Getting Your Sex Life Back After Having a Baby
Signs, Signals, and Sensuality
The best thing for you to do is try to talk about it. If you are not good at talking about sex, try to slowly feel each other out. Sometimes a little nonverbal encouragement can turn the issue of when to start up again a moot point.
If you both give signals, direct or indirect, that you want something to happen, plan a romantic evening together. Make it kind of like your wedding night. Even when you both are tired, you can be excited, too. Take the phone off the hook, lower the lights, light some candles, pour some wine or sparkling cider. And make sure you time your evening to correspond with the baby's sleep. You will not want to be interrupted.
There are many fragrant oils designed for massage. Have fun choosing the one that's right for you. (I like Neutrogena sesame oil because it is not too thick and smells great, but you might consider Kama Sutra oils that give you a sense of the exotic.)
A great way to light your pilot light is to engage in a sensual massage. Start very slowly. Remember—you are getting used to each other again. You can take turns rubbing and exploring each other's body or you can face each other as you massage. This angle requires a lot of eye contact, which can be very good for reestablishing intimacy, but can also be intimidating. You may want to start with your eyes closed before you jump right into each other's soul.
No matter what, do not let your husband go any-where near the brass ring until you are good and ready. You can drive him crazy by massaging just close enough to what he wants you to touch and then moving to another location. You don't want to create frustration; you want to build excitement that will restore your connection to one another.
Easing into the Mood
Make sure you use a natural lubricant before you engage in intercourse. Every woman is different, but you may feel some discomfort. In addition to possible dryness and some minor soreness, simple anticipation can cause muscle tension. Ask your husband to rub a lubricant like KY jelly or Astroglide into your vaginal opening so that you are relaxed enough to take him in when you are both ready for intercourse.
Don't use your massage oil as a lubricant. Some of them have fruit extracts or other ingredients that could cause a yeast infection, and you do not need that!
Lubricants are very concentrated, so make sure he does not overdo it. And if you need to, do not forget to use contraception—it's best to give your body a break before considering getting pregnant again. Most of all, take your time. Treat your lovemaking as you would dining at a great restaurant. If your husband doesn't go for all the candles, soft music, and rubbing with oil, make sure you make it clear to him that you need to take it slowly until you are used to things again. It is important for your own peace of mind and the health of your marriage that you do not do something just to accommodate his needs without considering your own. Lovemaking is an equal opportunity activity, but if you do not express your needs and concerns, you cannot expect your husband to read your mind.
Have fun with your sex life and try to keep it as active as both you and he want it to be. If you have to have him sneak home from lunch during baby's nap, it is worth it—a “quickie” now and then can be exciting.
Men are very defensive when you talk about sex and will always hear a criticism of their performance, no matter what you are saying. Be tactful: Avoid using the words “You never….” Instead, say “I feel…when we….” Praise what you like and try to encourage him to do other things you like.
Most of all, don't underestimate the importance of sex in your relationship. One of the best things you can do for your children is to build a solid relationship between the two of you. While sex is not the most important aspect of your relationship, it is something that contributes to an enduring marriage. Sex creates a bond between a man and a woman that helps them weather all the unpredictable circumstances that come up when they're raising a family. You can't put all your energy into your children. If you do, you will have nothing left for each other. By keeping your sex life active you will keep your couple life active and growing.
Keeping the Fires Burning
Now that the baby's born, you and your partner may not have the time you used to have to do things together. What used to be your leisure time is now devoted to family or perhaps to an extra job. You have to make a concerted effort to put energy into your relationship so it will grow with your family. It is more important than the fancy house and the newest toys. If you do not deposit love into your couple bank account you will see how fast life can help push you into bankruptcy.
Sex is one of many ways to keep your relationship strong. In addition, sex is important for you as a mother—an active, satisfying sexual relationship can remind you that you are a sensual woman as well. It is very easy to define yourself by your children, but you need to remember that you are vital, sexy, and capable in other areas of your life.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motherhood © 1999 by Deborah Levine Herman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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