After our first child was born, a lot changed in my marriage. My love for my husband intensified. I was absolutely enamored with this tiny human we created together and excited to work with him to help guide her through this life. But while our daughter was the smallest thing, her energy (and her cry) took up a lot of space in our apartment and our relationship. She demanded so much physically and emotionally that it was hard to find the energy to be intimate with my partner when we finally got her to sleep at night.
Having a baby means being short on sleep and short on time. And as a result, opportunities for sex with your partner can feel like a thing of the past. Your baby becomes the center of attention, and everything seems like an afterthought. It’s natural to have a lower libido after the birth of your baby and feeling can last for months. In one study of postpartum women, 20 percent had little or no desire for sex three months after delivery, and another 21 percent had a complete loss of desire or aversion to sexual activity. With maternal hormones shifting and sleep deprivation, a nap may sound more enticing than being intimate with your partner. But with a little time, patience, and creativity, you can keep the spark ignited with your partner.
Take The Time You Need
Giving birth takes both a physical and emotional toll, so you shouldn’t expect your sex life to get back to normal right away. For some people it can take several months to feel interested in intimacy. Whether you’ve had a vaginal birth or a C-section, you will need to give yourself time to heal physically before you explore intimacy with your partner again. While every birthing person’s recovery period is unique, it can take up to six weeks to feel relief from tenderness and the perineum to heal and longer if you delivered surgically.
Mark Your Calendar
Once your baby arrives, you may not have as many spontaneous moments of intimacy with your partner. But intentional intimacy can be just as sexy. Take advantage of any offers from friends and relatives to babysit and schedule some time for romance with your partner. A date night can be as simple as taking a walk to your favorite neighborhood restaurant for a bite by candle light. Intimacy doesn’t have to culminate in sex, it may take a while before you feel comfortable to get back to a place of comfort in your body. Take your time.
When you’re ready to bring sexual activity back into your relationship, it may take some creativity to reignite the spark with your partner. There is so much more to intimacy than sex. Reinvent what romance looks like in your relationship with massage, kissing, slow dancing, taking a warm bath together, or cooking a romantic dinner together. And if you’re feeling really creative, try reading from a book of erotic poetry or journaling your sex fantasies and sharing them with one another.
Set The Mood
You and your partner may have to work harder to create those moments of intimacy while you are adjusting to new parenthood. But there are lots of simple ways to create a romantic environment. Send a sexy text message to your partner in the middle of the day to fuel the fire and create anticipation for what’s to come. Lighting some Candles, warming up massage oils, and crafting a sensual playlist of your favorite love songs will help ignite that sense of love, connection and desire.
Keep The Lines Of Communication Open
Support optimal communication by keeping your partner in the loop about how you are feeling as you navigate the fourth trimester. It can be challenging to have these conversations with your partner. Keep a couple’s journal where you share your feelings. Consider engaging a therapist to help. Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a licensed therapist with clinical experience working with couples, most often a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), helps people involved in a romantic relationship gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict, and improve relationship satisfaction utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions. You can talk through fears, insecurities, and changes.