You probably had around nine months to prepare for this exciting, new chapter in your life. You read all of the books, bought all of the necessities, and maybe even tried to come up with some sort of routine or schedule for when they arrive. But now that a newborn baby is here, everything is chaotic and up in the air; including your intimacy & sex life.
Having a baby is one of the most life-changing things for many parents. It’s important to recognize this change and let go of any thoughts or feelings that things will “go back to the way they were before” - because they won’t, and that’s okay!
Sex, pleasure, and/or intimacy may be the last thing on your mind; you might not see it as a priority anymore, now that you have another human to raise. However, that also means that you’re not prioritizing your pleasure or intimacy with your partner. Your baby should absolutely be your first priority now, but that doesn’t mean it should be your only priority.
As with all relationships, your partnership/marriage will take time and effort, and you need to be willing to focus and work on it. When it comes to intimacy and sex, it’s absolutely possible to remain connected to your partner and here are some tips on how:
- Follow any recommendations and orders from health care professionals. The body needs time to heal after carrying and birthing a baby. If the doctor says no sexual activity for __ days or weeks, it’s best to follow their advice as they are the professionals.
- Communicate even more. That being said, the person who carried and/or birthed the baby could be experiencing pain in various parts of their body as it takes time to heal. Communicate this and express any feelings of discomfort - especially around the genitals, chest, and abdomen - so that your partner is aware of how you’re feeling and you can try to work around it. This also makes consent even more important as some of your usual sexual moves & activities might not be an option at the moment.
- Schedule and make time. Now that life is more hectic, you need to be the ones to make the time for connection and intimacy with each other and prioritize it if it is important to you/your relationship. You can find the time while your baby is sleeping and try asking for babysitting help from friends & family for a night in or out.
- Re-explore each other's bodies. Having a baby changes the body in several ways and you both may need to get used to it. If they are having a hard time appreciating the amazing thing that their body just did, you can be there to remind them how beautiful/sexy/hot they still are to you. To hear about one new mom’s story with her post baby body image, check out this blog post on Sexy Education!
- Discover new ways to be intimate with each other that requires little to no sexual activity, especially if someone’s body is in pain and/or healing. You can be intimate by; making the time to talk to each other (not just small talk but deep conversations, and NOT about baby), being physically close to one another (cuddling, holding hands, lying together), and going out on date nights to enjoy your favourite activities together. If you wanted to try incorporating some lighter sexual activity, try mutual masturbation! You can pleasure yourself while enjoying the visual stimulation of your partner doing the same. This is a great time to pay attention to things like if your partner touches themselves in a different way since having a baby.
There’s no denying that you will be tired and things won’t always go according to plan, etc. However if you both are willing to make the time and effort for your intimacy, it can only bring you closer together as you embark on this exciting new journey in life.