He wants it - you don’t, or maybe it’s the other way around? Let’s face it, either way, your sex life is likely to suffer when you’ve had a baby – and there are good reasons why. You might not be surprised (and maybe even relieved!) that around 80 per cent of new mothers lose their mojo after they’ve had a baby. Broken sleep, fatigue and sore sensitive bits will do it. Add in getting regularly ‘touched out’ during the day and the last thing you’ll want is a tap on the shoulder at night! And if you’re nursing, breastfeeding hormones leave you already feeling already loved up. But what if your partner’s feeling out in the cold?
If your partner really wants to have sex but you don’t, gently explain your reasons why and make sure he knows that it’s not because you don’t love him or find him attractive – men, just like women - can take rejection of sex very personally.
But it’s not just mums and mojo. Due to a drop in new dad’s testosterone levels, many men tend not to be as interested in the first few months either. Some are anxious about hurting their partner, or overtaxing her, so if this is you, don’t take it personally either.
Dad’s sex-drive, however, is likely to return earlier. As well as not having to go through the physical and life changes that sap your energy, he probably misses you. Men can often feel like they’ve ‘lost’ their partner to the motherhood role. He’s probably craving some reassurance that you know he’s still on the planet. Maybe sex is his way of feeling close to you again. Of being connected.
When couples start to disconnect from each other, differences are likely to be magnified and conflict can increase. Resentment can creep in and when it does, that’s the most effective contraception I know – and then you’ve both created a vicious cycle
Let’s get it on
Sex is one way for couples to connect. It’s great stress relief and bonds us in a way that’s unique to our relationship, but there are other ways to stay connected too and relationships tend to take a hit after babies come along, so it’s important to make the effort to do it. Spend time together, talk, share your feelings, be affectionate, and when you do, your sex life will return more quickly and naturally. Like Dr. Phil says “women need to feel loved to have sex and men need to have sex to feel loved.” Thankfully, there’s plenty of middle ground here, you just have to find where yours is.
Five ways to manage post-baby sex, so it’s just a stage and not a permanent arrangement!
Accept that your sex life after baby is going to be different than your sex life before.
Accepts it’s a joint responsibility to make your sex life what you want it to be – for both of you.
Make time for each other and save a bit of energy too.
Stay connected or re-connect on other levels: mentally, emotionally, spiritually. The closer you feel, the more chance of affection and sex being a natural progression.
Visit a relationship counsellor for more support: www.arc.org.au
This article originally appeared on practicalparenting.com.au.