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Also, caring for a newborn day and night may leave you too fatigued to want sex. You might feel "touched out" after cuddling a newborn much of the day. Talk to your partner about your feelings.
When you resume having sex, it may be slightly or very uncomfortable at first. You and your partner may have some fears about whether you've healed completely even though your doctor gave you the go-ahead to have sex.
Accept that you'll be making love rather delicately during these first few months. The genital area does revert to its prepregnancy state: Your post-pregnancy sex may also be plagued by common fears that your body will feel "different" to your partner after having given birth. For the sake of your own happiness and your relationship, it's time to disconnect from those feelings, if only for a little while.
Take a shower, put on a sexy nursing bra yes, they exist , and repeat your new mama-mantra: And, let's be honest here: Your partner certainly isn't thinking about them—he's too overjoyed to finally be getting some action again. Even if lube was never part of your repertoire before, it'll be your BFF post-baby. And dryness leads to But that's nothing a little water-based lube—well, more like a lot! Get over the leaky boob thing.
After you have a baby, your breasts that were perhaps fuller, firmer, and more fun to have in bed with you may now suddenly be leaking on you and your partner during sex.
Acknowledge your partner's fears. Your partner may have hidden fears or questions he or she is afraid to bring up. Men expect women's bodies to go through major changes during pregnancy, but many are unprepared for the physical changes women will experience after childbirth. If your partner is in the delivery room with you, he can be awed by the miracle of birth yet simultaneously stunned by the physical pain and trauma you're experiencing.
This typically proves to be a temporary phase, and as with most things postpartum , all that's needed to help fade those images is a little time. Aren't you supposed to be focused on your partner here? Surprisingly, according to Marin, some self-pleasure is actually key to getting your intimate life back: Actually, stop thinking about sex so much. Now the encouraging news: Working on your relationship pays off in spades. Without all that energy expended read: Here's advice from experts as well as couples in the trenches on why this transition is so hard and what you can do to smooth things out.
Now that there are so many more household chores on the agenda, you and your spouse may both feel like the other's not pulling his or her share of the mother lode. Domestic duties double, and so does your bickering. Of course, before there was a baby, there was still laundry. And dishes, and other loathsome household tasks.
But there were never so many things that had to be done so quickly. You can't procrastinate about chores once you have an infant. Well, I did that, so you do this. As long as things are getting done, this tit-for-tat system may not be so bad, but the constant background buzz of nagging can cause resentment to build up over time. One strategy to decrease infighting: Post a list of daily chores on the fridge and switch responsibilities each week.
Everyone will know what he or she needs to do. Ken Fine, dad to month-old Henry in San Francisco, approaches the housework dilemma philosophically. So if you think that you're always doing 90 percent of everything, you probably are. Just remember, so is your spouse. Nevertheless, if you feel like you are carrying the whole load, ask for what you need instead of storming around folding laundry, says Carol Ummel Lindquist, PhD, author of Happily Married with Kids.
But men often respond better to direct requests. I know it might not seem fair because you may never get thanks, but this will make your husband more receptive to future requests. And niceties breed a less combative atmosphere. Moreover, it might be catching! Your parenting styles cancel each other out. It's nice to think you'd share child-rearing philosophies, but it's often hard to predict how you'll feel about sleep, food, and discipline until you're smack in the middle of your fourth night up with baby.
This is not the ideal time to discover that while you favor a sleep-training method that lets your child cry, your spouse really can't deal with tears for any amount of time. You may also find that your parenting styles clash as you reach for the pacifier at the first sign of distress softie while your partner says no sternly when the baby starts to drum with spoons on the high-chair tray toughie.
My friends Tina and Tim Anson discovered that they differed on just about everything when it came to the baby. And he lets naps happen anywhere, anytime, too. I'd come home to see Jake sleeping in the middle of a circle of toys on the living room floor at dinnertime! Tina, meanwhile, wanted to set up play stations rather than have toys strewn around the house, as well as make sure things were put back where they belonged to get Jake in the right habit.
Ditto for scheduled naps. What worked for them was letting the other deal with the consequences of his or her method. When Tim had to stay up with Jake until all hours on a night when the baby took a 5 p. Similarly, the day Tina attempted unsuccessfully to play with Jake at his play stations while also doing some housework, she realized that having the baby play in the laundry room may be a small price to pay for actually getting the clothes washed.
On more serious issues, such as sleeping or feeding, there are ways to compromise, too. For certain things—such as when to start solids—you need to follow set guidelines. Talk to your pediatrician about what's recommended. For issues such as sleep i. Then discuss what's best to do. I know one mother, for instance, who actually slept at a friend's house for a week while her husband sleep-trained their 8-month-old son.
After reading about the Ferber method, she agreed it was a good idea, but she still didn't want to listen to her son cry. You have sex half as often, and it's twice the hassle. Of course you're in love, you're just not in the mood for getting naked under the covers.
Step one, says Lindquist, is to get in the mood. And the best way is to plan time for having sex. Sure, people joke about making dates for sex, but "remember, when you were dating, you did plan when you were going to have sex. You got ready for a night out and thought about it beforehand. Just because you're married doesn't mean you can't make a hot date. Get a sitter, shave your legs, and flirt a little.
As for increasing the frequency of sex on nondate nights, experienced parents recommend making sure your bedroom is baby-free at bedtime. Couple time is now family time. You're always together, but no longer alone. Whether you've been a couple for years or just met and wanted to have a baby quickly, jumping from a twosome to a family is challenging. And we both worked a lot and went to the gym on our own. Now we're glued to each other and to Carly, but we also don't feel like we ever have any time together.
There are two parts to the solution here.