Getting intimate after pregnancy isn't always easy. Your hormones stay out of whack for the longest time, and since baby weight does not magically melt away, you may not feel your sexiest – even though you are still sexy. Plus, you're exhausted, you no longer get any time to yourself, and you barely have time to brush your hair, let alone shave your legs. Hopefully your partner understands, but this isn't even about your partner. Women are sexual beings as well, so if your mind feels ready for closeness but you don't know how to proceed, here is some help for getting intimate after pregnancy.
1. Realize It's Not Always about Sex
The most important thing you need to remember about getting intimate after pregnancy is that it's not always about sex. If you don't feel like having sex, that's okay. You may just be craving physical closeness with your partner, and that's a fantastic stepping stone. Whether you're married or simply in a long-term relationship, intimacy is generally far more important than the act of sex itself. So hold hands, cuddle, curl up close in bed. Give it time and it will gradually feel natural (and welcome) to start making out, engaging in a little foreplay, and ultimately being together physically.
2. Have a Heart to Heart with Your Partner
You have to be honest with your partner, though. If you don't, you'll just feel guilty and he or she may worry that you're no longer attracted to him or her. Don't let your partner think he or she is doing something wrong. Let him or her know what you're feeling. Be honest about your exhaustion, your lack of sleep, your soreness, your feelings about your body – anything.
3. Analyze Your Needs
Going back to the idea that it's not about sex, what are your needs? What are you looking for? Do you wish that you were more sexually aroused or are you simply looking for affection? Analyze whether you're looking for the exciting stress relief of an orgasm, the sensuality of a massage, or the unity of a good cuddle session.
4. Accept Your Body
You are beautiful. The baby weight is beautiful. The stretch marks are beautiful. Even the dark circles under your eyes are beautiful. Why? Because you're a mother. You just brought someone new and special into the world, and now you're taking care of that little person. That's gorgeous! You may not feel that way, but you should start telling yourself that you're gorgeous every day – because it's true.
5. Find the Right Time
Sometimes you just have to take intimacy where you can get it – especially if it does involve sex. You're not necessarily guaranteed much time at night; your life revolves around a tiny, needy little bundle now. If you start feeling the urge for intimacy in the middle of the afternoon or early in the morning, let your partner know. If you have more energy at certain times of the day, talk about it – and act on it! The baby has to be on a schedule, but your urges won't always conform to it.
6. Take Time for Yourself
If you're having trouble getting intimate after your pregnancy because you're tired and overwhelmed all the time, take some time for yourself. Do what you have to do to get in the mood again. You may need to go get pampered with a massage or a spa day. You might need time to meditate, a few hours at the gym, a solo movie, or the time to go shopping and get a haircut. Whatever makes you feel happy and more like yourself, do it!
7. By Any Means Necessary
You might find that you're not aroused in the same way you were before. Realize that there are lots of ways to be intimate with your partner, and there are lots of ways to have sex. Explore different options, even if you're more comfortable, say, taking care of yourself while the two of you make out. You have to be ready and you need to do something that makes you comfortable while giving you pleasure, so experiment.
Don't worry, getting intimate after pregnancy does not need to be your first priority. You need to wait until you're ready, and don't be afraid to talk about it if you're not. When the time is right, you'll get there. Mothers, how have you dealt with this issue? Do you have any words of advice?