Maternal Feelings and Sexuality After Birth: Loving the New You
Caring for a newborn can be physically and mentally exhausting. As a new mom, you maybe unprepared for all the new postpartum adjustments in your life. Some mothers believe that with a lot of careful planning, life will be the same as before they were pregnant, with lots of "me" time and couples time.
In reality, it can seem overwhelming to care for a newborn, the intense feelings of love, combined with the overwhelming desire to do everything for your new baby can be emotionally draining. New mothers are often surprised by the level of care one tiny baby can need. In the back of your mind, you are thinking, my baby will be like tiny little adult. My baby will be sleeping through the night and eating on schedule after a couples of weeks. However, the reality can be far different with lots of diaper changes, feedings, sore nipples and sleepless nights.
During this time period, the relationship between you and your partner is changing. Both of you are adjusting to your new roles as parents. Finding alone time can be daunting. Physical and emotional complications from your birth experience, along with rapidly decreasing pregnancy hormones can give you the "baby blues". Events out of your control like an unplanned C-section, episiotomy or a difficult labor combined with maternal or newborn illness can make a big impact on your emotional wellfare.
Body image can be a big factor as well, and that is absolutely normal. It's okay to be disappointed by stretch marks, weight gain, wider hips and leaky boobs. These changes can make you worry about how your partner's feels about you, and your new body. It is best to have open communication with your partner. Don't assume they are unhappy with the new you. Most people are well aware of what a mature women's body looks like and really don't care. Especially if it is attached to the woman they love.
Another big adjustment for most women is breastfeeding. It can be hard to want any type of physical closeness after nursing a baby all day. Most women are "touch out" by the end of the day. Even an innocence hug can make the calmest person get snarky. But before you decide to thrown in the towel, know that things do and will get better.
Tips for getting intimacy and couple time back:
Ask for help from your partner, don't try to do it all. A tired mama is not going to feel like a hot mama.
Even better, ask your partner to permanently share chores. Nothing is sexier than a man moping the floor or vacuuming.
If you are unsure of what's going on in your relationship. Talk to your partner about how they feel. NO, they didn't just have a baby but you both are in this together. Good communication skills can help both of you understand each other better.
Don't be shy, ask for a massage to help you relax. Don't think of sex or physical intimacy as the goal but as possibly a by product of closeness.
Start looking at quickies as a fun way to squeeze in sex before baby wakes up because as your family grows. Sometimes, they are going to be your best option.
Take a hot shower or bath while your partner is putting baby to bed. Your muscles get really stiff from bending, lifting and moving a baby all day.
Try a vaginal lubericant, you may be dry for a few months after birth from lingering pregancy hormones and sometimes breastfeeding hormomes.
Take walks together when baby is sleeping or binge watch your favorite shows for some quiet couples times. Make some popcorn and have a mini date night.
As your baby get's older, get out weekly. Go to a resturant, faire, or any easy family activity. You will be suprised how relaxed you both feel after time away from home.
As your baby gets older and starts sleeping through the night, plan a date night at home. It may sound unromatic but some couples start to look forward to "date night " at home.
The most important thing new moms forget to do care for themselves. Sleep when your baby sleeps, let the house go or hire a service. When friends or family want to visit, tell them they must bring food with them. These few suggestions can make a big difference towards yourself confidence, body image and your overall well-being. Remember when your partner tells you how beautiful you are, don't be modest. Accept the compliment!