Is your baby ruining your sex life?

For most couples, sex, post-baby is...well....different. Juggling family, career, baby feedings, and functioning on very little can take a toll on intimacy. But according to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, OB-GYN and author of the new book, “Your Body Beautiful”, a slimmed down sex life is completely normal when a new baby enters the house. In fact, says Dr. Ashton, you may not be interested in sex at all when baby first comes home. The reasons for this can be: physical, emotional and/or psychological. “The fact of the matter is, your partner has to share you. If it’s your first baby, he or she may not be the center of your universe anymore and it’s going to take a toll.” Complete exhaustion from a lack of sleep can also contribute to a pared down sex life, and Dr. Ashton says that's very common.

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If you're wondering when most couples resume intimacy after a baby is born, the time is actually quite varied. When polled, some of our Shine viewers said four weeks, most said six weeks, (one Shine viewer said 7 days)! Dr. Ashton says the average amount of time when couples resume sexual relations after a baby, is about six weeks. And, that’s what most obstetricians will recommend. “That’s usually the amount of time it takes for pain to go away, stitches to heal, whether they are internal or external, and dissolve… and it’s reasonable.”

How do you get your mojo back in the bedroom after you've had a baby? Dr. Ashton says there are certain things within a mom’s control that can be adjusted in order to get back on track. First, if pain’s an issue, get it under control, says Dr. Ashton. Talk to your doctor. You should be able to manage any physical discomfort you may be feeling. Secondly, is the baby in the bedroom with you? That’s under your control.

If you find your sex life deteriorating, or perhaps not on the level that you or your partner would like it to be, Dr. Ashton recommends getting some professional help: a sex therapist or couple’s therapist. Dr. Ashton also suggests experimenting with sex toys. “That can be a very exciting and, believe it or not, a safe way for a mom to get back into the swing of things.”

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In her new book, “Your Body Beautiful”, Dr. Ashton extensively covers the importance of sex in a relationship. “Sex is a measure or vitality and wellness and intimacy.” She stresses, that while your sex life may be different after the birth of a baby, that doesn’t mean it will be worse, it just will be different.

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