiety with my first pretty severely and I know I feel like the postpartum anxiety isn't talked about as much as postpartum depression. So that's one reason that I kind of went into the motherhood side of things when it came to becoming a therapist. So I started my whole therapy journey wanting to focus on couples and I just I love love. I love to help couples find love. I love to help them, you know, keep the relationship good and strong and healthy. So that's where I kind of started.

Speaker 2:

And then the therapist that I was working under, she was my mentor really. She had the specialty of sex therapy and that is where, since I was working under her, she kind of trained me in that I got to sit in on some of her sessions and at first I was being from the South. I was working under her. She kind of trained me in that I got to sit in on some of her sessions and at first I was being from the South, I was like I don't know, I don't know how I feel about this. Like this is it's a lot. But then, as I started to get the clients coming in for sex therapy, I was like this is it's exciting, it's new, it's different, it's not talked about enough, it's a huge part of a relationship. So that's where I kind of focused on okay, I love sex therapy.

Speaker 2:

I also love working with moms, because the energy is always good, we have really good rapport also being a mom and have experienced some of the things that they've been going through and that they are going through. So I was like, okay, sex therapy, moms, how do I combine the two? And so I still see couples a lot and work a lot on, you know, sex within relationships. But then I do work a lot with moms that are trying to kind of experience or rediscover their sexuality post baby, because it can be scary, it's different, your body's different. There's a lot that you know comes into play is now having a baby that always needs you. Sometimes you feel like your body isn't yours anymore, so that I mean there's just so much that comes into play with new moms, so that I kind of dabble in the two. Those are kind of.

Speaker 1:

You know my direction so and you know you're right about the anxiety. I experienced postpartum anxiety as well and again it's. It was not talked about, so thank you for just even sharing that, because the more moms just hear it happened to her, it happened to her, it was with me. We're just chipping away at that shame and guilt and lies that we believe that it's only us or that we're not a good mom. But you're so right, it's very equal and I think you know the whole transition of becoming a mom is is not gave enough like weight to really how hard it is.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

I say from the first time you get that positive pregnancy test. You never go back from that, right, it keeps chugging on and your body is changing so much. And let's start this conversation even at the first trimester, right, you often your boobs hurt, you're emotional, you may be throwing up eating, may or may not be happening. I remember I just wanted to sleep, yeah, and that can be the first time where sex life takes a dip. Right, because let's say it was all fun, I'm trying to get pregnant, which is not the case for most people. Right, let's say, it worked out as the movies show, and then it kind of just pauses. Yeah, how would you start seeing couples in that moment going he's, maybe the partner's going, oh, like what's what's happening here? Right, and she's going, okay, this is, this is something's happening. I don't feel like it, I don't want to do this and I always say that it's real for the mom that we're pregnant super early and for the dad or partner it can take a minute.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, especially until they see some of the physical changes right. So at the beginning they might be like, yay, she's pregnant, but they don't feel the symptoms. They might see them, but it's different seeing versus experiencing. So it does the usually. The bond usually forms with the mom right away when she's feeling those symptoms and the first kicks and things like that. But I see a lot of dads that will say like, oh, it's already starting, right, our sex life is already, you know, going down the drain and she doesn't want to be touched now. And then when baby comes, she won't want to be touched then.

Speaker 2:

And it's something where sex is usually and I tell this for anyone, whether they're parents or not, sex is usually the first thing to go. When there's stress, when there's anxiety in the relationship, when you know whether there's a baby there or not, it can have nothing to do with being a parent. Sex is usually the first part of a relationship that gets put on the back burner. And so, while, yes, it is common for moms to be like, or for newly pregnant women to be like I'm too tired and I don't want to be touched and I don't feel good and I'm vomiting, the last thing I want to do is be sexy, right?

Speaker 2:

So we do talk a lot about you know that is what is the sex life. Your sex life is going to change during pregnancy, during every trimester of pregnancy, and if that looks like, we're going to have different forms of intimacy. Maybe that is cuddling, maybe that is showering together, where maybe that's not intercourse right now, that's okay, it doesn't have to be intercourse. And we see a lot of, you know, society kind of tells us sex is intercourse and that's what that is, and that's not always the case. We like to really say how can we change what your definition of sex or what sex looks like to you in the phase of life that you're in? So if it looks like, hey, maybe I feel best in the afternoon, okay, how can we? How can we work with that? How can we work with what's happening instead of against what's happening and what you're experiencing right now?

