Ask the expert: How can I regain confidence in my sexuality?

By Amanda Bloye on June 26, 2013
My newborn is now seven weeks old and I’ve been given the go-ahead to have sex with my partner. I know my partner is anxious to be intimate again but I’m still a bit nervous. How can I regain confidence in my sexuality?

Answer from Dr. Robin Milhausen, Sexual Health Expert and Associate Professor at the University of Guelph:

After having a baby, it takes the body time to recover. Though you’ve already received the OK from your doctor and are physically ready, mental readiness can be a bit trickier.

As a new mom, you are now challenged by the demands of being a parent. On top of learning how to care for a new infant, a mom has to also learn how to juggle the roles of mother, wife and lover, where as before she was just wife and lover. Even some dads find it difficult to view their partner as a sexual being post-baby. Where before you could have sex in any room, at any time, you now have to work together as a couple to make sex a priority. It has to be purposeful.

Regaining your sex drive after giving birth can have a lot to do with body image. You’re exhausted and maybe even haven’t had a shower in days. Though you may feel a pressure to be ready to be intimate with your partner, sex just isn’t on your list of priorities. If this is the case, it’s important to be honest with your partner about what is happening.

During pregnancy, and post-pregnancy especially, being purposeful about finding ways to connect and keeping the lines of communication open is key. Explain that you would love to be intimate but maybe you feel so tired or unsexy it’s difficult for you to be in a sexual frame of mind. As long as the lines of communication are open, then your partner won’t misunderstand why you’re not “in the mood” and you can work together on solutions. Both of you need to affirm that you still love each other, then after a few baby steps, your intimate life can become even more meaningful. – as told to Amanda Bloye

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, July 2013.

By Amanda Bloye| June 26, 2013

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