The moment is beautiful…
You’ve carried this little bundle of joy for 9, maybe even 10 months. After hours of pushing and exhaustion your baby is here with all 10 fingers and 10 toes. All of your energy is now directed to this little person. In this moment, the furthest thing from your mind is sex, but it won’t be long before it becomes a topic of discussion with your partner.
There are a lot of things people don’t tell you about having a baby.
Conversation usually leans towards the precious moments, or the lack of sleep! It doesn’t take long to realize your body is not the same body in more ways than you anticipated, and your mind has likely changed as well. The relationship with your partner also takes a shift…it kind of goes on the back burner.
At some point, you feel that yearning in the pit of your stomach….you are ready to have sex again! The only thing is... how do you bring the spark back to your relationship, get back into your own body, and/or feel sexy...especially with that big throw up stain on your shirt? There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for that moment.
Here are 5 tips on how to bring sex back into your relationship after having a baby:
The biggest thing is to have a conversation with your partner about any apprehension you are having. There are a lot of factors in play now that you have this new baby…neither of you are sleeping, your body is still healing, and your hormones are everywhere. Talking to your partner about sex will help make sure that everyone is on the same page. This includes scheduling sexytime if you have to (it's okay!).
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
You just had a baby…that is a HUGE accomplishment. Your body is still beautiful, it just did a big job! It is easy for us to criticize how our postpartum body looks…stretch marks, saggy belly, leaky boobs, and achy vagina. Take some time to focus on all the great things about your body, and how it has served you (as a mother and otherwise). You provided a safe space for your baby to grow; those boobs provide your baby with much-needed nutrients; and those stretch marks are the greatest badges of honor. I’m pretty sure your partner sees your body as miraculous right now…be kind and love on yourself.
INVEST IN GREAT LUBE
After having a baby, there are many changes going on with your vagina. Hormone changes may mean lack of lubrication for sex. Having sex may already be painful due to giving birth, especially if you were torn or cut, no lubrication can make it worse. Get with your partner and experiment with different lubes. Water-based, silicone-based, etc. Everyone has different preferences, so it is helpful to participate in this activity with your partner. Don’t worry…this is common and does not mean you will never get wet again. And - since date nights out on the town are likely sparse now, doing some online browsing together makes for a perfect night in.
EXPERIMENT WITH OTHER FORMS OF SEX
Vaginal penetration may not be an option for you at this time…that is okay! Communicate this with your partner and discuss other options. Maybe you would prefer to have anal sex instead (the lube will definitely come in handy for this - silicone preferred since it is thicker). Another consideration is oral sex, or mutual masturbation. We tend to forget that sex goes far beyond genital penetration! This is the perfect time to try things you and your partner have only talked about. Create a list of things you'd like to try together, and pick one night a week to spend some time playing.
DON'T FORCE IT IF YOU'RE NOT READY
Only have sex when you are ready! I understand that this part of life is exhausting. You spend all day cuddling, breastfeeding, rocking…your body honestly may feel like it is no longer yours. After spending all day interacting with the baby, you may not want to be touched by your partner. Again…this is totally common, and there are answers. Focus on being intentional when with your partner. Even if you're not having sex, still make time to spend together. This is your co-pilot, and they need attention too. Date nights, movie nights, coffee dates…whatever you decide, tune into your partner. Listen and remind them that even through this change, they still matter to you. Assure them that you understand their desire for sex and discuss how to keep the flame lit (physically and emotionally).
Sex is an important aspect of your relationship, but it is not everything. You are living a new normal with your sweet baby, the family dynamic has changed, and you have changed in some ways that may be beyond your control.
Big tip: try not to compare your sex life post-baby to your past sex life! That is an easy way to trigger disappointment or feelings of inadequacy. You WILL get your groove back, and while that may look different than it has in the past, you're still a sexy, sensual being. Ask your partner to make a list of things they find sexy about you, and read it as often as necessary. It's okay to ask for help when you're just not feeling it!
Embrace the changes, and understand that everything you are feeling is completely normal. As long as there is consistent communication -and effort- between you and your partner about sexual needs, things will continue to be satisfying.
Guest blog courtesy Natasha Chentille
Closet Freak Chronicles