Let’s be honest, pregnancy can be tough. Childbirth is definitely tough. Recovery is tough.
But getting your sex life back after a baby…
That can be really tough!
There’s lots of reasons why we don’t feel comfortable with the thought of sex after a baby. Tiredness, feeling uncomfortable, unexpressed emotions (read more about that in this post), baby in the room, sick in our hair – to name a few! It can get a little awkward explaining why we’re not in the mood for sex. Again.
So with that in mind, here’s a list of 7 things we wish our partners knew about sex after a baby!
#1 – we feel insecure
Pregnancy and childbirth can really do a number on our bodies for a while. Saggy stomachs; stretch marks; leaky boobs; hair loss and dry skin can leave us feeling really vulnerable about revealing our post baby bodies. Top this with the fact that we may not have had a chance for a shower that day (and could very well be covered in food/milk/something we won’t mention out loud) and it’s not surprising that we don’t feel particularly sexy or in the mood for it.
Yes, ultimately we want to reach the point where we get our body confidence back and feel great about ourselves (read this post if you want to know how to love your post baby body). In the meantime, a little reassurance from our partners can go a long way to helping us trust that we are just as sexy as we were before baby came along.
#2 – we worry it will be different
We don’t quite know what to expect from sex after we’ve pushed something that big out of something a lot smaller. It might also have been a while since we had sex at all. Pregnancy can make sex somewhat challenging and unappealing so not everyone keeps going to the end. This can make us feel unsure of what sex will be like for the first few times. And sometimes we prefer to put off finding out.
It might also be that your relationship with your partner has changed. This can make things feel awkward or a little uncomfortable. There might be a fear that sex will have changed too leaving you feel a little apprehensive about resuming your love life.
#3 – we worry it will be uncomfortable or hurt
Whether you had a c-section or a natural birth it’s still a big physical impact. If you had a c-section then you’ll have to deal with a surgical wound. Even if you haven’t then you could well have ended up with stitches after a tear. Regardless, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that sex for the first few times could be uncomfortable or painful.
Knowing this really just makes the thought of sex really off putting. And often our partners aren’t even aware that this might be the case so may not know that they need to take things slowly the first few times.
#4 – we’re exhausted
This one is self explanatory (unless you have one of those deluxe babies that is really a robot and sleeps for 12 hours straight). We’re up in the night; we’re running around all day; we don’t get any time to ourselves – in short we’re absolutely knackered.
If we’re brutally honest – given the choice between an hour of sleep or the chance to have sex with our partner most of us would choose sleep! Not because we don’t want sex but just because we are so utterly tired that we can’t keep our eyes open and know that that extra hour will keep us going when we’re awake at 3am. Again.
#5 – we need to feel loved
Having a baby can limit our opportunities to connect in a meaningful way with our partners. This means that when our partner might try to make a move to initiate sex the first thought we have is “Really? Now?”. Probably closely followed by “Not a chance….”.
The more connected we feel to our partners the more we are likely to feel that spark when we’re together and want sex with them. But to feel connected with them it helps to feel loved rather than flat mates (read here about 5 ways to easily spend more time together). We want intimacy (and even romance) first and then sex will follow.
#6 – we won’t want it if we’re pissed off
This is another one that sounds self explanatory but often, we don’t consciously admit that we’re pissed off.
We can be annoyed with our partners for any number of reasons. Maybe we resent getting up in the night whilst they sleep. Maybe we find we’re always the ones doing the washing/dishes/cooking/tidying. Or it could be that we’re annoyed that they’re home late again when we wanted help getting the baby to sleep.
If we let this resentment fester then it will come out elsewhere. Usually in feeling tense around our partners and making us feel sex is the last thing we want. When we feel supported it’s easier to focus on the good parts of our relationship and get that spark back.
#7 – we need to warm up to the idea of sex
We spend all day rushing around and caring for at least one other person (if not more). We’re also trying to keep a house clean and stay sane. It’s exhausting.
If we’re not actually looking after baby we’re probably thinking about baby.
When we’re not doing housework we’re probably stressed about not doing housework.
If we’re not washing / ironing / shopping / cooking / changing / bathing / dusting / hoovering then we’re probably thinking about… Well you get the idea.
So let’s be honest, when our partners suddenly turn around and suggest sex it’s the last thing on our mind. At that point we’d be as likely to say yes to them turning a cold hose on us in the garden.
We need a bit of warning so we can start to clear our mind of the day to day crap and make way for more intimate thoughts. That’s why date night can work so well – it means we can mentally shift from mum to wife mode.
If any of these ring true with you then the best solution is to talk to your partner (or even share this article with him). It’s perfectly possible to get a great sex life again after you have a baby but sometimes it takes a bit more effort and understanding (on both sides) to navigate through the changes that being a mum brings.
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