By Joyce Marter
I recommend the following to integrate the concepts of motherhood and sexuality:
1. Understand sexual challenges are a normal part of the transition to family.
It takes time to process the new roles and relationships when baby makes three. Personally, I think this is nature’s birth control. This will pass. (Otherwise, we all would be only children!)
2. Take care of your health.
Exercise, eat nutritiously and prioritize sleep over the dishes and scrapbooking and other things that can wait. Follow up with your doctors to make sure you are healing well following vaginal or cesarean delivery.
3. Make the effort to put yourself together.
Don’t throw in the towel on your looks. Make a conscious choice to never wear “mom jeans” and put some effort into your appearance. Do this for yourself. It will increase your self-esteem and confidence in the bedroom.
4. Stay connected with your partner.
Spend 20 minutes a day looking into each other’s eyes rather than your phones or laptops and talking about anything other than the baby or household responsibilities. Talk about the things you talked about when you were just people, not parents.
5. Make sex a priority.
Get creative (try having sex after the morning feeding when the baby is snoozing, having a quickie in the shower, etc.) If the family bed is cramping your sex life, set some boundaries with baby and stick her in her bassinet so you get can some loving.
6. Understand how birth control (or lack thereof) might be impacting your sex life.
For example, some women don’t want to have sex because of fear of pregnancy (I know a woman who got pregnant two months after having triplets…) Other times, a method of birth control might be effecting desire.
7. Understand how breastfeeding might be a variable.
For example, it is common for breast milk to discharge during orgasm, which can dampen the mood (no pun intended.) Feed or pump before sex, or wear a sexy bra during sex. Make decisions about breastfeeding that are right for you and your family.
8. Have a sense of humor.
Sex during parenthood brings much fodder for laughter and playfulness–don’t take yourself or life too seriously and enjoy the ridiculousness of it all. Breast milk pads falling out of your shirt when you are trying to be sexy? Breast milk squirting everywhere? Baby crying? All opportunities to turn to your partner for a shared chuckle and connection.
9. Identify a hero who is a sexy mom.
Pick a real-life example to stop you from feeling like you have to keep up with the Kardashians! When you’re covered in spit-up and feel your sexiness slip, think of your hero and pull it together. After all, aren’t you pretty damned awesome for all that you do??
10. Don’t buy into the myth that mothers aren’t sexy.
A grown woman knows her body and can rock her curves. Embrace motherhood AND your sensuality.