Speaker 1:

And I, you know, and I think no one goes into it and go and have a conversation with a couple and says, okay, our sex life was X before I got pregnant, okay, when I'm pregnant it's not going to look that way, like you just don't have that natural conversation unless you're in therapy or counseling together. So you both have, I feel like, different expectations.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, there's definitely well, and that is something that I actually um like personally. My best friend, hopefully, will be there soon but it's something that I'm kind of like walking her through, like you need, y'all should have these conversations, and these are good conversations to have prior or while you're trying, or you know what is life going to look like for you guys. So, you're right, it's not something that is talked about enough of like what can, what might happen to our sex life during pregnancy, and how do we work with those changes, instead of kind of panic and be like, oh my God, our sex life is over, right? Or you know, we're never going to have the kind of sex that we had pre-baby, which you know, isn't always the case. We can definitely. We can definitely get it there.

Speaker 1:

And then do you see, you know, second trimester, generally things, so you're feeling better, it's looking better, but then there is some men that we have, you know, I know, I've heard about it. Once you're seeing the bump, they get weird about sex, right, or the woman may feel like it's getting a little too close for comfort. Yep, how do you work through kind of those scenarios? Because I've heard both right, it's like and they're going. Is it just me? Is this weird? No one's talking about it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so that is where because in a lot of times we see women, especially in that second trimester, which they call, like you know, the I forgot the term that they use but you're not too big, that you're super uncomfortable, but you're out of. You know, you got the belly. You know, am I going to hurt the baby? Is there, you know? Am I too close to the baby? That's uncomfortable, Okay, Well, there's other ways. Right, we're we're trying to broaden that definition of sex.

Speaker 2:

There are other ways we can go about having sexual and intimate experiences together. If that's both of their desires. Their desires might be hey, we're fine, you know, tape putting that on the back seat and just having, you know, this really strong emotional intimacy while we're growing a baby together, and we'll talk about that too. But something that I really like to kind of focus on with couples is, if it comes to, there's a difference he wants it, or and she's uncomfortable, or vice versa, what can we do in this phase of your pregnancy? Now, right, we started in the first trimester and now in the second trimester, if things change, how can you still have sexual experiences? I like to use the word sexual experiences kind of broaden a little bit. How can you still have sexual experiences that you're comfortable with If penetration is something that either her or him are not comfortable with?

Speaker 2:

There are plenty of other intimate ways that you can have sexual experiences and that can be, you know, in forms of taking, you know, baths together, or showers, or cuddling, or really nice makeout sessions, or using your hands or toys, or you know things like that. There's so many other ways. It doesn't just have to be and I use this term a lot P and V. It doesn't just have to be P and V. So if it's something where, like I said, they're at an impasse, we'll talk about. How else can your sex life look right now? How can you have other sexual experiences that aren't P and V?

Speaker 1:

And I think you hit the nail on the head. So I don't, I just think. Traditionally, people think sex is just he and me and they feel certain ways about different modalities or the you know setting the mood or, like you know, taking a shot. They just, they may think of it's, just like, okay, well, it's always been this way. And if it's not this way, I feel uncomfortable. You know my body's changing. I don't feel confident, I don't feel sexy. You know you have a lot of factors at play here. So I feel like there's so many roadblocks that could happen that it takes a hard conversation right, like is it an insecurity? Is it a past experience that was bad? Do?

Speaker 2:

you think, are you worried that, hey, I can't have sex with my husband? Is he going to look elsewhere? You know all those factors. That again, I think, goes back to like the conversations that are never had of like what you're saying. Communication is key and I say this all the time, especially when it comes to sex, because the partner can't read your mind, you can't read their mind. Your husband might be looking at you, thinking like, oh she, she has energy today, she's going to want to have sex tonight, and that might be. You might be like, no, I have energy today, I need to prepare for baby, I need to. You know.

Speaker 2:

So that communication on maybe my drive is lower than it was and how can we work through this. Or him saying you know, maybe it is a little, it is a little weird for me to see the big bump and know my baby's growing in there, but I still want to please you and I want to be pleased. What does that look like? You know how can we work around this? And a lot of times people will see it as either all or nothing, right, intercourse or nothing. And if intercourse I'm uncomfortable with right now, or not into, or I'm not desiring it, then we do nothing.

