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How to restore sexual contact after childbirth with a partner

 

How to restore sexual contact after childbirth with a partner

If the idea of ​​dates doesn't feel right to you, or if you've struggled to maintain  intimacy  with your partner for months - or even years - after having  kids , here are tips for reconnecting  with  your partner  after  childbirth .

Couples assume that not spending time together is the only reason for the lull in the marital relationship after childbirth, so they go to a romantic dinner together, and it ends up that the two partners are content with contemplating each other while they are semi-drowsy, and an expensive meal settles in front of them, while they peek at the mobile phone from time to time. To check on the boys.

If the idea of ​​dates doesn't appeal to you, or if you're struggling  to maintain intimacy with your partner for months - or even years - after having kids, there are a few different ways to stay close, despite the burdens and stresses of  childbirth .

Tips for re-establishing sexual contact with your partner after childbirth

The couple begin to live two parallel, but separate lives, and may discover that they have nothing in common.

Slow down and start over


If the birth was normal, sex with the partner can be returned  6 weeks after the birth  of the child , if the physical condition allows it.

For some couples, that means "there just isn't a lot of time left," says Emily Nagoski, author of Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life.

But a lot of women won't be ready for this early on, and that's okay.


“After my postpartum checkup, I didn't feel right, and I didn't feel like I was really ready to have sex,” says Emily Stroia, 33, who lives in Los Angeles. I did not feel any sexual desire.”

Emily, the mother of a 10-month-old boy, says she and her partner finally started having sex once a month, but before she became pregnant, they had sex about a week.

"I keep forgetting a little bit that I'm in a relationship," said Emily, who suffers from the  sleep disorder. "It's necessary to remind myself that I have a partner."

After ruling out any potential medical problems, Dr. Emily advises the couple to "start over" with each other by having sex the same way they did at the start of the marriage: fondling, gradual touching.

"This person's body is completely new," Dr. Michelle said. "The meaning of his body has completely transformed."

It also helps to remember that " sex  is not just sexy sex," said Rick Miller, a psychiatrist in Massachusetts.

"It's an unwavering loyalty, a commitment to getting through tough times together, and most importantly, enjoying cozy, homey moments together," Miller said.

Don't look at it with indifference



Just as there is no perfect time to have children, there is rarely a perfect time to refresh your connection with your partner.

We usually don't give enough attention to the romantic relationship: telling ourselves something like, "Let's wait until the baby gets used to sleeping on his own first," or "I will as soon as my body gets back to normal," or "Maybe when I'm less tired."

Then comes winter. “Everybody is sick again? Let's wait until we recover."

But if you keep putting it off, it may become more difficult to get sex back to normal, according to experts.

“It seems to have become the norm for a lot of couples to say to themselves, 'Now that we have kids to focus on, our day will come later,'" Marriage and Family Relationship expert Michele Weiner-Davies said in her TEDx talk about heterosexual marriages. 

"Here's the bad news from someone who has dealt with couples for decades," she told The New York Times. "Unless you treat your relationship, or your marriage, as if they were living things that require regular care and attention, your marriage won't last after your kids leave home .  "

The couple may begin to live two parallel, but separate lives, and may discover that they have nothing in common.

“The husband or partner becomes a stranger, and you look at them and ask yourself, ‘Is this how I want to spend the few remaining years of my life? And the answer is no for many couples.”

But all of that can be avoided.


“It is absolutely essential that we not look indifferently at what I call a tedious sex life,” Michelle says. Touch is the simplest means of communication and bonding. And if these needs for physical contact are not given due attention for a period of time, or if they are devalued so that they are not satisfactory, then I can assure people that problems will permeate this relationship in the future.”

Take care of yourself first



Taking time to take care of your individual physical and emotional needs gives you the space to nurture your relationship, too, so that it doesn't feel like another chore on your to-do list.

Dr. Alexandra Sachs, reproductive psychologist and host of the Motherhood Sessions podcast, says: as intrusive, ask yourself, ‘How bad am I in taking care of myselfWhat do I need to do to take care of myself to feel connected to my sexuality?”

