Sex After the Birth of a Child

Question: Will sex go back to normal after the birth of our child?

Answer: No, sex after the birth of a child does not go back to normal!

The changes in a couples sex life is particularly true in the first year or two of parenthood. During the first several years of parenthood, due to the changes in your lifestyle it will be hard to have a ‘pre-child’ sex life.  This change frequently occurs because at least one of you are too tired to have sex.  Small children, particularly at the beginning may be waking you up every two hours to feed and/or have a diaper change. And when you do have time for sex / intimacy you may find yourself preferring to use your limited amount of free time to cook a meal, catch up on bills or talk.  Lastly, breastfeeding mothers tend to experience a decrease in lubrication and often experience feelings of being touched out.  Her breast are now working breasts and may not feel like sexual objects.  Thus, while the two of you can resume a full sex life 6 weeks after the birth of your child, the actual sex may look different.  Sex after the birth of a child often means a frame shift.  Sex not must occur under time pressures, and you may need to spend an increased amount of time engaging in foreplay and even use lubrication.  Lastly, some people report feeling “touched out” from all the contact with the baby and not wanting to engage in the same type of sex play as they used to.  With time, these issues will pass.  And in about 20+ years, after the child has grown up and moved out, the pressures around sex will dissipate. Until then, you can expect to need to schedule sex, sexual emotional intimacy, and juggle the needs of your child with your own need to continue to grow a mature adult relationship with a Lover.  Having a “normal” sex life does require energy.  How you frame the current situation, and create space for your sexual life to grow will have a profound effect on where you will be in 5- 10 years.

In the short term, typically, to have sex, you will need to make sure that your child is either asleep, at a friends house, or with a babysitter so that you and your partner can be alone together and have the emotional space to connect with each other.  While focusing on the child’s development, remember to make time for intimacy.  Eventually your children won’t need you in the same way and you need to be protective of your connection with your partner so that when your children move on with their lives that you have enough of a life to resume.  To review, sex after the birth of a child is radically different. But the need to create the space to make it happen is just as critical as it was pre-children.  Passion is the glue that holds a couple together through the good and bad times.

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