The sexual and social relationships in your family will inevitably face a drastic change when adding a new family member. As a mother, your body goes through many changes during pregnancy and afterwards, and not to mention the emotional rollercoaster that’s also involved in this process. It is easy to take for granted the challenges and fall into the conclusion of how effortless it will be to recover intimacy with your partner once childbirth happens, and for some couples, it does happen.
How Sex Life Changes as Parent
Nevertheless, this new life stage will bring new situations to explore and adapt, so try to see it as an adventure with your favorite person. Starting with recovery, the reproductive system needs a recovering time of a minimal of six weeks to avoid risk of infection. Each woman has a unique body, therefore their decision on when to resume sex can differ to what is recommened, and really is reliant upon both psychological and physical recovery. According to Signorello LB. et al., 2001, sexual activity, during the first months after delivery, “can also be affected by factors like breast feeding, episiotomy, pain, depression, and fatigue”, as cited in Eledessy M.S. et al, 2010.
The foundations of any sexual relationship rely on communication, so once your body has recovered and you are finally feeling ready to reclaim intimacy, make sure to let your partner know about it, as well as other concerns or suggestions related to the subject. For example, some mothers change their perspective about the sexuality of their breasts, this is due to “breasts no longer having solely a sexual connotation, being related with feeding the baby” (Olsson, Lundqvist, Faxelid, & Nissen, 2005, as cited in I. Leal et al., 2012). If this happens to be your case, don’t feel discouraged by it, breasts don’t need to be the focus of your sex agenda, again, it all lies in the communication between you and your partner, so allow yourselves to re-explore intimacy and learn new likes and dislikes.
Another must for succeeding your way back into sex is adapting: timing it right and taking advantage of places and situations. Sneaking from your baby or toddler is tricky, the easiest way to do it is when they are sleeping, this can either be bedtime or daytime naps, the equivalent of liquid gold in the early parenthood years. Once the kids get older, and the risk factor of leaving them alone in another room of the house is no longer a threat to their safety, parents can avoid making any noises during the act, along with adding distract tools, like movies or kid TV shows. Don’t forget to make sure your kid is in a safe environment, this will clear your mind and vanish the daunting thought of anything bad happening to your little one.
There are exceptions to the norm, but most new parents will find that the quantity of sex will have remarkably reduced since having a little one - which is completely normal. As long as couples keep a healthy line of communication — and the required patience to succeed in adapting — is likely for them to, eventually, recover the rhythm they used to have. Not all changes have to be scary and in time things will get back on track.
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