This could mean going to the gym, or talking to your partner about reducing the invisible mental burden of being a parent.

Asking your family (or specific family members) for support to take time out for yourself, or discuss some of the stresses of childbearing can help you rejuvenate your life.

"Counting on others is an indirect way to make intimacy work," Miller said.

Equally important is the practice of self-care by both spouses.


Dr. Alexandra recommends making a list of everything you used to do together as a partner that helped you feel closer, and think about how those habits have changed.

Does your baby sleep in your bed, stretching out like a starfish, between you and your partner? Have you stopped doing the things you both enjoy doing, like working out or going to the movies? 

Dr. Alexandra recommends thinking of a way to adjust things to generate physical and emotional intimacy with your partner.

For example, if you used to always talk to each other about your day, and now all the time is devoted to taking care of the little ones, the absence of that connection will be profound.

"You can't stop these habits and then expect to be just as close," she said.

Create a magical space in your bedroom


Dr. Emily suggests setting aside a protected imaginary space in your mind where you can "view the aspects of your identity that are relevant to your sexual connection, and close the door on the aspects that don't matter to sexual communication."

Given enough focus, this strategy can work even if the actual space you use includes reminders of your role as childcare.

 Thinking of the bedroom as a sanctuary can help, too, says Emily.

For couples who have spent years sleeping next to their children, this can be somewhat difficult.

Think about what triggers your sexual desire

According to Dr. Emily Nagoski, "Reminding yourself of the circumstances in which you had great sex is one way to increase intimacy."

What qualities do you have in your partner? What distinguished your relationship?


Then you have to think about the appropriate conditions, she said.

Dr. Emily says: “Were you in the house with the door locked? Were you on vacation?”

When doing this exercise, and when considering your current sexual desire (or lack thereof), it is also helpful to remember that it varies from person to person.

While  sexual desire appears  out of nowhere for some, millions of others experience something different called responsive desire, which stems from sexual stimulation. 

That is, excitement comes first, then desire follows, and both kinds of desires are normal.

Consider psychotherapy


Treating one or both spouses can be a good starting point.

But saving the time and money to go to a therapist can be a challenge for many parents, especially those with young children.

Esther Perel, a psychologist whose TED Talks about sexuality and relationships have been watched by millions of people, offers an online course that currently costs $199 and includes a section called Sex After Kids.

Esther also hosts the popular Where Should We Begin  ? podcast series,  in which couples share intimate details of their issues during recorded therapy sessions.

Regardless of the steps you take to rebuild connection with your spouse or partner, experts say it's important that you take practical steps as soon as possible.

“A child is not going to take up less space over time, so the question is, how do you create space for your relationships in the presence of the child, while he continues to grow and his needs and the effort required to meet them grow with him,” says Dr. Alexandra.

Don't count on spontaneity


We often forget how much time and effort we put into our relationships in the early days: planning dates, taking care of our bodies, talking for long periods.

“People feel kind of sad when they know that it takes real effort to build a lifelong connection,” says Dr. Emily. Things do not start on their own, as the couple do not just lie on the bed and place their sexual organs facing each other, and then they have orgasm.”

Karen Jeffries (a pseudonym she uses to write to protect her privacy) said her sex life with her husband is better than ever after they had two children. 

She said that their physical contact has always been strong, but they also plan for the future and prioritize themselves.

She said, "Sometimes I send him a message and he says, 'We'll have sex tonight,' and he says, 'It's okay' or 'the other way around.'"

Karen, 37, is a fourth-grade bilingual teacher in Westchester County, New York, and author of “Hilariously Infertile,” an account of the fertility treatments she endured to give birth to her two daughters. 

Her two daughters, now aged 6 and 4, have strict bedtime schedules, going to bed at 7:30pm, which buys the couple some time in the evening.

She advises that thinking about building good sexual habits is like developing healthy eating or exercise habits.

"Sex comes with more sex," she said. It's like going to the gym. It takes time to build a habit.”

She added, “Then you will notice little by little that the desire increases after it used to decrease.”

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