Speaker 2:

And that's really where I come in, because I like to I kind of call it the gray area.

Speaker 2:

Right, we've got the PG, if you will touch of, we're hold hands and we peck on the mouth or on the head, but then there's that gray area. That's not sex but maybe a little more intimate. Right, it can be the cuddling, it can be the you know you're still touching each other, maybe in a sexual manner, in a way that you know other people aren't touching you or your partner. But how do we kind of really round out that gray area, that PG 13, if you will, you know area of touch? And so I know a lot of people get stuck in that it's either you know the very, the G level touching or the X level and there is no in between. And that is that can that can form a bad habit, right, and the relationship later down the road. So that's another thing. If we can kind of round out that PG 13 level, you know, of touch, it can really really help couples still feel that connection, even if they're not having intercourse at that time.

Speaker 1:

So good. And then when the third trimester comes, if you know I've had two boys, you know no-transcript. And then if you add on top, if you already have small kids right, you're pregnant and you already have small kids that level of desire and just ability to go forward with it, I feel like the woman sometimes take it as like I'll just, I'm tapped out, I can't do this, and he takes it as very much rejection or doesn't comprehend that there's so many levels that she has to work through to even get to there. Right, it's physical, what's on our mind? She knows baby's coming, you know she's hot. The sensory level, the other kids, the work I got to do, all this stuff, and then he's just seeing her being like I'm not doing this.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, and it can definitely feel like rejection, which is where that that communication piece comes in. Yes, he can share. Hey, I feel rejected. She can also maybe notice yeah, maybe I don't have a drive and maybe when he does come up to kind of cuddle me, I'm kind of scooting away because it is hot, or I've had a toddler on me all day and now I've got a huge belly and I just don't want to be touched. That is where that communication will come in. It's not you, I do love you Kind of.

Speaker 2:

Some of that reassurance but then saying, okay, if you do have this sexual desire and I don't, again, how can we make this work? Does that look like, you know, maybe me helping you masturbate? Does that look like we take kind of a steamy shower together? I help get you aroused, but then I'm going to step out and you can kind of finish on your own. What can that look like?

Speaker 2:

Because again, a lot of people will see this as oh, baby's not even here yet. What is it going to look like after baby? Oh, my gosh. You know our sex life is never going to be the same again and they see that as long-term. But I always tried to say this is temporary. Right, the third trimester is temporary. Yes, your sex life will look different after baby, but that doesn't mean that's a bad thing. That doesn't mean it's going to look different in a bad way, it's just going to look different.

Speaker 2:

So, yes, you might not be wanting to do P and V, might not be wanting to do P and V, you might not be having, you know, that kind of hot sexual intimacy that you once had during that third trimester, but that's okay, because this is temporary. So it's something that that is something to really express and to what's the word I'm trying to come up with, like really nail down that this doesn't have to be forever. This isn't going to be forever. I'm just uncomfortable. I have a toddler preparing for another baby. I'm stressed, I'm exhausted, I'm like don't feel good. You know my legs are swollen or whatever it is. So I'd love to be a part of you and your sexual desires, but maybe not to the extent that I once was, but we'll get back there, right? So, really emphasizing that this is temporary and if it isn't, you know your dream way of having a sex life, that's okay, we can get there. But right now we have to work with what we got right and what we're experiencing.

Speaker 1:

Do you think it even backs up to maybe pre-babies, like they're just them in their relationship, that maybe they never had conversations about what their each sexual desires are or what is options or what they view as pleasure? And I mean the hard part is if you've never had that conversation before. Pregnancy and children, it makes it really more complicated and fuzzy to have it when those are in the mix. So do you see that a lot with couples that are going yeah, we've never talked about it or it's always happened this way. I never asked her if that's what she likes. I never asked him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I see it a lot and that's why I have I've developed a premarital program that I do with couples. In one session is all sex because even before you get married, knowing what is allowed, what's not allowed, each other's likes, each other's desires you know your own upbringing and messages about sex. Growing up plays a huge role in your sex life and your sexuality as an adult. So it's a lot that should be talked about. You should be comfortable being able to talk about it because, like I said, communication is key, especially during these. You know your childbearing years, pregnancy after baby. You need to be able to communicate with your partner your desires, your wants, maybe your dislikes.

