Have fun rediscovering each other

When two people become a couple, sexuality is their private language of love. It’s through their sex life that they express their complicity, but it’s also an area where existing tensions can be revealed. A couple’s sexuality reflects what they are as a couple, and it’s the best way to strengthen the relationship.

Since sexuality itself is quite complex, it’s only normal for a phase so full of changes, like the perinatal period, to bring on sexuality changes in your relationship.

So many disruptions!

In addition to all the physical and hormonal changes women go through during the different phases of maternity (childbearing, giving birth, breastfeeding), they also go through many psychological, emotional, social and relational changes. All the changes the father goes through and the stress that comes with parenthood also need to be added to the mix.

Becoming parents is a complete and total metamorphosis. As a result, the couple must go through a certain adaptation to stay on the same page. Questions may start to emerge. How is sexuality lived during these stages of life? How can you find balance in your relationship and keep a fulfilling sex life?

When we talk about perinatal sexuality, we mainly talk about the woman’s physical changes. We often mention hormones that suppress libido or give nausea, the belly that is too round and doesn’t allow for much movement or the healing of the perineum. We also hear a lot about psychological changes: self-esteem related to body image, parental stress and responsibilities, intense fatigue, postpartum depression, fear of losing freedom, the dichotomy between being a mother and a lover.

New roles, new expectations

All these changes are real and clearly explain the upheavals you can live as a parent. But there are also new roles you need to play with new expectations and obligations. For example, the family organisation and task sharing will have to be reconsidered. Although men seem to agree with an equal division of the tasks, women usually end up back in the kitchen and doing laundry once they become mothers. Furthermore, devoting themselves body and soul to motherhood, mothers will need to be recognized in this situation. Unfortunately, some men feel like the mother is on “vacation”. These new expectations and needs can bring on extra tensions, which won’t help with the already low libido.

Unfortunately, women who experience an important drop in libido often feel guilty and ashamed. It’s easy to feel the pressure to become a “sexual beast” again. Many women will engage in sexual relations just to please their spouse, simulating an orgasm if need be. A couple that doesn’t come together sexually will suffer from it, and it will put a distance between the partners.

How to get out of this dead end?

It is essential for the couple to be able to talk freely and openly about this. Express your needs, desires, expectations and fears. Listen to your partner with empathy for what he/she has gone through. By expressing and listening to each other, finding constructive solutions becomes possible. When transitioning from being a couple to being a family, it’s important to rediscover get to know each other again. Spending quality time together and having tender, loving and affectionate moments becomes essential.

Too often, sexuality equals genitalia, and loving caresses mechanically lead to penetration. Yet, sexuality is so much more than that. Desire is essential to a fulfilling sexual life. Desire is not only a question of hormones and body stimulation; it has to start long before getting into bed. To invigorate desire, you must feel loved and appreciated. Complicity is key. As you can see, communication is very important when it comes to intimacy.

Redefining sexuality

Genitalia can also become less satisfying. The couple needs to diversify their sexuality to make it fulfilling. With a body or mind that is sometimes less available to penetration, it’s important to explore new avenues. It’s time to caress languorously without expecting penetration, rub and massage your partner, talk sensually and cuddle. More than ever, romance should take center stage. Why not have a special candlelit dinner followed by a bubble bath? Or write a poem and give flowers? Even though you are often overwhelmed by the arrival of a new child and it is difficult to find the time and energy to rekindle your relationship, know that an honest and empathetic communication can greatly help reduce tensions and increase patience.

Parenthood is by far the best adventure you will embark on. It allows you to surpass yourself and feel a boundless amount of love. It’s a rite of passage, a journey for which couples are not always well prepared for. However, once you find a new balance, your couple becomes more united than ever and is able blossom.

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