Most newly married couples describe their sex lives as wonderful and filled with enough alone time to let romance blossom at will. It’s this sort of intimate bliss that blinds couples to the possibility that the arrival of a cute bundle of joy can send their nights of effortless passion into a tailspin. Here are some tips to keep the spark in your marriage after the baby arrives.
Mom — After Baby
Research shows that new moms typically regain their sex drive at a slower pace than dads, and it’s no wonder. Residual pain, exhaustion, leaky breasts, and concerns over a lumpy body can leave even the most confident woman feeling unsexy. Childbirth also signals a significant drop in hormones in the mom’s body, which leads to a lower sex drive. This doesn’t mean that mom doesn’t love dad or that sex can’t be part of the relationship. These are just things for dads to be aware of.
Dad — After Baby
While dad may not be experiencing the same physical symptoms as mom, he may also find himself too exhausted for sex. New dads may also feel overwhelmed with the changes in the household or have trouble seeing their wives as sex partners after they’ve witnessed childbirth and breastfeeding. Again, these changes are only temporary and it doesn’t mean that dad isn’t still attracted to mom. Moms just need to understand that dad is experiencing changes, too.
What You Can Do
Couples need to realize that sex after baby is a reality, but each couple needs to figure out when the time is right. Here are some tips that may help:
• Take Your Time
Not only are you both exhausted, you’re trying to wrap your heads around a huge responsibility: caring for a baby. There’s no reason to rush back into sex. Let your bodies tell you when you’re ready.
• Realize It Will Be Different
Sex changes after you have a baby, and that takes some getting used to. New moms may experience dryness or discomfort, leaking breasts and different sensation. And both parents may have a hard time blocking out their new responsibilities and the fear that the baby will cry any minute.
• Make Your Relationship a Priority
Sex is important to a healthy relationship but it isn’t the only thing keeping you together. If you aren’t ready for sex, use your one-on-one time to talk, give each other a massage, or just cuddle. There are other ways to express intimacy and show each other you care. Your relationship is what’s important.
The best way to make sure you don’t lose your emotional connection to each other is to talk about how you’re feeling and discuss how and when sex fits into your life. Good communication is important for your partner to understand your concerns or worries. On the flip side, you may be ready to have sex again but aren’t sure your partner is game. You’re not mind readers; you need to talk about it.
For some couples, the return to sex can happen weeks after the baby was born. Others may need more time. The important thing is that you talk about your feelings, try to understand what your spouse is going through, and let intimacy happen when you’re both ready.