Speaker 2:

Things change and your sex life is constantly changing. What you liked, you know, pre-baby. You might not like post-baby, and that's okay, but you need to be able to communicate that with your partner and have that comfortability with your partner to be able to say, hey, let's try this instead, or I'm not liking this anymore, this doesn't feel the same that it used to, and vice versa. Obviously he should also be comfortable, but so it's something that it starts pre-marriage or pre-baby, however it works, but it starts there being able to be comfortable sharing all of those things and talking about sex with your partner.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, I do see a lot of people that will come in and be like, well, I mean he always did this and I never really liked it. Okay, well, why haven't we talked about it before? I don't know, I didn't wanna hurt his feelings. And that's where we really try to create that safe space in the relationship. And I say safe space as in emotionally safe, where you can share your likes or dislikes, and even if it's the dislikes where it might feel negative and you don't want to hurt your partner's feelings, that they can understand, they can hear you, they can make changes and vice versa. So we try to create that safe space. Up Doesn't mean you have to talk about sex all the time. Doesn't mean you know you have to analyze each other how was that sexual experience? But to where you both have that trust and that faith to say if he doesn't like something or if I don't like something. We can share that and we can work through it and it's not going to become, you know, an issue in the in the future.

Speaker 1:

I like that and so, if so, if people are listening and they're like, okay, Taylor, that conversation never has had, we're in the trenches. How do you bring that conversation up? If they're you know, if they don't have a you near them, right, they're like I don't think he's even going to want to go see a sex therapist, what is like some very basic, I say home activities or conversations that you would say okay, let's start here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So there's a few things that I would say. I would first say, obviously time and place is important. So if he's in the middle of working, you're probably not going to get the best out of him, or same, if it's him and you're in the middle of cleaning the kitchen, you're probably not going to want to stop and have a serious conversation. So time and place is important. So if that is uninterrupted in bed before you go to sleep, if that's on a date night.

Speaker 2:

But to also focus on the positives, right, if it's something that maybe you're like, yeah, I don't really like that position anymore I need to share with him. Or maybe I want to know what his thoughts are, because I don't know what he enjoys about our sex life. Starting on the positives what do you enjoy about it? What does he enjoy? Kind of starting that conversation of, hey, like I wanted to know the last experience or whatever, what was your favorite part? Or what did? Did you enjoy when I did X? Or you know, I enjoyed when you did X or I enjoyed this position.

Speaker 2:

So really staying on the positive side of things, because if you go into it like I didn't like this, it can go negative really quick and especially if this is kind of y'all's first time to really open up with each other. We don't want to set that. You know the bar there that when you talk about sex it's going to be negative. So I always recommend time and place is important and then focusing on the positives until you feel like, okay, we're in a good place and we are comfortable having these conversations. Maybe I can let him know that I don't want to do that position anymore and maybe you know, and hopefully we are at the point where he can say, okay, cool, let's talk about it. What else? Or if he wants to know why, you can share why. But those are the two biggest things when it comes to starting that conversation time and place, focusing on positives.

Speaker 1:

So now baby's here and I think you know there's this, you know it's an unfortunate joke, but it's like that six weeks checkup.

Speaker 1:

has she went there yet, right, right, and we all know research tells us six weeks is not long and no mom I've ever met is ready to go at six weeks, honestly, back to anything of her pre-baby life, like you know, like the fact that he's trying to think about going back to work, or her body, you know, sex it's just like that is low on the totem pole. Yeah, but it's such an emphasis of, ok, you're cleared for sex at six weeks and she's not I mean mentally, physically. So how can we start reframing that six weeks ready to go light?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So there's a lot that goes into it. So I, we can reframe it by the six week appointment. Isn't you're clear for sex? It? Is you're clear that you know your bleeding has maybe minimized your? You know the physical side of things. Your uterus might look a little better, your, if you got sewn up because you had a tear, maybe that looks better. Focusing on those kinds of things, cause I know a lot of times the partners are like six weeks ready to go, like once you get that clear, tonight's the night, and I have seen very few women that have been like, yes, that are, you know, like so excited for that. So, and I also went to, everyone is different, right, everyone has their own experience.

