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“We’ve just had a baby but now she doesn’t want to have sex with me anymore and I’m worried because we used to do it loads and whenever I try she refuses or makes up an excuse like she’s tired and I’m scared that our romance is going to die now we have a kid and I don’t know what to do.”
Don’t worry. You can keep the romance alive.
So what’s the trick? It all depends on how stressed out your partner is, according to a study by Pennsylvania State University. We feature the study’s researcher and sex & relationship educator, Chelom Leavitt, to reveal how to have a good sex life after kids.
If you’re reading this you’re probably wondering why your partner has gone off having sex with you since having a baby.
Also, you may be asking yourself why you still want to but she doesn’t. First off, don’t worry. It’s common and there are things you can do to restore your sex life.
Why it Happens
As women become mothers they feel a huge amount of pressure to be a good mom. This can be from society, themselves or within their relationship.
Our research has found moms tend to be much more critical of their mothering than dads are of their fathering. They have unrealistic expectations about doing it perfectly right from the beginning. They give themselves very little leeway to make mistakes.
So why do you still want it and she doesn’t?
We notice that dads are socialised to be more forgiving of themselves. They think they’re doing a great job and are contributing to the care-giving. They tend not to lose their sex drive because they don’t place too much pressure on themselves.
Whereas with mothers it’s an expectation that’s part of their identity. If she feels she isn’t doing a good job it really seems to affect her evaluation of herself.
Moms struggle to blend the two roles together — being both a good mother and being a sexual person.
Also, in addition to this parenting stress, they may also be breastfeeding and experiencing other physical drains, making them not feel particularly up for sex.
Why You Might Go Off Sex Too
We call it the ‘Partner Effect.’ Men aren’t in the sexual relationship just for their own sexual pleasure. They really get a lot out of their wife’s pleasure.
If you can see your partner isn’t enjoying sex as much because she’s stressed, your sexual satisfaction goes down too.
How To Have A Good Sex Life After Kids
Here’s what you need to do to ensure you have a good sex life after kids.
Make Her Feel Good About Her Body
When she says negative things about her body tell her she’s beautiful and that she should give herself chance to heal and recover.
Lots of popular magazines praise public figures who’ve just had a child for regaining their shape quickly. They also criticize mothers for holding onto baby fat. Media is often geared towards women.
We put a lot of pressure on women to mother perfectly and regain their body shape quickly. If you make her feel good about herself and her body, she’ll more likely feel less stressed and more sexual towards you.
Help Her Set Realistic Expectations
Helping your partner set realistic expectations is essential to a good sex life after kids. Regaining her body shape quickly is pretty unrealistic.
Doctors say give yourself six months to a year to regain your figure. Your partner’s been through an enormous change hormonally and physically.
And even then their body may not be quite what it used to be. Even the thought of this is difficult for a lot of women.
Remain Affectionate And Give Her Time
If you withdraw because your partner is feeling less sexual satisfaction this only exasperates the problem. Equally, if you pressure her into sex that’s only going to make her want it less.
What you can do is continue to be affectionate and encouraging about intimacy. That can mean letting go of sex for the moment and being more mindful about how you go about your sexual life.
Maybe just hold each other. Give her a massage. Set time aside to make this a priority in your life.
Free Up Time For Her To Feel Like An Individual
Get someone to tend to the baby and let her have time to feel like an individual rather than just a mother. Go on date nights.
Alternatively, offer to look after the baby while she goes out with her friends. Get her mindset into the fact she’s still the girl she used to be.
Meditation slows down and enables us to control our thought process [See our article, Miserable AF? Stop Moaning Start Meditating for advice on how to meditate and the benefits].
Instead of having immediate reactions such as, “I’m so bad at this. I’m a failure,” we realise that these are just thoughts and we can control them. We see that people who meditate are less judgemental and more aware of what they’re feeling.
From our studies looking at mindfulness, people who meditate have higher sexual satisfaction.
Mediation will help her be less judgemental with her body and the changing roles of becoming a mother. It can teach her not to be so demanding on herself. This reduces anxiety and gives a more accepting attitude.
Women tend not to be aware of their own sexual arousal. So if they can slow down their thought process and become more aware of how their body responds to it, it increases their desire and arousal.
If you do all of the above, you should see your partner’s sex drive slowly return and you can begin to enjoy a good sex life after kids.
Have you experienced issues similar to this? How did you solve them? Tell us your story in the comments below.