For many couples, the birth of a baby brings positive and joyful changes, but also challenges to your day-to-day emotional and physical life. Despite the amount of support available in books and resources, nothing can quite prepare you for looking after yourself, your partner and your relationship when you first become a Dad.
Will I ever have sex again?
Pregnancy, birth and caring for a baby are not exactly the best combination when it comes to physical intimacy with your partner.
Tiredness, hormonal changes, stress, the responsibility of being a parent, physical changes, or pain can get in the way of you being physically intimate.
As you are adjusting to the changes as a couple, keep your communication open and try to understand and respect each other’s needs.
- Listen: it helps your partner feel heard, understood and supported. Good listening puts you in touch with your partner’s feelings and their point of view. You don’t always have to provide an answer.
- Tell your partner how you’re feeling: it might be hard to slot in between nappy changes, but make the time and be brave!
- Accept the changes: find a way to talk about and navigate this new phase in your relationship together. Start some gentle discussions about how you can parent, work and run a home together, while supporting each other.
- Manage conflict: differences in opinion will come up regularly through your parenting journey. It’s ok to disagree, but work on ways to manage the differences as a team.
- Stay close now you’re parents: simple tips like asking what was good or wasn’t so good about your partner’s day are considerate. Small gestures of kindness go a long way – a cup of tea or offer of a sleep in when tiredness sets in, is thoughtful and loving.
Be generous with kindness and positive feedback. It’s almost as good as sleep!
Finding other ways to be intimate can help:
- having a meal together
- non-sexual touch
- quick dates
- small meaningful conversations that occur regularly
These can all help re-build intimacy.
Links to resources:
Country Dad’s SMS Service is provided by Ngala and supported by WA Country Health.