Speaker 2:

I have seen more often also something that I experienced personally, that the recovery process from first baby to second baby is very different. So a lot of people, when they have that first baby and this is not something that you've experienced before and is really talked about that you might feel like, okay, well, we can kind of get back to it after six weeks and maybe we'll try some things. But it can be it can take months for it to be comfortable again. And some people I mean, I even remember I've had clients, and something that I've experienced before too is, after that first baby, when you get the clear, it's not very comfortable, it can actually be painful, and so then that scares you to saying, well, I don't want to do this anymore. But it also can make you feel like am I ever going to be comfortable again? Am I ever going to enjoy sex again? Is this something that you know we're ever going to be able to share together again? The answer is yes, but it does take time and it can feel defeating, right that first time that you even maybe even have the desire or want to try where it's not comfortable and it kind of feels like, hmm, this isn't, this isn't what it used to be. And the answer is yes, it's not what it used to be.

Speaker 2:

But with time and making sure mentally that you're where you need to be and you're recovering mentally from all of this, the trauma that your body goes through and having a baby also affects your mind. I mean, we know that in your mental health. So once you get to that point, kind of being able to take that step back and say, okay, I know that we will get there again and I have to be patient. It's a lot easier for the woman usually to be patient than it is the man, because he's like let's go six weeks. Doctor said you're fine, you should be fine, but that's definitely not the case. Like you said, it does take longer. So maybe reframing that six week doctor's appointment is more so for the to make sure your uterus has shrunk and the bleeding has seized and your stitches look good. And that is what that is for. We'll talk, you know, sex after that, because it's not what it used to be. Six weeks, maybe a couple of months, but yeah, Maybe, and I think that's the thing too.

Speaker 1:

It's like I know I had a hard time with how my body looked after postpartum and I think that's the thing too. It's like I know I had a hard time with how my body looked after postpartum and I think that's not talked about. It's like you, just like you don't feel like yourself. The baby's out, but like your body does not snap back for majority of moms. You don't feel sexy, you're touched out because the baby has been on you and especially, you know if you're breastfeeding you're leaking.

Speaker 1:

Milk can just fly out at any time and you're just like, my boobs are kind of the babies. Now you just don't feel you're not sleeping.

Speaker 2:

You probably have spit up all over you. You know, the night sweats have kicked in.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're just like. This is not how I feel. And he could say you're so beautiful, you look good, blah, blah, blah. But it's an identity, like we have lost a little bit of ourselves mentally and physically and we're like we don't know. We're trying to learn ourselves as mothers and our new body. And how do you kind of work through that with? Some of your moms are going like Taylor, like whoa, how do we get past this? Because I don't recognize the girl in the mirror, don't feel her. I'm mentally not great right now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so that is something that's huge, right. Your body image whether you're a new mom or not is a huge part of it, affects your sexual drive and your sexual urges. So something that I talk about, one we have to validate and normalize that this is normal. You are not alone. Every mom goes through this.

Speaker 2:

It's not easy and it does feel like exactly what you said, like you lost a little bit of yourself. You kind of feel like your body belongs to this baby now and you don't view your, your breast, as sexual anymore. You're like no, these are full of milk and they're swollen and they hurt and I don't want my husband to touch those. That's okay. This is where the communication is going to come in. Again. If he is ready and his drive is up and he's ready to go, let's talk about it, because he might not. He might see, like you said, he might be able to say you look beautiful and I've never loved you more, like you're the best mom ever and that feels nice. But, like you said, it's it's very internal and your body is different. You might have stretch marks Now you, you know your belly is not what it used to be. Again, your breasts are not what they used to be, whether you're breastfeeding or not. So it's something where we have to have that conversation, and I love when couples come to me almost more as a like maintenance level instead of in crisis mode, because then we can have these conversations how are you feeling sexually? And she might be able to say I don't feel sexual at all. That's the last thing on my mind. I'm tired. Be able to say I don't feel sexual at all, that's the last thing on my mind. I'm tired. I'm covered in spit up. I you know I also have a house to keep and if I have another kid, I've got another kid to take care of. The last thing I want to do is put out right, um, and be there for my husband. But they do still have that caring feeling, and so that is where we'll we'll kind of work together as a couple couple, because I also don't want the partner to feel like, oh, now I'm on the back burner, right, she doesn't care about me, because that's not the case. Again, this is a phase of life, so we work through that.

