sitre is here to make everyone feel sexy. To do that, we need to talk about how your idea of intimacy and sexiness changes depending on where you are in life. Pregnant women and new mums are a good example - your mental and physical state is changing so rapidly over a very short period of time. It’s bound to have an effect on how you feel intimately. We’ve already had conversations about this before and we’re eager to keep this conversation going - because it’s important. That’s why we got so excited when Nanna Schultz agreed to have a chat. Nanna is the founder of momkind which in short is a community focusing on real, raw and honest conversations about motherhood. And they create some incredible products such as the ‘after birth undies’.
We spoke to Nanna about her journey, what triggered the beginning of momkind and how it feels to be intimate as new parents - including the pressure that comes with it. We loved this conversation and learned a lot from it. You can visit momkind’s website here og follow their Instagram here. Plus Nanna’s personal Instagram is right here.
Hi Nanna, can you start by giving our readers a quick insight into who you are and what your incredible business momkind is about?
I’m a mother of two – well actually three, as I kinda consider my business as my third child. I became a mom in 2016 when me and my boyfriend lived in New York. I thought that I’d mother the same way as I was living my life at that time: free, curious, explorative... But that was not the case. It was a shell chock and I was NOT prepared for the physical and psychological turmoil motherhood would start out to be - for me at least. While on maternity leave with my second child, I started exploring the idea of reaching out to new moms by offering a postpartum care box. I’d seen that in the US, but not in Denmark. Long story short – after testing the idea through surveys and by sending out packages to various new moms, I decided to quit my job and start my own business: momkind.
I wanted to not only reach out to mothers by offering a physical product, but also by offering a safe space to express our true feelings and personal experiences of our individual motherhood journey. I started an IG account and I created a Facebook Group, and I knew that for me to inspire other women to come forward and share their true feelings, I needed to start with myself. So I share a lot about how I experience motherhood and I’m brutally honest about taboo topics like “loss of freedom”, “incontinence”, “sleep deprivation”, “regretting having kids” etc. And it resonates. It helps other women to openly talk about these suppressed feelings that most of us have but rarely have conversations about.
In a sentence, momkind is offering a safe landing strip for new moms.
We’re big fans of the honest and real approach your business has; it feels like you’re showing motherhood in such an authentic way. We feel like it’s otherwise often portrayed as something that belongs on the front page of Vogue. Did you feel like there was a need for a more real take on motherhood when you started momkind?
Fortunately, there is an increasing focus on being real about mothering and how it ranges from picture perfect to poop and tears. Although, I believe that we can never be “too” honest and have “too” many conversations around the challenging part of becoming someone’s parent. It’s so important that we are able to look each other in the eye and admit that everything is not easy and great, and that only comes if the media – also social media which puts a responsibility on every one of us – are encouraging discussions around other topics than well-dressed mom-influencers, “bouncing back” after given birth, and 100% happiness.
And how do you feel people have welcomed this openness since you've launched?
I feel the love every day! From customers writing me e-mails and on our IG-account. The other day a woman said to me in the supermarket: “Your work is SO important”. I felt like hugging her...I didn’t of course. I just try to smile the best I could behind my mask.
sitre wants to create a more inclusive and relatable take on intimacy & sex as we think there’s only a very small group that is viewed as ‘sexy’ by the general society and media. That is problematic as it creates a mental barrier for people. When it comes to parenthood, do you think there’s enough real talk about intimacy? And if not, how do you think that impacts parents?
That’s a difficult question. First, I think it’s a bit problematic to put parents in a certain category when it comes to sex. I know – because we’ve done surveys on it – that people’s sex life after becoming parents differ A LOT! Some has an increased sex drive and experience more sensitivity – especially women. Others have a really hard time being intimate because they’re just “touched out”.
Second, it is important that we are – at least – okay with talking about sex post birth. Because it IS different. It might feel different – physically and mentally. For some it’s like starting over. At momkind we’re trying to create that space and it’s clear to see that a lot of our followers appreciate that honesty around loss of desire or that sex is just different now that there’s a little human being in the world.
sitre chose to feature a pregnant woman in our first photoshoot as we want everyone to feel sexy. Do you think new mums / pregnant women / mums in general are empowered to feel sexy by our society?
It’s such an individual experience being pregnant and becoming a mother. Some women feel super sexy when they’re pregnant, while others spend nine months puking. Some women experience a raging sex drive right after birth, while other’s sex life comes to a complete stop. I know of women who haven’t had sex with their partner in years.
I think that there’s just a lot of ignorance or just not knowing when it comes to sex during pregnancy and sex postpartum. I believe it’s due to the fact that we don’t talk about it. At momkind we try to be honest about the whole fact that it is difficult and that – for instance - sex is MUCH more than penetration.
Sex is key to both your physical and mental health, but it can of course be hard for (especially new) parents to be intimate because of the new dynamic in the relationship, practical reasons and then changes in the body like vaginal dryness. What role do you think intimacy plays in the lives of women who are either pregnant or new mums?
Intimacy is very important during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. It releases oxytocin, which makes us calm and content. But intimacy after birth, we often give our baby, and a lot of new moms experience feeling touched out, hence intimacy and sex with a partner can feel really difficult.
Stress, anxiety and anything mental health related are all extremely connected to your ability to feel sexy. As a new mum you’re barely getting any sleep and your whole self image is probably transforming. What do you think we can as a society to help the women who are going through this?
This is such a huge question. I’ll answer on behalf of myself and momkind 😊 We can make sure that women know that they’re not alone. That it’s perfectly normal to feel not as yourself and that your body and mind has changed. I think we put too much emphasis on “bouncing back” or “getting back”, instead of embracing the transformation motherhood is and that we have to view our body in a new or different way. We might have scars, stretch marks, loose skin, soft breasts – that we did not have before, but we’ve carried and given birth to a child and that changes us forever. Also our bodies.
For new mums, sex becomes a very “official” subject as it’s something the doctor brings up at the check-up. It almost feels like something on a check list, as if you aren’t “done” before you’ve got through that bit. When you first became a new mum, did you feel a pressure to be intimate?
I did! But for me the pressure gave me that push to just get back at it! It takes a while to kinda find each other again. But I wish that doctors had more emphasis on intimacy than penetration-sex. I know that they have to inform you about it because having vaginal intercourse is a different thing on the body than a little bit of petting. However, the thing is that getting started with sex again should not be all about penetration, because sex is so much more and getting started might be easier if it did not include penetration.
And finally, if you were going to give a new mum one advice regarding intimacy, what would it be?
Give it time. TALK to your partner about sex. Really, communication is everything. And start with hugging and kissing. And know that if it takes several months or maybe a year to get back at it – you’re not the only one.
Thank you so much for the chat Nanna, it was very insightful and touched on a lot of things we'll think more about in the future.
sitre is a sex wellness company on a mission to change the perception of sexiness through stories and products. because sex happens as much in our heads as in our bodies, so it’s time we start caring for both.
Our first product is a sex gel: a luxury lube full of natural ingredients to create high quality moisture. Learn more here.