It likely comes as no surprise to anyone that having a baby can negatively impact a couple’s sex life. Sure, there are exceptions – and good for them – but generally, introducing a new child into the family can cause quite a bit of strain on the sexual relationship between partners. Mark E. Crawford takes some time to discuss the reasons behind this – fatigue from caring for a child, women having just gone through a difficult medical procedure, etc. Then, he shares some tips on how to keep the sexual relationship as alive as possible through the newborn phase (and beyond).
One area he particularly focuses on is about time. You’re more stretched for time once you have a new baby in the house. Your schedule is likely a lot more strained – and it’s supposed to be. Crawford reminds couples that it’s okay to try to schedule time for sex – and it may be a lot earlier than they’re used to. Sneaking away during the baby’s Saturday afternoon nap? Nothing wrong with that!
Crawford also reminds couples that they may feel differently about the current sexual state of their relationship, and that they need to work together. Stereotypically, it will be the man in the relationship who will feel more sexually deprived. Crawford suggests that women keep an open mind, and open dialogue with their partners. He’s careful to say that women should not feel obligated to have sex every time their partner wants to, but recommends discussing how both partners can be satisfied – perhaps it’s agreeing to a schedule as mentioned above, or maybe the way that couples approach foreplay will need to change.
Speaking of foreplay, and open discussions, Crawford also emphasizes the need to rediscover nonsexual affection. Because affection can be misinterpreted as a sexual advance, it’s important for both partners to be communicative about their needs – perhaps saying something like “I’m not in the mood for sex tonight, but can we spend some time cuddling before bed?”
There’s some more great advice throughout the chapter, including tips on how women can feel sexually ready again after giving birth (because, let’s face it – it can be difficult). Definitely a must-read for any couple worried about this aspect of their relationship!