Speaker 2:

How can we make sure that you guys are getting that PG-13, that gray area? We don't have to jump to intercourse. How are y'all getting that gray area, the PG 13 intimate time together? And a lot of times I hear, well, we're not, we don't have the time right, he goes to work or he's, you know, off doing whatever and I'm knee deep in home stuff and baby stuff, that when baby goes to sleep, I go to sleep Okay, which, yes, it's so important for moms to get that sleep and to make sure that they are trying to take care of themselves, because their own mental health is kind of top priority post baby. Right, we don't want them experiencing a lot of these. You know anxiety disorders and you know things like that.

Speaker 2:

But how can we carve in five minutes? You know we don't have to be. It doesn't have to be date nights once a week. No, we're not, we're not there yet, but it can be five minutes. Is that? You know? The first five minutes baby falls asleep.

Speaker 2:

Y'all FaceTime and you have an intimate conversation, or you ask each other how your day is going or you know, I try to figure out and help couples figure out what works for them. I just try to give them some of those five minutes. Tell me how you can get those five minutes twice a day, or if your husband is showering and baby's in bed and you're ready to go to bed, can you sit in there while he showers and just have a conversation. It doesn't even have to be sexual. But we also don't want partner to feel neglected. We want to make sure that they're both on the same page of yeah, our relationship might be taking a little bit of a backseat during this time, but it's not being neglected, right.

Speaker 2:

And so, again, the baby will get older, the baby will start sleeping a little more, mom will start to kind of hopefully get in that groove and that routine and things will start to settle down.

Speaker 2:

Where we can up that time and maybe we do have more time for intimacy and the mental space for intimacy. But right now, if the best you can do is five-minute FaceTimes or talking to your partner while they're showering or whatever, that'll do for now, but they have to be on the same page of, because she might be like I'm doing everything I can and I will go, sit in there with him while he showers and talk to him, because I do want that, but he might not be reading it that way. So having that conversation of this is our plan, right? This will be our intimate time and we will. While you're, you will talk to me while I shower and that will be some sort of intimate time that we're both putting in the effort for and we're both making it a priority will help both of them feel like, okay, we're on the same page, it will get better. It kind of gives them a little bit of that hope.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what do you say to the momster? Like okay, I'm out of the newborn stage, taylor. Like I am knee dip in the trenches, work life, school activities, like I'm just not in sex anymore, like I've lost it and they're going. You know, my husband knows I've lost it, I know I've lost it and like you know, we've gone months without sex now and I'm okay with that or not. You know, what do you say to that kind of you know, and it's not that fresh newborn stage right, like things have got a little bit better but it's just gone.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So something that I ask men and women but this is something that I would ask in this situation is how often are you thinking about sex? If it's not on your mind at all, then your genitals probably aren't going to be thinking about it either. So it's something that I say because it's like I mean we can use the analogy. It's like if you're craving a cheeseburger, you're going to make sure you go get the cheeseburger, but if you're never thinking about eating a cheeseburger or wanting a cheeseburger, then you're probably not going to eat it. That's fine. But if it's not on your mind at all, let's try to get it on your mind. That can be reading erotic literature or it can be listening to erotic literature. It can be, you know, listening to podcasts that are educational about sex, because then it starts to get on your mind a little bit. Once it's on your mind.

Speaker 2:

If you're in session with me, we'll talk about it. What is happening for you when you are reading this erotic literature or you're reading this romance novel? What's happening for you during these sex scenes? Take these notes. I want to know if you feel aroused at all and we'll kind of go from. We'll kind of go from there. So that's one question that I start with Get it on your mind a little more. How do you do that Erotic literature, reading it or listening to it? There's educational sex podcasts that you know. They really talk a lot about you know sex, and in a good way, not in like a negative light that you can listen to and just see how you feel there.

Speaker 2:

If it's something where you're like, nope, I want nothing to do with it, I don't like it, it grosses me out or whatever, you know, maybe I enjoy it but I just don't have the time to do it and it's, you know, feels like a big production and it has to be PNV. Okay, then let's talk about how can we shape this, your sex life, to work for you. A lot of times it is kind of a fear of the pain or, you know, is my husband going to enjoy it? Am I going to be able to perform like I used to? And we can take it slow, and that is something that, especially first-time moms, one of my biggest things is take it slow. You do not have to jump back into it. You've got plenty of time to have great intercourse with your partner, but you have to take it slow sexually at the beginning.

