New parents top 3 concerns about sex after birth answered
Are you a new parent wondering, “Is this really what your relationship will be for the future?” Don’t worry you aren’t alone. During the transition to parenthood, you are inundated with life changes, including the ones no one warns you about like relationship changes. Today I’m answering new parents top sex after birth concerns.
Only 15% of new parents are comfortable asking a health professional about sexual function and relationship changes.
What the 6-week check-up currently looks like
At 6 weeks, when you are still in a haze you go to see your doctor or midwife. They have a quick look at your caesarean section scar or your vulva, give you the all clear to have sex again and ask you about contraception. Thanks very much, payment taken, bye.
If you are “really lucky” and go with your male partner you might get one of these comments my followers got:
“I added an extra stitch for you so she’s nice and tight”
“Enjoy, she’s ready to go”
Only 18% of mums in the Mama’s Sex Survey labelled their sexual health conversation at the 6-week check-up as good or excellent.
New parent concerns and the answers you want
In the top 3 concerns for mums and dads about postpartum sex there is only one shared concern:
Frequency of intercourse after childbirth
For birthing mothers intercourse is painful thanks to physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy and birth. Intercourse might be off the table for a while.
Sex isn’t about numbers or competing with your neighbours or statistics. Sex is about connection and pleasure. After kids sex is even more so about connection to ourselves as sexual beings and to our partner to feel like a unit and remember the romantic love that brought us together initially.
Define within your relationship what sex is, and its role in your relationship. Remember intercourse is one sexual activity. Intercourse may be an ideal position for men but it isn’t for women.
Decide with your partner:
- How often you want to engage in sexual activity
- What sexual activities you like
Mum concern: Changes to their own body image and its impact on sexual activity after childbirth
There is a giant list of changes that affect mother’s body image after having a baby. Some disappear over time and others unfortunately are here to stay.
It’s important to not lose sight of yourself as a woman, and let motherhood be a part of your identity, not your whole identity. Seeing that extra belly roll can be disheartening, especially catching sight of it during sex. If your body image is low then it will impact your sexual desire and the activities you engage in.
In the Mama’s Sensual Safari we make lifelong changes and learn to love and accept our body and self as we are.
Mum concern: Impact of childrearing duties on time for sexual activity
New parents are exhausted and overwhelmed with all the extra duties to keep a baby alive and safe. Particularly for mothers who tend to be the “default parent”, fatigue is the biggest libido eliminator.
The key is to remember there will ALWAYS be something that needs to be done…ALWAYS. You’ll never be on top of everything and that’s ok. Decide what you can leave until later and what is urgent. Then schedule regular couple time. It’s the only way you are certain that you will have time together as a couple in those first few months. You don’t need to do anything special or even sexual. Sitting on the couch watching a movie and hugging or giving a foot rub works too.
Dad concern: Mood swings (not postpartum depression) and their impact on sexual activity after childbirth
Lack of sleep and alone time, and a never-ending to-do list can leave parents short-tempered. Mum’s hormones will take some time to recover from pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, so emotional support is important. Similarly, new dads’ moods fluctuate learning how to live this “new normal”. Share the workload. The more you share and the more you communicate about how you are both feeling the more you will remain connected and on the same page. Ask for timeout if you need it and check-in with your partner if they need timeout. Alone time or even a 20 minute nap can do wonders for our mental health and bring calm back to the house.
Dad concern: Mismatch in sexual desire (dad having more interest than mum)
Fatigue, stress, feeling touched out and a changed sexual self-image mean there is a high chance of mismatched libidos. Most couples will have a mismatched libido because our sexual desire is made up of our sexual knowledge, history and experiences. The transition to parenthood is a major life change and parents are more worried about trying to keep a new human alive than whether their body is tingling. There’s a high chance you can’t drop everything and have sex when you feel like it.
The key is to talk about what intimacy and sex are going to look like in your relationship. How important is it? How often can you schedule some time together? What frequency suits you both? But more importantly, make each session quality not quantity-based.
Relationships are work. If intimacy is important to you then you need to choose to actively work on your sexual relationship. Talking to a professional is the best way to get the answers you seek. Contact me today to ask your questions about postpartum sex and relationships.
If you are stuck in a rut and need a guiding hand back to satisfaction join the Mama’s Sensual Safari today.