Healthy Mind

Rekindling intimacy after having a baby – 3 things to do

Holly Pigache  |   24 Nov 2021


Raising children is one of the hardest, most rewarding jobs on the planet and involves as many challenges as magical moments.  Yet even adjusting to life with children can be a challenge in itself. 

If you’re wanting to get your sex life back after having a baby, you’re not alone.  Many people say having children negatively affected their sex life.  Whether you’re struggling to find time to connect with your partner or wondering, “How do I date after children?” there’s no denying your bundle of joy can be a libido-killer.

With many things to worry about, you may feel guilty for stressing about your sex drive, but please don’t; we all need intimacy and touch, particularly in times of difficulty. Read on for three practical steps you can take for rekindling intimacy after having a baby.

Understanding your needs

Before you begin thinking about whether you’re ready to start dating again, or how to improve your relationship with your partner, think about your needs.  Having a child is a huge shift and it’s essential to understand whether you actually desire more sex or if you’re feeling pressured (from yourself, your partner, society…)

Try and find a quiet moment to reflect on what you’re worried about in your relationship.  What would be a better scenario for you?

When discovering our needs, it’s important to try and get to the root of the problem.  Our sex lives can suffer when we’re tired, stressed at work or worrying about something and it is helpful to understand if a floundering sex life is a short-term consequence of a temporary problem.  (Cue eyebrows raising: “parenting is accompanied by a constant state of exhaustion!”  Yes, of course, but don’t we all feel better after a jolly good night’s sleep?!).

Do you have a trusted family member or babysitter who can mind your child for an afternoon whilst you get some much-needed sleep?  Might the intimacy with your partner improve if you both spend time with your newly-fostered child, helping them to feel more embedded in the family?  

intimacy-after-baby

Time to talk

Once you’ve understood the root of the problem, you can start to communicate how you might want to solve this problem.  If you’re partnered, this needs to be a collaborative effort. 

Setting aside time to speak with your partner when the children have gone to sleep can be a good tactic to fix relationship problems.  By scheduling time for conversations, we can come to the discussion prepared and work towards a solution – waiting until we reach boiling point and shouting after our partner as they leave for work will only make the situation more fraught! 

(Don’t worry if you do find yourself in an argument, just find time to reset and talk about what happened and how the issue can be resolved.)

Be practical in prioritising your relationship.  Whilst it can be frustrating when a well-laid plan doesn’t quite materialise, a newborn crying their eyes out in the next room hardly makes for a seductive ambience.

Returning to the dating world with a newborn or a recently adopted child can seem impossible but remember you’re not the first one on this journey!  Speak with trusted friends or family who’ve had similar experiences, how did they navigate this new way of dating?  

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Start slow

Even the most rampant lovers would do well to reignite their sex lives slowly.  Bringing children into our homes can affect us in ways we may not realise, so, be kind to yourself and your lover(s).  

If returning to the dating scene brings up feelings of anxiety around getting intimate, don’t put pressure on yourself.  Taking a step back and continuing at a slower speed is perfectly okay, as is taking your foot off the gas with your partner.  

The most powerful tool for you to improve your sex life is your communication; talk, take it slow, and talk some more. 

intimacy-after-children

Stressing about your sex life will further harm your libido but by taking time to reflect on what’s important to you and talking with loved ones, you can find your way towards a more fulfilling sex life. 

Making time for adult intimacy doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you human.  And you’ll probably find you’re in a better state to care for your child if your needs are being met.

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