Speaker 2:

So, whether that is, you know, we're going to table intercourse and that's not going to be our thing. We're going to have, maybe, hot makeout sessions, maybe we'll touch a little bit and that's that is what we're going to call sex right now. Great, let's start there and you'll slowly get more and more comfortable and you'll slowly feel like, okay, the pressure is off, maybe we can add in a little more, maybe you know. So I don't want couples to feel like it is that intercourse or nothing. We can really nurture that gray area, that PG 13 area that you know PG 13, maybe a little R, but it doesn't have to be the full on R, x rated part of their relationship, because that is, that is kind of where you can start and it will make you feel more comfortable. If you start really slow, your partner needs to be on the same page as that too. So, again, having that, that conversation and communication.

Speaker 1:

What's it they say? Cause I, I hear this, I've been there it's like you have so much to do mentally and it's like that mental load. I think that moms, like it just feels like your mind can't turn off. You're like I got to do all this and he doesn't get that, or like he doesn't get that I can't like I can just let the house go away and have five minutes. You know it's, I think it goes back to. It feels like the uneven. It's not fair play, you know, of like his life responsibilities versus hers and it's like, honestly, that changed again. If we go back to that pregnancy test, she does the heavy lifting during the pregnancy and delivered right and a lot of postpartum. So I think a lot of it too, I'm hearing, is just feels so like I had. Now I have to work to do sex now too. You know it's like that's another thing I'm doing.

Speaker 2:

Yep, yeah. So the mental load is huge for moms and that's something I see a lot, right, because they'll even say my husband will say that it'll help me, but he told me to make him a list. Well, that's. That's another thing that I have to do. You can see the laundry hamper is full. You can see, see there's dishes in the sink. Why do I have to tell you that?

Speaker 2:

So, definitely something that I see a lot in that mental load and sometimes we have to put in that groundwork at the beginning, meaning if the husband or your partner doesn't understand how much you have on your plate a lot of times, visually is the best way to see that. So you might have to make a list and say this is what I'm responsible for at home, and a lot of times the partner will be like, oh, wow, that is a lot that, because if they're not home as often as you are, or if their job is, go to work, come home, maybe I'll take the trash out, I'll mow the yard. You know, once a week I don't really have to do many dishes, things like that. I don't have to make doctor's appointments, I don't have to, you know, take care of the dogs or feed the dogs, then they don't notice it because they're not home. So it's also something where it comes. That is, you might feel like they know and they should, right, they should know that having dogs is a responsibility. But if it's not in front of them and they don't see, oh she's feeding the dogs and watering the dogs and taking them on walks and cleaning the house and doing all the laundry and chores and da-da-da-da, sometimes making that list and saying, hey, let me show you what all is on my mind throughout the day, just so you understand. I'm not telling you to take it all. I'm just trying to get you to understand that sex is not on my mind because of the laundry list of to-dos. Sometimes that can help.

Speaker 2:

The conversation has to come from a positive place, right, and a non-judging place and like a non-criticizing place. So it can be tricky, but time and place for everything. Your tone is important. You know kind of focusing on some of those positives. I love you, I want to have sex with you, I want to be intimate with you again, but I'm trying to explain to you maybe why I'm not there right now.

Speaker 2:

Do you want to come up with a plan? Do you want to. Maybe what if you fed and watered the dogs before you left every day and maybe you gave them a walk when you got home? Or how can we maybe take a little bit off of my plate? So I have that mental capacity or that mental space to get there. Outsourcing, if you can, can be game changers. Right Asking for help, if you can have a maid service or a lot. I know that those can be expensive and it's not doable for everyone, but if it can be doable, or if it is doable again, it's temporary do it temporarily because your, you know your mental health and your relationship with your partner is huge, right, it's very important. So trying to figure out ways together, tag teaming how can we make this easier for both of us?

Speaker 1:

No, I think those are all wonderful things and I want to ask you to come back, taylor, because I think we need to dive into for other topics of trying to get pregnant and then the loss of a child or, like you said, sex is going to be the first thing to go in a lot of situations when it comes to motherhood. But I'll ask you this we ask all our guests this. There's no right or wrong answer to it. But what is Taylor, mom of two? Now? What would you tell Taylor pregnant for the first time? So what would you tell her? As you know your words of wisdom, yeah, what does?

Speaker 1:

she need to hear.

