Having a baby changes a lot of things. You expect to get less sleep, less time to yourself, more laundry, and so much more. You expect that things may change in the bedroom, especially at first when things are still healing down below, but once you are healed, why would there be any issues?
This is something that most couples find difficult to talk about. They are embarrassed, confused, and they just don’t understand why there are still problems. Once you get the all clear from your doctor you expect to just jump back into bed with no problems.
There are many reasons that you or your partner may not feel like getting intimate. If you find this is the case, there are several things you can do to help reignite that spark.
- Sleep. This may seem crazy, but one of the main reasons couples don’t feel like getting intimate is a lack of sleep. It may be difficult, but try to make sleep a priority. This may be hard if you are back to work and getting up early, or the baby is still waking up in the night, but try going to bed when they baby does instead of staying for a couple more hours. Leave the dishes or laundry until the next day if you can so you can get a few more minutes of sleep.
- Be appreciative. With a new baby there are more demands on both you and your partner. It can make it hard to make time for each other and it gets easier to take each other for granted. It’s hard to say “thank you” to your wife for cooking dinner while you are getting baby ready for bed and she is in the kitchen washing dishes. It’s hard to show your spouse how much you appreciate them when you spend so much time in different rooms. As a rule of thumb, try to tell your spouse you appreciate them every few days, daily if you can remember. You can say it before bed or first thing in the morning, it doesn’t matter when, just so you make sure your partner knows how much you appreciate them.
- Say “I love you” often. This goes along with being appreciative, but saying something as simple as “I love you” can boost your spouse’s spirits. You may think they know you love them, and that may be true, but it is still nice to hear, especially when it is random. For example, don’t just say it because you are leaving or going to bed, say it in the middle of the day for no reason.
- Spend time together, without the baby. You don’t have to be in the bed to reignite the spark in the bedroom. Just spending time with each other can help you feel closer and eventually you will get back to the bedroom. You can spend time watching a TV show after the baby goes to bed, just for a half an hour or an hour. You can do dishes, cook, do laundry, or any other household chore together. If you find this difficult, ask someone to take the baby for a couple of hours so you can spend some time together without the baby. You can go to dinner and a movie and just spend time talking about anything other than taking care of a baby.
- Kiss and hug often. Just these small intimate gestures can help ignite that spark that is needed in the bedroom. Again, this should be unprompted, wrap your arms around your wife while she is cooking and give her a kiss on the neck. Grab your husband when he has finished taking out the trash and give him a hug and kiss. It is another way to show how much you love one another.
- Talk. Talk to your partner about your feelings. If you are tired or feel overwhelmed, let them know so they can help you more. If you just don’t feel like getting intimate, let them know so you can work on it together. If you feel like your partner is ignoring you, talk about it, don’t get angry and let it stew.
- Her body, her rules. Men love breasts, and there is nothing wrong with that, but if mom is breastfeeding she may not want you touching them. Ask her what she wants. If she says please don’t touch them, don’t touch them, just look at them. Even if it once got her going, sore nipples and engorgement may not make her feel sexy, making it harder for her to get in the mood.
- Give each other a break. You both need time to yourselves where you don’t have to worry about cleaning, taking care of the baby, or anything else. Have dad take care of the baby for a couple of hours while you go do something you want, and vise versa.
- Get physical. By this, I mean exercise. Exercise releases endorphins that help you feel good, leading to better sleep and improved mood. I know with a new baby it may seem impossible to have time to workout, but this can be something as simple as going for a walk in the park with your baby.
- Move to the bedroom, kitchen, or wherever. When you both are ready you can move to the bedroom, but there are some things you will need to keep in mind. First off, just because you both want to, doesn’t mean you will on the first try, or even the tenth. It will take time and patience from both partners. Second, if mom is breastfeeding she may need more lubrication, so don’t be afraid to breakout the K.Y. Jelly. It may also take a little more foreplay than before. Third, babies have bad timing. Chances are that everytime you go to bed, the baby will wake up. If that happens, laugh about it and try again once the baby is back to sleep. Lastly, don’t take it personally or get frustrated if you don’t do the deed the first time around. As I said it will take time.
If you have tried many times and just can’t get in the mood, you may be suffering from postpartum depression. If you continue to have issues in the bedroom you need to talk to your doctor to rule out any other problems.
Did you have trouble reigniting the spark after you had a baby? Do you have any other tips you would offer to couples?