4 Intimacy Struggles After Child Birth
It’s a touchy subject—regaining some sense of intimacy after the birth of a baby. Or for some women, just being pregnant is enough to knock the cycle off track. Usually, surging pregnancy hormones create a increase in sexual desire during the second trimester, but that fades as your belly grows as big as a house. For some couples, men are afraid to be intimate because they fear they will hurt the baby, or are turned off by mom’s appearance. These are all normal fears for many couples. So once baby arrives, and those precious few weeks of pelvic rest have passed (and yes—you need to rest your body after delivery—no sex for 4 to 6 weeks girls!) What’s keeping you from diving into the sheets for anything besides a few hours of coma-like sleep? Plenty.
No privacy– Most women bring new babies into their room after birth—and many into their beds. This changes the way you feel about being alone with your partner, especially if your little bundle is staring at you. The feeling of being watched is certainly a mood killer.
Exhaustion—Let’s face it, you’re so tired, you can barely remember your name. And unless your partner is sleeping in the garage, so are they. Feeling romantic can be a larger-than-life problem for couples when sleep deprivation are factored into the mix. To help everyone feel more rested, consider sleeping in shifts. When one partner comes in from work, mom goes to bed for a few hours while they take care of the baby. Switch off in a few hours so everyone can grab some shut eye.
Body Changes—Your body certainly won’t look like it used to after delivery. Don’t worry though—it also won’t stay as flabby and floppy either. Those early months after delivery can be hard on a gal’s self-esteem. Excess weight gain, a now sagging soft belly, and swollen leaking breasts can hamper a woman’s sense of self and make it hard to feel in the mood. Remember that it took 10 months to get you here, and it will take nearly that to get back to the body you started in. Some of us, unfortunately, never made it back there completely!
Fear– The first time back in the saddle has many couples cringing for a variety of reasons. Reluctance for romance may stem from a fear of tearing stitches, triggering bleeding, or heaven forbid—another pregnancy. Those are plenty of reasons to avoid intimacy, but most women find that taking things slow can make all the difference. Consider an over-the-counter lubricant to make things more comfortable in the beginning and if you need to, stop.