Kiana Reeves is a woman’s health advocate, doula, somatic sex educator, and mama to two wild hearts. She’s also the Chief Brand Educator at Foria, a CBD wellness company dedicated to supporting women and their sexual health. As an expert on the intersection of sex and motherhood, she’s here to share some wisdom about coping with the changes we experience in sex drive over a lifetime.
It’s one of my favorite topics as a mother, sex educator, and pelvic health practitioner. Most of us have probably experienced changes in our sex drive since having kids, and sex can often take a backseat to all the other responsibilities that come along with parenthood.
Sexuality is an important topic for all of us. Whether we have a partner or not, it helps us connect to a sense of well-being, to our partners, and to ourselves. Even if your libido is telling you otherwise, sex is an essential component of wellness, with many studies suggesting that regular sexual connection (either solo or with a partner) is a mood booster, helps you sleep better, and relieves stress. I’m not suggesting that you do it whether you want to or not—what I am suggesting is that intentionally connecting with yourself in this way can be deeply nourishing for your body, emotions, identity, and relationship.
No matter how we gave birth; no matter how long we breastfed; no matter how long it was before we went back to work; our hormones and bodies go through the massive re-adjustment period called post-partum, and the lifelong identity shift of parenting. Sex became painful after birth for some of us, because nobody told us that the scar tissue from birthing tears, or that an episiotomy could cause numbness or pain during penetration. For some of us, breastfeeding hormones like prolactin so profoundly quelled our libidos that sex has been the farthest thing from our mind in months, maybe years. For some of us, the stress of parenting and work overload has effectively rerouted our sex hormone production into cortisol production. Whatever issues arise for you in relation to your sexuality, they are all valid and important. Luckily, some of them can be remedied with the right support and tools.
Besides the fundamentals—sleep, deeply nourishing meals, and slowing down wherever possible—one of my favorites is CBD. I take a CBD Tonic on a daily basis to help stabilize my stress levels and support sleep, and I also use a topical CBD oil during intimate activities. As the Chief Brand Educator at Foria, I’ve had the privilege of receiving thousands of personal testimonials about how one of our products—Awaken, our CBD Arousal Oil—has changed people’s lives. I’d like to share one of those testimonials with you:
My client has had painful sex since the birth of her child 7 months ago. She had a 3rd degree tear at her perineum. I have been working with her for 3 months, with gains being made. I gave her samples of the Foria CBD lube and it was a game-changer for her. She was able to experience pain of 1/10 (versus 4/10) with penetration. Best of all, she experienced her first orgasm since pregnancy! — Lindsey Vestal of Functional Pelvis, NYC
Awaken is used like a lube—but a lube with an extra kick. The natural ingredients help to enhance blood flow, increase natural lubrication, and also reduce inflammation, discomfort, and muscle tension. Again, no partner is necessary. You can use a solo session with Awaken to soothe yourself with no outside pressure (if you’re coping with scarring or painful penetration, you’ll know that performance anxiety certainly doesn’t help). Apply Awaken, then take about fifteen minutes for the botanicals to take effect while you claim the space to reconnect with you. If you are using Awaken with a partner, know that it’s hugely popular with couples, deliciously flavored, and totally non-toxic—though Awaken is oil-based, so it’s not compatible with latex condoms or toys.
As a parent, you are doing one of the most challenging, most essential jobs on Earth. No matter how you choose to nourish yourself, I hope it’s with the very best support and the most generous self-compassion.