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Dads: A guide to romance
It can be a big surprise for new dads when they are suddenly faced with a partner who seems to have no interest in sex. The trouble is, your partner is probably completely absorbed with your baby and sex is probably the last thing on her sleep deprived, overwhelmed and possibly uncomfortable mind! It’s not likely that you’ll be resuming your regular sex life overnight, so the first rule here is patience. There are a few other tips you should be aware of.
First of all, you should know that you can’t start having sex a few days, or even weeks after your baby is born. Your partner will have to wait for the all clear from her doctor, which usually happens at the six week post partum check up. Even after that she may not be in the mood so when you ask the question ‘when can we have sex again’ the answer is almost always, when your wife says ‘yes’!
Accept that you’re no longer priority number one in your partner’s life. She will be focused on your baby and that’s exactly as it should be. If six weeks comes and goes, and she’s still not interested, then it’s probably because her every waking moment is consumed with caring for your child. You’ll have to learn to live with that for a while.
Next, remember the romance. Even if your wife used to be easy to convince, chances are you’ll have to work a little harder to get her interested after your baby is born. Organise a baby sitter, take her to dinner and a movie, or better yet, cook for her. Remember that romance is key!
You may also find that aside from being tired and cranky, your partner is also uncomfortable with her body. You might also be feeling the stress of late nights or nights without sleep! The first remedy is to make sure you exercise a little, which will keep your energy up, and the second is to make sure that when you do get romantic, you dim the lights and make it less scary for your partner with her post baby insecurities.
Leaky breasts are another new parent passion killer. The easiest solution is to have your wife keep her bra on, but since maternity bras aren’t exactly designed to be sexy, that might also not be ideal. Either try to have sex after your wife has fed your child (or expressed milk) or head off together to find some less matronly underwear.
Getting out of the house is also often the best solution. Many new parents will tell you that their romantic interludes are invariably interrupted by a crying baby. Enlist a baby sitter, mother or mother-in-law to look after your child, book a hotel room, and get away for the night. It’s the one sure fire way to make sure that you aren’t interrupted.
Finally, there are a few do’s and don’ts you should remember when you’re trying to put the spark back in your sex life.
DO organise romantic getaways – even if it’s a hotel in the same town.
DON’T whine, beg or plead. It will only frustrate and annoy your partner.
DO empathise with your partner. Even if you don’t know what cracked nipples feel like, you can understand that it’s not fun!
DON’T complain. Again, you’ll only arouse anger and resentment and make it even harder to get the romance back!
DO give your partner a break from being a full time mum by looking after the baby while she has some personal time.
DON’T demean what she’s doing. So you work hard? Childbirth is agony, and being a mum is the hardest job around!
DO buy her gifts. A thoughtful gift can go a long way!
DON’T make nasty comments about her body. If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all!
DO tell her that she’s beautiful, and that you love her even more now.
DON’T expect her to fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans overnight. It takes time. She’s created a life. Give her a break!
DO communicate. Talk about your feelings, or just talk.