You give birth to your bouncing bundle of joy after nearly a year of having another person inside you while you start to feel like (and somewhat resemble) a whale. Six short weeks later, your care provider cheerfully announces that (yay!), you can start having sex again. Your partner lights up like it’s Christmas, until you respond with an incredulous “Excuse me? Why would I want to do THAT?”.
This scenario happens to many, many couples after the birth of a child. And it often doesn’t matter how many children you have; you are just not “in the mood” when you have a small body physically attached to you (and often, your breasts) for the entire day. Once you finally extract yourself from the tiny deathgrip for a moment, there’s your partner, ready to latch on. Yeah, that’s hot.
There are many factors that contribute to a sexual dry spell after the baby comes.
These can include:
- Less time together
- New family dynamic to deal with
- Fear of pain
- Fear of being interrupted
- Fear of another pregnancy
- Unmet expectations (not feeling supported)
So now it’s been six months instead of six weeks, and the issue has become the huge elephant in the room. What do you do now? How do you get started?
Some ways to build intimacy with your partner:
- Do the things (s)he likes. Small gestures go a long way.
- If you notice your partner making an effort, acknowledge it!
- Schedule date nights. The baby will survive for two hours while you have dinner.
- Spend time together, even if not alone.
- Hug, touch, kiss – physical intimacy does not always mean intercourse.
Now you’re ready to give it a try. Some things to make the first postnatal coitus even more fun:
- Lubrication! Postpartum hormones can lead to vaginal dryness, which is NOT fun.
- Wine! No need to get sloppy drunk, but a couple glasses of wine can ease some of the tension and relax those inhibitions a bit.
- Communicate! Talk to your partner – nobody can read minds. Good sex is 90% mental and 10% physical (or something like that).
Sex is important to a marriage. It’s the glue that holds you together through the tough times. It’s a physical reminder of what you mean to each other. So make the effort to create intimacy – having a partner you can connect with on multiple levels is one of the joys of life.
Sex is fabulous stess relief, and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s what got you into parenthood in the first place, so keep it up!