Do you want to be more intimate with your partner but find you can’t? It’s a cry heard from parents the world over – you’re not alone.
It’s no secret your adorable kids do everything in their power to kill the intimacy between your partner and yourself, without even knowing it of course.
However, it may be a little more complicated than blaming the kids.
Here are a few reasons why this may be the case and how to get back to where you both were!
4 reasons why you can’t find your intimacy post-baby
1. Body image
The average mum isn’t going to bounce back into a bikini six months post-partum. We all know this, but it doesn’t stop us from scrolling through Instagram at night comparing the fact that you’ll never have your old belly button back again and will always have a little bit of a pouch, whereas those instafabulous mums don’t.
It’s enough to make you drown your sorrows in a packet of chocolate biscuits, making you gain more weight and reducing your energy levels. Is it any wonder you don’t feel sexy enough to be intimate with your partner?
Solution: If a social media break makes you break out in a sweat, unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself. Instead follow body positive, healthy advice accounts, like @thehealthymummy, that encourage and support.
You may find this changes your mindset as it encourages healthy eating and exercise. This could also help you feel more confident about your post-baby body, which may help you take a step towards intimacy with your partner.
It’s obvious that a lack of sleep doesn’t put anyone in any kind of mood except a grumpy one. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that with each extra hour of sleep a woman has, her chances of having sex increase by 14%.
If you find your partner is reaching out to you and you are wishing you could both reconnect, it’s time to ask for help.
Solution: If possible, ask your partner to take the baby out for a walk for a couple of hours while you walk past the kitchen and laundry (ignoring the mess), to your bed to get some sleep.
If he isn’t available, ask a trusted family member or friend. Whether you manage 1 hour or 2, the rest will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for one on one time with your partner when the kids go to bed.
It’s difficult to find the time to be intimate with your partner when you have kids. As mums, it seems we prioritise children over partners and ourselves and while that is what parents do; there can be a danger in doing so constantly.
You’ve heard it before; functioning relationships require active input from both parties. You both need to find the time for physical and emotional intimacy or run the risk of jeopardising the foundation of the family – the connection between you both.
Solution: Drop the kids off with family or friends. They don’t need to know what you’re both going to get up to, just that the children need to be out of the house for a couple of hours.
If your budget allows, put on a sexy dress and head out for a date night. Uninterrupted foreplay will definitely get you in the mood. Finding time for each other ensures that both your needs are being met.
When kids see their parents in a healthy relationship, it gives them a sense of comfort and security knowing they are in a strong and loving family unit.
You may find you are simply not in the mood due to hormone imbalances after having a baby. For instance, estrogen helps with blood flow to the genitals, sexual arousal and vaginal lubrication.
If it’s been months since birth and you’re breastfeeding, your estrogen levels will be reduced in order to produce milk. Don’t be disheartened; this is not the end of your sex life and relationship with your partner. There’s a few ways to manage this.
Solution: When you’ve managed some alone time, don’t forget to focus on foreplay. Women can often overlook their own needs and desires when having sex and foreplay is an amazing way to increase blood flow and increase arousal.
Whether it’s by gentle and sensual massage, hugging or kissing, talk to your partner about how you can feel more aroused before sex. Chances are he’ll more than happily oblige! If you don’t have time for too much foreplay, make sure you use plenty of lubricant, in order to make it more pleasurable for you.
Once you’ve found the intimacy again, this is how you can childproof your sex life.
This blog was written by Shara Smith who is a psychotherapist and a counsellor with over 12 years’ experience in the mental health, life coaching and self-care sector. While she loves her husband and three kids, she also loves watching re-runs of Sex in the City and baking decadent cookies that only she gets to eat.
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