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Article

Recovering Sexuality after Childbirth. What Strategies Do Women Adopt? A Qualitative Study

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Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Villaviciosa de Odón, 28670 Madrid, Spain
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Humanization in the Intervention of Physiotherapy for the Integral Attention to the People (HIPATIA) Research Group, Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, 28801 Madrid, Spain
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Physiotherapy in Women’s Health (FPSM) Research Group, Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, 28801 Madrid, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020950
Received: 8 December 2021 / Revised: 10 January 2022 / Accepted: 11 January 2022 / Published: 15 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Women's Health)
This study aimed to determine the strategies used by women to adapt to the changes that affect the first sexual relations after childbirth. A qualitative study with a phenomenological approach used three data collection techniques (in-depth interviews, discussion groups, and online forums). Thirty-six women in the first six months postpartum participated in the study, from physiotherapy centers with maternal child specialties in several locations in Spain. Women with different types of delivery, presence or absence of perineal trauma during delivery, previous deliveries, and different types of breastfeeding were included. Among the strategies, closeness support and understanding were the ones that women used to adjust to the new situation, in order to improve the couple’s relationship, intimacy, and cope with the significant changes that appear in the first six months postpartum. Changes and adaptations in sexual practices become a tool for coping with a new sexuality, especially if it is affected by the presence of pain or discomfort associated with physical changes. Personal time facilitates emotional management and improvement of emotional changes related to the demands of motherhood. Accepting the changes that motherhood brings is critical to dealing with the new situation. Strategies used by postpartum women focus on acceptance, self-care, partner, couple time, personal time, and adapting encounters. The findings of this study are of interest to health professionals as they provide insight into how women cope with the changes that appear in the first six months postpartum. In this way, the findings will be able to transmit to couples the alternatives they can adopt before the resumption of sexual relations to improve satisfaction both as a couple and in terms of sexuality after childbirth. View Full-Text
Keywords: strategies; sexuality; intimacy; postpartum; emotional management; motherhood strategies; sexuality; intimacy; postpartum; emotional management; motherhood
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MDPI and ACS Style

Delgado-Pérez, E.; Rodríguez-Costa, I.; Vergara-Pérez, F.; Blanco-Morales, M.; Torres-Lacomba, M. Recovering Sexuality after Childbirth. What Strategies Do Women Adopt? A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 950. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020950

AMA Style

Delgado-Pérez E, Rodríguez-Costa I, Vergara-Pérez F, Blanco-Morales M, Torres-Lacomba M. Recovering Sexuality after Childbirth. What Strategies Do Women Adopt? A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(2):950. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020950

Chicago/Turabian Style

Delgado-Pérez, Esther, Isabel Rodríguez-Costa, Fernando Vergara-Pérez, María Blanco-Morales, and María Torres-Lacomba. 2022. "Recovering Sexuality after Childbirth. What Strategies Do Women Adopt? A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 2: 950. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020950

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