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From a Couple to a Family: How a Baby Changes Life

As the saying goes, you enter the delivery room as a couple and leave as a family. And it's true -- your relationship with your partner won't be the same as before. For many couples, that means sex comes to a screeching halt after a baby is born. What's a guy like you to do?

Keep in mind that it takes time for a new mom's body to return to normal after giving birth, whether she delivered vaginally or by caesarean section. If your mate is breastfeeding, hormone changes may make her less interested in sex.

You may be surprised to find that you're also not in the mood. Late-night feedings and diaper changes may leave both of you too exhausted for sex.

A dry spell may be easier to endure by remembering:

  • The good news: Most new moms start having sex again by three months after having a baby.
  • The sobering news: Problems with sex are a normal part of recovery from having a baby.
  • Your partner is coping with some big physical and emotional changes that can affect her ability and desire to have sex. Respect her feelings about resuming sex, and let her set the pace.
  • Many women say they delay having sex again because they're afraid of getting pregnant again. Talking with your partner about birth control options might help her get in the mood.

Having a baby changes your priorities and gives you less spontaneity and control over your lives.

Before your baby, you had more time for each other's needs and mutual enjoyment. Once you become parents, it's easy to get lost in your new roles as mom and dad. So it's important to remember that you were a couple first. Instead of viewing your baby as the center of your world, think of the arrival as an event that enhances your life with your mate. Here are some things to keep in mind as you ease into parenthood:

  • Make your relationship with your mate a priority. Many experts suggest that you and your partner spend some time together -- just the two of you -- every week or so. Sometimes that may be just a cup of coffee or a trip to the grocery store together.
  • Agree with your mate to give each other "me" time. Most new moms -- especially if they have other kids at home -- truly benefit from having some time each week to take a walk, read a book, or just sit in peace.
  • Don't keep a tally of whose turn it is to do the diapers or chores around the house. Instead, pitch in whenever needed.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on July 05, 2014

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