Most new parents are blindsided by the steep decline in both the frequency of sex and overall sexual satisfaction. They feel lost and don’t know how to balance their new roles as parents and partners. Often, they tend to take the lack of sex as a personal rejection from their partners. They also feel hopeless and wonder if things will ever get better.
The truth is that when a baby enters into a relationship, partners tend to shift their focus from each other and on to the baby. Women, especially those that breastfeed for an extended period of time, feel “touched out” because of the high level of physical contact between mother and baby. They may feel they can’t handle any more touch in the form of sexual intimacy.
However, all hope is not lost. Most couples are able to recuperate their sexual connection within six months to two years of having the baby.
Here are some tips for couples interested in recharging their sex life after a baby:
Try to make your partner your priority. I am not asking you to ignore the needs of the baby or the kids but focusing on connecting with your partner- emotionally & sexually. If you have a newborn and the mother is completely focused on the baby, the father can devote himself to doting on the mom by giving massages, back rubs, feet rubs, and other relaxing touches.
2. Don’t focus on intercourse-
For many women, the idea of intercourse can seem daunting because of fatigue or physical discomfort, in the case of a newborn baby. By focusing more on outercourse or activities that involve sensual touching, kissing, cuddling and hugging without the expectation of intercourse, couples can slowly work their way back to having a consistent sexual connection. With time, you can add oral sex, masturbating together etc to the mix.
Don’t put off making love until the end of the day when you both are exhausted, whether you are taking care of a baby or running after a toddler. Afternoons & mornings are best in terms of higher energy levels if you can make it happen. Take advantage of when your baby is napping even if you are tempted to do another load of laundry.
4. Date night-
Having a dedicated evening set aside for the couple to either go out or stay in without being in parent mode can be very helpful. I recommend this especially to my couples that are parenting a baby. It’s a good feeling to dress up and go out with each other without having to worry about bottles or strollers.
5. Managing expectations-
For women, sex after a baby can be a bit uncomfortable the first few times and it’s ok to not desire sex as much as you did before the baby was born. However, instead of viewing sex as an uphill task that needs to be completed in addition to loads of laundry and waking up every hour throughout the night, think of it as a way to connect with your partner.
The hormones that are released after an orgasm and even physical touch with your partner can help you both feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Also, make quickies the norm rather than an exception. Don’t keep putting off sex because you are unable to find hours in your schedule to dedicate to it.
6. Talk about it-
Perhaps the most important tip is to have ongoing open conversations with your partner about how you are feeling regarding the lack of sexual intimacy in the relationship. By being open about your feelings and inviting your partner to do the same, you both can build a sense of shared experience so that neither one of you feels alone. You and your partner get to voice your frustrations while being there to hold each other, offer support and comfort.