Q&A: Keeping the spark alive with a newborn

Q: How can couples achieve intimacy with a newborn in the house? How can we keep the spark going?

A: After the birth of a baby, interest in sex can be very different for each person. Some want to resume intimacy as soon as possible. Others experience a decrease in desire. There can be many reasons for this: postpartum depression, fatigue, preoccupation with the baby, fear of discomfort during intercourse (due to temporary physiological changes following the birth), tension or anxiety about new responsibilities, and hormonal changes.

Before you and your spouse resume your sexual relationship, talk with your doctor. Ask specific questions about how long you should wait before intercourse and what you might expect physically.

Medical considerations aside, the key to a couple’s sexual relationship after childbirth is not how active their sex life is. Instead, it is tied to their understanding of one another’s needs. Ask each other questions like, “What would make our intimate relationship a ‘ten’ to you?” “What do you need from me sexually right now?” It’s important to really listen to how your mate responds to these questions. Don’t diminish his or her responses. Remember, this is what your spouse needs from you sexually right now. There is no right or wrong answer. If you receive an answer that is below your expectations, honour your spouse even though you may not agree.

And don’t forget, a wife will respond sexually after she feels emotionally connected to her husband. Make sure you’re focusing on meeting each other’s emotional and relational needs. Talking about your day, setting relationship goals, and having regular date nights will help build your emotional relationship.

A positive sexual relationship stems from a positive relationship first. Once your spouse feels like you’re honouring his or her needs, he or she can better respond to yours, too.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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