Speaker 2:

Well, because I had postpartum anxiety so bad after my first, I would say he will sleep. You don't have to follow the routine. You don't have to listen to what everyone tells you is right or wrong, cause there's a lot of opinions that come in right Friends that have had kids, family members, your parents, your partner's parents that even though maybe they're trying to help, it doesn't help. So you have to listen to everyone and you are the best mom for that baby and that is what matters. Your mental health and you know your baby's happiness and your baby's. That is what matters you, your mental health and you know your baby's happiness and your baby's health is what matters. So how can you make sure that that's priority and how can you tone out all the other? You get to kind of pick what advice you want and a lot of times people don't want to be. You don't want to be rude, right? You don't want to be like I'm not listening to you, but then you feel pressure of oh my gosh, my friend's baby was sleeping the night at six weeks and mine wasn't, and what am I doing wrong? And it just consumes you. So I think I would tell myself you don't have to listen to everyone. Do your own research. Baby will sleep again. He doesn't have to follow a perfect schedule and it will all work out.

Speaker 2:

But to also know your resources. Know who to go to if you are feeling stressed. Know who to go to If you are feeling stressed. Know who to go to If you're feeling depressed. Know who to go to you. Know if, if your sex life or your relationship isn't where you want it to be and that's part of you can create some of those resources while you're pregnant. Right, and have them in hand of this is, if I experienced this, this is who I'm going to go to, or this is it really does help. So, yeah, that was kind of a long.

Speaker 1:

No, no, I love all that. I love all that because we always say we're very strong on you, got to do the work, especially in pregnancy, of prepping for postpartum, and people just generally think it's like, well, what am I putting on the baby registry? Or get a nursery, and we're like that's the last thing we want you to think about. We want to think about sleep. You know exactly, like, do you know the signs of being depressed and having anxiety? Do you know it's normal versus not, if you, who's your safe person?

Speaker 1:

You know how do you delegate those zillion tasks that you're doing that people don't recognize you're doing to like go ahead and make that list during pregnancy, like you said of like this is what I do every single day to keep this house running Right Cause, god forbid. You know I had some traumatic births and like one of our sons ended up in NICU and like I was in the hospital and so I realized people didn't know what all I did with the house. Or, you know, if you're the person who usually pays bills, does your spouse or partner know how to access to pay those bills Right? You?

Speaker 1:

know simple things like that, that I think just get kind of neglected because moms do so well every day and it does like you said. It visually will show what's on your mind and your literally to-do list, and then I always say you have that list. So when people come over and help in postpartum, you always feel awkward, right, like well, I don't really want to tell somebody what to do. Well, you can, you can direct them. This is what all needs to be done in this house and it could be something very simple as like drop off my groceries or bring me a meal. Or if you don't want your mother-in-law washing your underwear, cool, don't let her wash your underwear, you know, but those I think it's very unspoken. But we hope this conversation is reaching moms who are first time that we never had, you know, to hear it, and I think it's. This is a great conversation and it's going to help a lot of couples and moms and just know they're not alone.

Speaker 2:

Sex is a hard topic it's so hard, it's so hard, it's so hard and that's why one I mean that's kind of why I have a job right Because sex isn't easy, it's, it's hard. It changes throughout your life and what you're dealing with and your own experiences, so it's not. A lot of people will say like shouldn't sex be easy?

Speaker 1:

And the answer is no, it's not easy, yeah, and it's like, well, if all we had to do every single day in our lives was have sex? Yes, that would be easy to accomplish, but that is not reality, so we'll leave it there. But, taylor, thank you so much, appreciate you All. Right, guys? So we'll link where you can follow Taylor on Instagram. If you're in Texas, we're going to show you where she could be your sex therapist and we'll have Taylor back on. We'll have a different conversation about sex. But hey, guys, till next time. We'll see you next week.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. Maternal mental health is as important as physical health. The Preview Alliance podcast was created for and by moms dealing with postpartum depression and all its variables, like anxiety, anger and even apathy. Hosted by CEO founder Sarah Parkhurst and licensed clinical social worker Whitney Gay, each episode focuses on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

Navigating Sexuality and Motherhood Post-Baby
Exploring Intimacy During Pregnancy
Navigating Sexuality After Childbirth
Navigating Intimacy After Baby
Navigating Postpartum Mental Load