Sex and the new parent? Yes, it's possible!
If you've recently had a baby, it is highly unlikely that your interest in sex will be what it was before the new arrival. But don't be too hard on yourself. There are things you can do to renew your flagging interest.
1. Give yourself a break
Your life has just changed completely – don’t beat yourself up if sex is the last thing on your mind. New mothers may find that breast-feeding, getting used to a new routine and pressure from a partner to have sex inhibit their sex drive.
Respect your feelings, take your time and do what feels best for you. The less you worry about sex, the more likely you are to want and enjoy it.
2. Plan for sex
With much of your day dictated by your baby’s needs, it’s important to plan time for sex. You may look back fondly on the days when you could drop everything and get nasty whenever the spirit moved you, but the reality is that these days you’ll probably have to plan ahead.
The anticipation, however, can add a nice thrill to your upcoming encounter. If you’ve got babysitters, you may try scheduling a regular time during the week for sex. If you can’t find someone to baby-sit, plan around your baby’s schedule.
If he or she takes a regular nap, use that time – just make sure you’re relaxed and rested too or sex may feel like a chore. If your baby’s schedule is unpredictable and you’re up for it, grab your partner the minute the baby falls asleep – you may discover some spontaneity after all.
- Also see: What really ruins love
3. Get help
Call on family, friends and neighbours to baby-sit so that you can spend some time with your lover. If your budget permits, consider ordering prepared meals, hiring a housekeeper or having the bank pay your bills directly.
Every minute saved is one you could be spending with your partner.
4. Respect your health
Your sex drive will stay on permanent hiatus if you run yourself ragged. Try to get plenty of sleep, eat well and exercise. This will boost your self–esteem and probably make you feel desirable.
And the more energy you have, the more likely you are to want a good roll in the hay. New mothers should do Kegel’s exercises; strengthening your PC muscle will improve your experience of sex.
You may not realise how tense you are until you make a conscious effort to relax. Take a warm bath, ask your lover for a massage or have a glass of wine. Easing the tension can make room for arousal.
- Also see: Is your marriage strong enough for kids?
6. Be patient
Once the baby is born, many women are surprised, not only to find that their bodies don’t instantly revert back to normal, but that vaginal intercourse can hurt for some time.
Experiment with different positions: side–by–side and woman–on–top allow you to take more control. Use plenty of lubricant – your fluctuating hormone levels can dry up your natural lubrication.
If you want to try easing back into intercourse, try using lube and a small dildo. Don’t feel you have to rush back into intercourse, even if your doctor says you are ready. Experiment with other ways of expressing sexual intimacy.
7. Be creative
If you are too tired to get hot and heavy but want to feel sexual, try a quickie masturbation session.
If you want to have sex, but don’t want to make any decisions, play an erotic board game. Have a meal of finger food delivered at your home. If orgasm is harder to achieve, use a vibrator.
8. Get away
Sometimes just getting away from it all does wonders for the libido. Go to a romantic inn, take a camping trip, offer to house-sit for someone, just do something to get out of your own environment.
If you can, bring someone along to watch the baby or find a sitter.
- Also see: No excuses, just make a date...
As always, communication is vital. You and your partner are going through so many changes, it’s important that you share your feelings. Talk about your concerns, your desires, your needs, your preferences and your expectations.
10. Use resources
Whatever you are feeling or experiencing, you are not alone. Connect with other parents to get advice, suggestions or just a friendly ear.
Are you a new parent? Have you started thinking about what your sex life will be like now that baby is here? Tell us by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.
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