Our takeaways from a night of lively conversation about the ups and downs of life after baby.

This post is sponsored by Vagisil® & SheKnows Media.

When I left my Littles with their babysitter back in Brooklyn to attend an event for new moms earlier last week called “Wine & Gyn” sponsored by Vagisil®, I didn’t really know what to expect. Would I be trading in a night of making three snacks for my boys after they’ve had dinner and arguing over sippy cups to instead talk about vaginal dryness during breastfeeding? Well, I thought, if that was the case, then sign me up!

wine & gyn

I think it is vitally important to keep the topic of women’s postpartum health at the forefront of conversation and I commend companies like Vagisil® for inviting women to engage in talking about their experiences and feelings in safe and open forums like the one I attended.

When I walked into the beautiful, light-filled event space at La Sirena (in the Maritime Hotel) I was greeted with the aforementioned part of the event's title: the wine. I took my pick from the selection of rose, champagne, and white wine, and found a seat at one of the elegantly set tables in front of where the panel speakers would present a little bit later in the evening.There was time to mingle and snack on the delicious spread of cheeses, yummy vegetables, and passed hors d’oeuvres and to meet some of the lovely people behind the Vagisil® brand. The ladies I chatted with that night made me smile and laugh so hard my cheeks hurt. It was so refreshing to be in a room full of people whose mission is to make women feel comfortable talking about their intimate health. We talked about the peri-menopausal mom group that I belong to, and how vaginal dryness is a huge part of what the women in the late 30’s and up age group are talking about right now. We talked about how dryness is unbelievably hard for friends of mine suffering from cancer treatments. Nothing was taboo with this group, and I felt like I truly was with my people.

wine & gyn panelists

When the panel began, I knew we were in for a great night. The panel included Naama Bloom, founder and CEO of HelloFlo, Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., sexuality educator, sexologist, and author; Dr. Jaquelline Perlman, gynecologist; and Keech Combe Shetty, co-CEO of Combe Inc. (the makers of Vagisil®).

Each of the speakers talked with the utmost honesty about her personal pregnancy and childbirth experience, her feelings about her labor and delivery, her postpartum recovery, and her experience with breastfeeding. I loved that the panelists reserved their areas of expertise for moments when they were needed or called upon, but otherwise spoke from their hearts as women who have all been through this unbelievable but unique journey of motherhood.

Of course, we learned some interesting women’s health facts along the way. I was surprised to learn that even women in their 20’s can suffer from vaginal dryness. I also didn’t know that vaginal dryness is related to the dryness of other parts of our bodies, too. For example, if our skin is dry in general from factors such as stress, dehydration, use of antihistamines, or too much caffeine, that can lead to vaginal dryness too.

Another myth that was debunked was that of postpartum hair loss. The doctor on the panel explained that during pregnancy we don’t lose hair at the rate that we lose it when we are not pregnant so it gives us the sense that we have grown more hair when we are pregnant. We haven’t grown more hair, it is just that our scalp has held onto more of it. So, after the baby is born, and our hormones dip back to normal levels, our hair goes back to its usual rate of daily loss which can make us feel like we are losing fistfuls of hair. We are not. We’re just going back to normal. Crazy, right?

The evening ended with a Q&A, and some women simply wanted to share their own experiences with breast feeding or C-sections, or just their feelings in general. The room was so warm and welcoming, I think we all felt like we could have said anything, and it would have been met with support and applause just for being there.

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Before I left, I was gifted a bag of goodies, including some special products from Vagisil® including their pH Balance Intimate Wash™ and their new ProHydrate Natural Feel Gel™.

I’m very glad to have been a part of such a special night!

ALEXIS BARAD-CUTLER is an essayist who writes candidly and often humorously about the "stuff no one talks about in Mom Group" for sites such as Romper, Well Rounded NY, Mommy Nearest, and other online outlets. You can read more of her work on her website, or you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for all her latest articles.