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Your Sex Life After Baby

Challenges -- and solutions -- to getting your intimacy back on track.
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Lack of Sleep Smothers Your Sex Drive continued...

If fatigue is what’s keeping you from getting your sex life back, the first thing to do is talk with your partner about it, advises Saltz.

“Tell him, ‘I really am tired, but I want to have sex with you,” Saltz says.

Then do some creative problem solving. Saltz suggests asking your partner to watch the baby so you can rest up and get into the mood. Also, aim for early morning sex, when you’ve both had a chance to catch some ZZZ’s. Lean on your family or friends or a sitter so you can have some time without the baby. Or give it a shot when Junior is napping.

Of course, your baby might wake up at the worst possible moment -- while you’re trying to reignite those bedroom flames.

“That’s why it’s important to have a sense of humor about the whole situation. Remember that it’s not going to last forever,” says Cleveland Clinic ob-gyn Elisa Ross, MD.

Postpregnancy Hormones and Sex

Hormones are part of the sex problem, too. Estrogen levels go down after delivery. That can cause a shortage of vaginal lubrication, which can make sex painful or less pleasurable.

A simple solution: Use a topical lubricant during sex.

Experiment with different positions, too -- being on top may allow you more control during penetration, Saltz says.

If a lack of lubrication makes sex hurt, or if sex causes pain for a different reason, explain to your partner that you need to take it slowly. Be sure to discuss the pain with your gynecologist.

Lubrication issues usually go away after you stop breastfeeding or after your period resumes, Ross says.

Hormonal changes after childbirth might also be related to postpartum depression, which can stymie sexual desire. These feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, or just having the blues may last for a few weeks or even months.Talk to your doctor if you are having these feelings, especially if they worsen or if you feel hopeless or sad most of the time.

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