What are some tips to maintain sexual interest after a child has come along?
A new baby is very demanding of time and energy. Hormonal changes and soreness from stitches after delivery cause about 50% of women to have a decline in the interest or little desire for sex. Besides, breast-feeding reduces oestrogen which causes vaginal dryness, discomfort and painful sex.
Some tips for maintenance of sexual interest are as follows:
• Accept that things have changed since the baby arrived
• Be patient: Wait till the wound heals. Normally, perineal wound from vaginal delivery and abdominal wound for caesarean section will take at least 4-6 weeks to heal
• For the husband, please help out with the household chores. Share the night feeds with your spouse so that she can have some rest especially if she is breastfeeding
• Ask the gynaecologist when you can resume sex
• Get advice from the gynaecologist as to what is the most suitable method of contraception. Fear of getting pregnant may inhibit your sexual desire. Use of contraceptive pills/hormonal injections/implants can cause a decline in sexual interest in the female by altering the hormonal balances
• Use a water based lubricant if the vagina is dry
• Have couple time together and ask each other for sex
• Talk about what feels good sexually and how to make sexual intimacy better
• Continue with non-sexual affection especially physical touch such as cuddling and hugging
• Share and discuss your innermost feelings and don’t avoid conflicts
• Build up your “emotional tank of love” with your spouse by understanding his/her feelings through communication and quality time together. Understanding your spouse’s and your own “languages of love” (5 languages of love by Gary Chapman) is an important tool in building relationship
• Remember “Good relationship leads to good sexual life”