Being intimate might be the last thing on your mind after having a baby. You’ve just given birth, you’re recuperating and healing in sensitive places (whether you’ve given birth vaginally or via Cesarian), and are probably focusing on all of your baby’s needs. And guess what? It’s completely normal to feel unsexy, emotional, or unsure about your own attractiveness! Your hair might be a mess, you may still be in your pajamas in the afternoon, and whether or not this is your first baby, you may be anxious that you’re taking care of that precious baby the best way you can! When you’re sore and sleep deprived intimacy can take a back seat.
Intimacy is what keeps us connected to our partner though. Personally,when I lose my patience easily, when I am not on the same page as my husband, or when we disagree a bit more over small things, I know we haven’t connected the way we should (literally and figuratively!). I read a great book years ago with my husband called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and it really helped me understand the best way to love him and he me. I know my husband loves me because he messages me every day to let me know! I periodically get flowers when he does the Costco shopping and it’s gifts like this that let me know I’m loved. I show my husband he’s loved by physical touch- I kiss him on the cheek, brush my hand along the back of his neck, and yes, I have sex with him often! But I also spend time with him, because this is also how he knows I love him.
Remember that intimacy is not just sex! A kiss, a hug, some snuggles with your partner and your baby are all great ways to maintain that intimacy that is crucial to a healthy relationship. Do you know you are loved because your partner tells you through words? Make sure your partner knows that this is what you need! Do you know you are loved when your partner cleans the kitchen, or the bathroom? Let your partner know that acts of kindness are the way to your heart! What about spending quality time together? Tell your partner you need moments that are just for the two of you to fill you up! Are gifts the way to your heart? Let your partner know flowers or small gifts will let you know they love you. And finally, there’s the classic indicator of love: physical contact such as holding hands, brushing your hands against your partner’s shoulders, or even a heated stare can keep you and your partner feeling loved and appreciated. Check out Gary Chapman’s website here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com to learn more about the 5 love languages and take a quiz!
Don’t forget to take time for yourself to love and feel loved! Before your baby’s birth, it was probably pretty easy to be intimate with each other. If time is an issue, you may need to schedule a date night in advance. Our kids come into our room early in the morning, so any physical intimacy is done at night after all four of them go to bed!! Sometimes you have to get creative, especially if you’re too tired for any cuddling or lovemaking in the evening! Think about where you are at emotionally and ask yourself where you want to be. Talk to your partner about what you need and be open to listening to them for what they need. This can really deepen your relationship and your little baby will benefit from your lowered stress and your smiles!