Take a walk on the wild side! Before baby, sex could take place anytime, anywhere, but once a lil one arrives, intimacy is often the furthest thing from a mama's mind. It's time to reprioritize and focus your attention on your relationship. Sex therapist and GoodinBed.com contributor Dr. Ian Kerner gives us reasons new parents' need to rev up their sex lives and the necessary steps for getting there.
"Feeding, changing diapers, shopping, and cleaning don’t necessarily lead to sexual attraction," says sex therapist and GoodinBed.com contributor Dr. Ian Kerner. Sex may require more work once there's a baby in the house, but it doesn't have to be less fun. Once couples decide to make their sexual relationship a priority, it's time to work on the details. I spoke with Dr. Kerner about advice he gives new parents. "Sex is sort of like food," he says. "There are lots of different food groups, and there are lots of different types of sex, and you have to be engaging in all of them. There is sex that enhances intimacy, a sort of lovemaking. There’s sex that’s sort of sex for the sake of sex. There’s sex that really appeals to fantasy and imagination. Then there’s sex that appeals to all of the different senses. I give parents exercises that pull from each of those groups." Keep reading to see what the doctor recommends.
If you've never listened to Just Jenny, lawyer turned mom turned radio host Jenny Hutt's hilarious, candid, and self-deprecating show on Sirius XM, you're one, missing out, and two, in luck thanks to us (if we do say so ourselves).
We recently sat down with Jenny, the author of Whatever: Learning to Live Here: An Exuberant and Hilariously Irreverent Guide to Life, coauthored with Alexis Stewart (yep, Martha's daughter). While Jenny is a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects, we took a lead from her popular "Sexy Fridays" series and decided to focus on pregnancy and postbaby sex. Not surprisingly, Jenny had a lot to say on why sex and parenting can be a tough combo, reconnecting with your partner sexually, and when and how to talk about sex with your kids.
LilSugar: Let's start with the basics: besides exhaustion, what are the hurdles that parents have to overcome when it comes to sex?
Jenny Hutt: Sometimes parents are having less sex because they don't even realize the time is passing by without sex! We are so busy as a society — shuffling kids from place to place, getting them to bed, bringing work home from the office and into the bedroom — that personal relationships can get lost. We aren't in the mood to have sex, so it doesn't happen. Time passes and awkwardness can set in; a rut turns into a bigger rut and so it goes. Plus our partners often receive the brunt of our not-so-friendly moods. Who wants to have sex when you're feeling moody?!
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Kerala Taylor about bringing sexy back after baby.
Last week, when a coworker pointed at my shirt, I immediately started to panic. My first thought: My breasts are leaking. Or maybe I had missed a spit-up stain in my state of groggy semi-wakefulness this morning. Or worse yet, a big ol’ blob of dried poop.
Instead my coworker said, "You look nice in that shirt." Nice? That was the last thing I'd been expecting to hear. Every morning it's such a struggle to look halfway presentable, 'nice' isn’t even on the agenda.
With a baby daughter who is nearing the five-month mark, I'm feeling much more 'mom' than 'woman' these days, and I'm hoping the two aren't forever mutually exclusive. But with my once ornamental breasts now serving a utilitarian role, and with fluids regularly oozing onto me from every hole on my baby's body, it's tough to make the transition to 'nice,' let alone sexy.
When my husband first broached the subject of intimacy after childbirth, I asked, "You mean, with me?" What's surprised me most about our romps in the bed is his ability to still feel attracted to me (though I've given him full permission to fantasize about someone else).
Even more bewildering was the recent catcall I got walking home from the metro. I turned to snatch a curious glance at the hot young girl I was sure must be walking behind me, only to find the sidewalk empty. Is there such a thing as catcall recall? Clearly, this man was sadly mistaken.
Actually, lots of people insist I look great — which is very sweet of them and I'll take the compliment, thank you very much — but on the 'repulsive' to 'sexy' scale, I always feel somewhere between 'barely passable' and 'halfway presentable' — even in heels and mascara.
And that's OK, for now, as long as it's not forever. I may never again sleep through the night, stay out past 11 p.m., or wear a bikini, but I would, eventually, like to get my mojo back.
How long did it take you to reclaim your sex appeal after childbirth? Any advice for the rest of us?
More great posts from BabyCenter:
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Here in the US, the postpartum Ob/Gyn interaction for a new mom generally involves little more than the six-week checkup, where she's usually cleared to have sex again, and perhaps given some gentle encouragement to try Kegel exercises.
So you can imagine the shock of American writer Claire Lundberg, who after giving birth to her daughter in Paris, was prescribed 10-20 sessions of . . . vaginal physical therapy. La rééducation périnéale has been paid for by French Social Security since 1985, and was implemented not only to aid in restoring a healthy sex life for new parents, but also to encourage additional pregnancies and increase the national birthrate. Lundberg shared her hilarious recollection of the experience on Slate.com:
There are two methods for the reeducation itself, manual and biofeedback, and most kinés use a combination of the two. The first is just what it sounds like: The therapist inserts two fingers into your wuzza and talks you through a series of exercises designed to give you better control over your muscles. Can you, for example, contract your vagina and pull her fingers in and up? You may find this cringingly embarrassing, especially when afterward she tells you, "C’est assez faible" ("It’s rather weak") and that you’re going to need more than 10 sessions.
New moms, how would you feel about a postnatal prescription for vaginal therapy?
Every parent fears that Modern Family moment where the kids walk in on them having sex. According to sex therapist and GoodinBed.com contributor Dr. Ian Kerner, once you have children, couples should still have a healthy sex life. "You need to kind of develop a sex schedule that works within your baby’s schedule. That means being a lot more creative and maybe doing it in the morning, or having a quickie in the afternoon. Where there’s a will there’s certainly a way, but you have to be creative!" With Valentine's Day fast approaching, iDr. Kerner's tips for keeping busy without the tots ruining the mood might come in handy!
Having a baby changes everything, including birth control for many new mamas. When visiting the doctor for a postpartum checkup, one subject sure to be discussed is birth control options going forward. For women who've been on birth control pills for many years, the idea of remembering to take the lil tablets each day is simply too much. For others, the convenience of something they only have to think about a few times a year makes more sense in their newly hectic world. Still, others decide to scrap foreign objects altogether and turn to more natural prevention like the Fertility Awareness Method.
Did you switch up your birth control after having a baby?
Two under two? Try two under one! According to new research, a postpartum woman can get pregnant again as early as three weeks after delivery, though most won't start ovulating for six weeks. Though many women hold off on getting back in the saddle until after they receive clearance from their doc, 21 percent of LilSugar readers jumped back in the sack prior to the six-week mark. The news has medical professionals warning sexually active new moms to consider their birth control options, unless they're aiming for two tots in one year!
It's time to get back in bed! Though 54 percent of LilSugar mothers said they had sex on or before they were six weeks postpartum, the prospect of getting back in the sack has many new moms running for cover. Sex therapist and GoodinBed.com contributor Dr. Ian Kerner says, "It’s important to jump right back in the saddle, but to be prepared before you hop on." Here are Dr. Kerner's tips for your first post-baby romp!