Many couples are thrilled to find out that they will soon be expecting a baby. Hours are spent picking out the perfect name, perfect paint color for the nursery, and perfect crib or bassinet.
And then a reality suddenly dawns on them… how will being pregnant affect their sex life? Will they even have a sex life anymore? There are no medical reasons that couples can’t have sex during a normal and healthy pregnancy. However, expecting parents may find their desire for sex waxes and wanes. This is perfectly normal.
Anticipate Changes to Your Sex Life During Pregnancy
During the first trimester, most women feel exhausted and, well, nauseous. Her breasts may have also become extremely tender. It goes without saying that things in the bedroom might cool off a bit in these first few months.
But not to worry, many women report that their libido gets a second wind during the second trimester. It is during these three months that women are the most physically comfortable. However, it is also during this time that women really begin to show. These physical changes may throw men a little. Some new parents worry that they will hurt the baby. Many couples find it helpful to speak to their physician about these concerns. Other expecting parents may simply not feel as attracted as they once did.
The Final Trimester Presents New Challenges
The last trimester can be challenging for couples simply because the baby has gotten so big, and finding positions that are comfortable for everyone can be… a bit difficult. It is during this time that women can feel extremely uncomfortable and unattractive, and yes, okay, maybe even a wee bit cranky. During this time, it’s a good idea for couples to find a way to connect without sex.
Sex After A Baby is Born
It’s common for couples to reassure each other that once the baby is born, their sex life will go right back to what it was before they got pregnant. This generally isn’t the case. For starters, healthcare professionals suggest women wait around 6 weeks after giving birth to resume having vaginal sex, even if the baby was born via C-section, as the body needs time to heal. Oral sex, however, is fine.
Once it is safe to begin having sex again, and once the woman feels up to it, most couples find they are simply too tired to have it! Some women may find their minds and hearts to be in the mood, but their body does not cooperate. Numerous hormonal changes can leave the vagina feeling dry and tender. That’s why it is important to listen to your body and take things slow.
The most important thing couples can do, as they wait for things to return to normal (spoiler alert: once you have a child, nothing will ever be normal again, and that’s a wonderful thing!) is to communicate truthfully and honestly with one another.
When to Seek Help from a Therapist
It is probably time to talk to a therapist if you are having difficulty communicating as a couple or if either partner is feeling really distressed by the changes in your relationship. A skilled couples therapist will help you navigate the tumultuous emotions that come along with pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
If you or a loved one would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.
Couples Counseling for New Parents in Cincinnati
Adjusting to parenthood can be stressful. Both pregnancy & the early days of parenthood are full of challenges you & your co-parent may have never experienced before. If you are looking for couples or marriage counseling and live in the Cincinnati area, I would like to help. I specialize in providing high quality couples counseling to couples in all stages of their relationship at my Cincinnati counseling office. I am an experienced couples & marriage therapist and can help you and your spouse/partner/co-parent through this important transition in your relationship & life. Contact me today to set up a free consultation or intake appointment for you and your partner.
Still Unsure if Counseling is for You?
It’s common for people to be a bit nervous about coming to a marriage or couples therapist for the first time. You can get answers to common questions about therapy here or simply contact me directly today to figure out if my services might be a good fit!
Other Counseling Services in Cincinnati
If you and/or your partner would prefer individual counseling but still want someone who understands relationship problems, I offer individual therapy as well. While I see people for a variety of reasons for individual therapy (including adjusting to life as a new parent) some of my counseling specialties include anxiety treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (cbt) for depression and career counseling.