Having a baby changes everything. Your life, your priorities, your body, your relationship and even your sexual responses. Life can seem pretty unrecognisable in those early days between 3am feedings and all your weird new body functions. It’s no wonder that many women just aren’t interested. It’s totally normal for your libido to take a nosedive. Your hormones are on a roller coaster, your life has changed dramatically and you might still be sore or traumatised by your birthing experience. The last thing on your mind is getting kinky.
From a man’s perspective; this whole baby making process can be tough. It’s quite common for men to feel left out and for resentment to start building. Next thing you’re another single parent household. Worst of all you could have seen it coming. “I am too tired” and “No way” too many times is misconstrued as lack of love eventually. Sex is important and if you’re in drought mode for too long your relationship will start to suffer.
So what can you do?
1. Make the time for exercise: If there’s one thing you do to give your sex life a boost, make it squeezing in time for exercise. You’re thinking; who has the time? Consider this; every human that’s ever walked the earth has had the same 24 hours in any given day. Helen Zille, Charlize Theron and that super fit career mom of four at the gym – they manage to exercise every day! Exercising is the number one thing you can do to reclaim your sanity, your body, your energy levels, your hormone balance and your sex life. When the dopamine flows, the sex drive soon follows. Squeeze it in wherever/whenever you can and your relationship will reap the benefits, guaranteed. Virgin Active offers “Fit Mamma” classes for new mums that include babies too. Preggi Bellies offer post natal exercise classes, as does “Push me fit”. Baby bonding, exercise, socialising all in one go.
2. Invest in something sexy: Sexy nursing underwear may seem like an oxymoron but believe it or not there is actually lovely stuff out there. Are you still wearing those faded stretched pre-pregnancy panties? No wonder you don’t feel sexy! Embrace Maternity Underwear stocks beautiful nursing lingerie that will leave you feeling sexy and sensual. Kiss those sail boat knickers good bye every now and then, slip on some beautiful lingerie and give you and your man a little treat. It doesn’t even have to be lingerie to have the desired effect; treat yourself to some slinky pyjama’s or a cute dress. Some couple’s have had so much success with this approach that when a ‘certain skirt’ or ‘those pyjama’s’ are on it sets off a Pavlovian response in the eager hubby.
3. Pamper yourself: In the early days, even taking a shower can seem like an accomplishment. But it is possible to give yourself a bit of love while caring for your baby. Pampering yourself doesn’t have to mean hours of soaking and primping. It can be as simple as smearing a delicious smelling body lotion or painting your toenails. Anything you used to do before baby came to make yourself feel pampered and beautiful. If you are ready for it, a daring bikini wax can really shake things up.
4. Change your mindset: Accept that your sex life is going to be different now. Decide that it’s going to be for the better. Sex doesn’t have to be a long drawn out affair every time; there’s a happy space for quickies in every relationship. Break your old mould and open your mind to new possibilities. Your relationship will benefit from whatever loving you put into it. Let your man know you think he is sexy and that you love him in whatever ways feel good and doable.
5. Communicate: A comedian once said, “Women want men to listen more, men just want more sex” and it seems to ring true for a lot of couples. Communication with your partner means a better bond and it’s direct by product – loving sexy feelings. Talk, message, cuddle and always try to outweigh negative statements with positive ones.
And of course lube is an essential when it comes to post-baby sex. All those child bearing hormones can wreak havoc on natural lubrication. Pain is a common experience but lubricant can go a long way towards making things more comfortable for you. Have a chat with your doctor if it’s been months and you’re still having pain after the birth.
It’s been said that nurturing your relationship with your partner is the single best thing you can do for your family. Some argue that your relationship with your partner should be considered the primary relationship and be prioritised accordingly. Whether you agree with it or not there is immeasurable value in keeping your relationship strong through the birth of a baby, those toddler days and beyond. k. Talking about problems between couples often lead to better problem-solving, rather than arguing. Delerme continues, “This makes perfect sense, they sleep better because they aren’t stressing over problems. They don’t drown their sorrow in a drink; they have each other to talk to when they are upset about something.”
Values have a role to play
Outpatient coordinator for Behavioural Health Services at Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, Launa Snyder, believes that compatibility and sharing the same values and interests encourage physical and emotional health. She says that a couple can complement each other, encourage each other and give much-needed support to each other. She agrees with Delerme’s point of view that married couples are there to share and talk about problems, relieving some anxiety and stress: “… you don’t take on the stress of the world alone.”
Interests too can benefit physical and emotional health. When you share, or at least understand and support, each other’s interests, and give each other the space to flourish without jealousy of individual successes, physical and emotional health will be encouraged, according to experts.
5 Strategies from the experts for a happier marriage
- It’s all about good communication. When you disagree, discuss it with the end result in mind – focus on resolving the matter, rather than being right. Often you’ll have to result to the wise saying: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
- Families that play together, stay together – the old cliché is really true. Find some activity that interests both of you and practise it often.
- Socialise with other friends as a couple and as individuals. You sometimes will need to let off steam, get some perspective on something or just have a good time.
- Look to a higher power. Experts are of meaning that spirituality is comforting and can offer emotional support.
- If you are parents, be a united front and equally engage in your children’s lives.
Source: Pennlive.com, December 2013.