People may warn you about how your life will change when you have a baby. Yet nothing really prepares you for the reality!

You knew you would feel tired, but now realise that you didn’t really know what that really meant until the baby came!

A baby changes your life in a way nothing else does! It is something you couldn’t wait to happen and you love, yet how do you adapt to the changes and keep your relationship strong?

You have to deal with –

  1. Feeling so tired that you wonder if you will ever feel like sex again!
  2. Childbirth has changed your body and that is hard to deal with. You saw all those smiling mums on Insta and it’s hard not to feel awful that you don’t measure up to how amazing they look!
  3. You feel different about yourself, as a mum you just aren’t feeling so sexy anymore.
  4. You are worried that your man will be weird about you after seeing the birth of the baby!


How do you deal with this?

  1. Realistic expectations

Expectations are the root of all heartache! It is all too easy to get caught up thinking that everything will be wonderful, like the movies or Instagram! You know that you will magically return to pre baby shape/size, with a baby that sleeps throughout the night and sex will go back to normal.

For some people this is true, yet for the majority of parents this is so far from how life is. Let go of the expectations and be kind to yourself.

  1. Open and Honest Conversation

The key to a great relationship is to clearly and openly communicate with your partner. Don’t assume they will understand how you are feeling and what changes you are going through. The reality is they don’t!  Their life has also changed and they are dealing with adjustments too.

You can get caught up in assuming what they are thinking and feeling. You might even worry they see you differently after childbirth, that they find you less attractive. Yet the reality is that most men are in awe of childbirth and find a whole deeper level of love for their partner.

It is important to be able to talk to each other about how you are feeling. It can be quite a different experience for both of you and being able to understand that will make a huge difference. Unless you tell them, they have no idea. It is important to be able to ask for what you want and need without blaming your partner. You also need to realise that men communicate more directly than women do.  You need to know that men don’t speak hint!

 When you were preparing for the baby to be born, you did it together. You had fun choosing names, furniture and the excitement. It made you both feel close and connected.

Yet after the baby was born it changes from being about the two of you to being centred around a new human becoming. Mums can get so preoccupied with their new love that the dad can feel left out.

Knowing and talking about this is a game changer for your relationship, it can prevent long lasting issues in your relationship.

Something you won’t find out on social media is that it’s common for approximately 40% of first-time mums to not have a lot of sex in the year after a baby is born.

There can be very real reasons for the lack of sex:

  • Feeling overwhelmed they are responsible for a whole new human being.
  • Sex feels like another responsibility you don’t have time for.
  • Fear about getting pregnant again.
  • There could be issues from the birth, including being stitched too tightly and sex being painful or not feeling the same.
  • Finally, there is the fact that breastfeeding actually lowers a women’s sex drive because she produces prolactin.

You are not a failure for not feeling like a sex goddess after childbirth! It’s normal and there isn’t anything wrong with you.

Recognise What’s Going on for Him

It is common for men to feel loved through having sex and with around 40% not getting a lot of sex in the first year it can leave them feeling unloved. Of course, this isn’t true or rational but feelings aren’t rational!

The baby has to be a priority and men know this logically. Yet they can have the feeling that the child always comes before them, every time. Men aren’t prepared for how this feels!

For men it can also feel like their partners aren’t attracted to them or love them anymore.  Men need some form of demonstration of love and it doesn’t just have to be sex. It can be a touch, a hug, a kiss – basically a simple sign of affection.

I know with some of the men I have worked with, they have felt like sex has just been turned off! They don’t understand it, it’s painful, they feel rejected in fact it is devastating for them. They tell me it is like they have fulfilled their purpose and now aren’t needed/wanted anymore. This causes massive tension in the relationship.

Too many men say that the lack of affection seriously affects them and leaves them feeling unloved! Men don’t talk about this to other men and as a result they feel that they are the only ones going through the lack of sex/love. They feel isolated. For any men reading this, you are not alone and it is a stage that so many relationships go through.

Ladies I know you may feel like it is just another thing you have to do and take care of yet when you realise how much it means to your partner you can see it differently.

Did you know that more marriages break up in the first 18 months after childbirth than at any other time? And although there are no surveys, it’s safe to assume that sex, or the lack of it, is a major contributing factor.

That is why it is so important to understand what is happening and have honest open conversations about it. Research has found that couples that can talk openly and honestly about sex have more sex!

 You have to be able to understand each other’s needs and experience of the changes of childbirth.

  1. Let Go of the Need for Perfection

Get rid of the anything you can clean I can clean better attitude – it makes people feel that they aren’t not good enough and they are not likely to help when you most need it! You may be able to do something better than your partner, yet you can’t do it all and still have some energy left! Let go of the need for things to be perfect – let your partner help you and don’t criticise his efforts when he does.

According to a 2007 Pew Research Poll, sharing household chores was in the top three highest-ranking issues associated with a successful marriage—third only to faithfulness and good sex. A new survey from Yelp of 2000 adults found the most common arguments were about housework!

Have that honest conversations about the housework so it doesn’t wreck your marriage! 

   4. Kiss and say I love you.

Research suggests that couples who have a great sex life connect emotionally as well as physically. They kiss and do it every time they see each other. They say ‘I love you’ a lot and mean it. And they stay good friends and have fun. Couples who don’t have a good sex life spend very little time with each other, become job-centred and child-centred, have massive to-do lists, lead parallel lives and make everything else a priority rather than their relationship. In essence, drop the to-do lists – relax, and get into flirting, affection, touching and kissing.

    5. Kindness

Kindness is the new black. In your relationship chose to be kind every time!  It is the secret to a long and healthy happy marriage. Kindness is the super glue of love. Be kind, be generous with your heart and your attention and your affection, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Infuse kindness into every interaction with your partner. If you find yourself getting angry or wanting to blame, or show contempt, manage yourself. Take a step back. Take a little time out. Get yourself to neutral, and practice, practice, practice kindness. Okay. I know this sounds really simplistic but it makes a difference.



It may seem hard, but time passes by quickly and if you follow these tips it will ensure your relationship stays strong.


Debbie Rivers is a Dating/Relationship Expert who works with singles and couples. Her passion is enabling people to create and maintain healthy relationships. Debbie does not believe in leaving the most important area of your life, love, to chance as it has the biggest impact on your happiness.




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