5 Tips for Getting Back to Sex After Baby
In my mind there are two kinds of sex: baby-making sex and life-with-a-newborn-sex. Baby-making sex may be fraught with its own questions – will we actually conceive a child? Can we maintain passion as we adhere rigorously to my ovulation schedule?
But life-with-a-newborn sex may bring up even more concerns. As your baby approaches six weeks – the sexual hiatus suggested by most midwives and obstetricians – you may find your head (and heart) swimming with worries: I’ve got leaky boobs, a bigger tummy and dark circles under my eyes – will my partner still find me desirable? If he does, will sex be enjoyable? What if my libido never returns to its pre-baby state?
Getting back into the sexual saddle may be intimidating at first, but intimacy with your partner is essential for a healthy and well-rounded relationship – passing a crying baby back and forth in the middle of the night can’t be the only way you spend time together. But if a healthy relationship isn’t enough motivation, use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to spend some sexy time together. Line up a babysitter, crack open a bottle of wine and get busy remembering how your baby got started in the first place.
And don’t do it alone. Dr. Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist specializing in pregnancy, new motherhood and healthy relationships shares five tips for bringing sexy back into your world. She reminds us that it is possible to raise a healthy, happy baby and have a healthy, happy sex life.
1. Find Alone Time with Your Partner. “It’s hard to go from sleepless nights and crying baby to hot sex,” says Lederer. “Make sure that you and your partner have some alone time to cuddle and be affectionate with one another. Intimacy is so much more than just the physical act of sex – an emotional/mental connection is key.” The time is now to call in the baby-sitting reinforcements.
2. Exercise. “Sure, it may be difficult to make time for 90-minute workouts with a needy newborn, so instead, find 15 to 20 minutes each day to focus on your body and get your heart pumping with some cardio exercise,” Lederer suggests. And change doesn’t happen overnight, so work with what you’ve got. “Many new moms resist looking at their bodies or wear oversized clothes to hide the baby bulge,” Lederer says. “Instead, take notice of your new curves and use them to your advantage.”
3. Cultivate Confidence. “Embrace your new look and your new role as mama,” says Lederer. When you exude confidence about your body, chances are strong that your partner will want some of what you’re offering.
4. Don’t Sacrifice Self-Care. Sex is probably the last thing on your mind when you’ve been up for 24 hours straight. “Making an effort to rest while baby naps or carving out some time to focus on you – get a pedicure or massage or take a bath – really does help to lift your energy and mood,” Lederer says. “You’re much more likely to want to engage in sexual activity when you’ve had some time to yourself.”
5. Schedule Sex: “Scheduling in sex or sex acts is the new foreplay for new parents,” Lederer says. “Time is of the essence, so be sure to plan ahead to best utilize your limited alone time.” And have fun with the planning. Choose the location, the clothing, and the theme and put it into both of your calendars.