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So you’ve just had a baby! Congratulations! As you embark on this new chapter in your life, one thing you’ll need to navigate is post-pregnancy intimacy with your partner. It’s common for couples to experience some changes in their s e x life after giving birth, but don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to handle things so that you and your partner feel satisfied. From dealing with body changes to fixes for low sex drive, here are five ways to deal with post-pregnancy intimacy.
1) Talk about any concerns you have.
Effective communication is essential for any successful relationship and paramount for couples looking to raise a family and continue their lives together. This is especially true regarding s e x and intimacy, as both can be complex topics fraught with emotion. And it all starts with a good chat.
Voicing your concerns and talking about them is the first step to working through them. When we keep everything inside, nothing can be done. But by bringing these things forward, we’re creating an opportunity. For example, if you’re feeling apprehension about post-pregnancy intimacy, discussing things openly with your partner will help ensure that both of you are on the same page and know what to expect.
Just make sure to enter into any conversations with an open mind, calm demeanor and as much honesty as possible. Of course, this is doubly so if you listen to your partner’s concerns.
2) Discuss any changes you want to make to your s e x life.
Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in our lives. From physical to hormonal to psychological, the list goes on. So it’s no wonder our s e x lives can also be impacted.
The good news is that you and your partner can work together to make any necessary changes. Perhaps you want to experiment with new positions or try different types of stimulation. Or maybe you need more foreplay than before. Whatever the case may be, know that it’s natural that our s e x lives might change as our lives and bodies do. But what’s important is that we discuss these changes with our partners.
3) Be honest about how you’re feeling physically and emotionally.
As we’ve highlighted, our emotions and bodies change post-pregnancy, and we need to be honest with ourselves and our partners. By being honest with ourselves about how we’re feeling, we can be more attuned to our needs. For example, maybe we need more time to feel comfortable with our new bodies, or we’re simply not in the mood as often as we used to be. There’s no shame in admitting this. On the contrary, it’ll likely make s e x more enjoyable when we finally get around to it.
The same goes for being honest with our partners about how we feel. Whether it’s communicating that you need more foreplay or just want to cuddle, your partner will appreciate your honesty and make the experience better for both of you. Just be sure you’re also listening to them and that this is a conversation, not a lecture from either side.
4) Intimacy doesn’t have to include intercourse.
Many newly postpartum couples are anxious to resume their pre-pregnancy level of s e xual activity. Still, it’s important to remember that intimacy doesn’t have to mean intercourse. In fact, for many couples, other forms of physical affection can be just as satisfying — if not more so. So here are a few non-s e xual ways to feel close to your partner after the baby arrives:
- Cuddling – Whether spooning on the couch or snuggling in bed, simple physical contact is a great way to feel connected. And it doesn’t have to lead to anything else. Just enjoying each other’s company is enough.
- Kissing – A long, slow kiss can be incredibly intimate. Take your time and really savor the moment. Trade those pecks for sensual kisses lasting six seconds or more.
- Massage – A sensual massage is a great way to relax and feel connected at the same time. Use scented oils or lotions for an added element of pleasure. But even a good back rub or shoulder massage can do it. Ask your partner what feels good and encourage them to do the same. You don’t need to be a professional to find that right spot.
- Exploring – Touch is powerful. Begin exploring each other all over, both with and without clothes. Take the time to discover what feels good — you may be surprised at what turns you on and find new areas of your body that ignite pleasure and intimacy like never before.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Struggling with post-pregnancy intimacy is a common challenge for new parents. And so, when the tips we’ve discussed don’t do the trick, thankfully professional help is available.
Some of the physical changes that women go through post-pregnancy can be difficult. In addition, many new moms experience hormonal changes affecting their libido. Breastfeeding can also play a role, as it can reduce levels of the hormone estrogen, which is necessary for s e xual arousal. In these cases, hormone testing can determine whether or not this is the issue and, if so, treatments are available to help.
As well, postpartum depression (PPD) is a real and serious condition that can impact anyone — not just women, as new dads can also be affected. PPD can cause a loss of interest in s e x and many other symptoms. Luckily, there are treatments available for PPD that can help get you back on track.
If you’re struggling with post-pregnancy intimacy, talk to your doctor or a certified s e x therapist. They can help you identify the factors affecting your s e xual desire and find ways to address them. It could be as simple as a regimen of personalized supplements to help with hormone regulation or more complex — like couple’s therapy to help you and your partner reconnect.
There’s no shame in admitting that you need help regarding post-pregnancy intimacy. It’s a common issue and one that can be resolved with the proper support.
Change, Grow, Thrive
As our lives change and our families grow, our intimate relationships also need to adapt. These changes don’t have to be negative, though. In fact, they can be an opportunity for growth and connection. So if you’re struggling with post-pregnancy intimacy, try some of these tips and get the help you need to thrive in this new chapter of your life.