Yes yes isn’t it glorious having your first child or maybe you have more than one!
But don’t you remember the euphoria that comes with giving birth. For both you and your partner. Ahhhhhhh isn’t a woman’s body AHmazing? And sometimes the birth does not go how you had planned it, so it is laced with pain sadness fear and euphoria! And still at the end you have life!
I was lucky enough to be witness at a friend’s second birth, and I have to say, having experienced three births myself, being at someone else’s was super duper special. Viewing everything from another angle, I found myself often stopping to pause and pinch myself that I got to be part of a family’s special moment. Actually what was special about this birth was that not only was I there as a support person, but my friend’s Mum was there, plus her husband and their 2 year old daughter. So it was full house with us and a couple of amazing midwives.
So yes the three trimesters, the birth and then there is the fourth trimester, the one not many people prepare themselves for.
I did send my daughter a book on this very subject, and she thanked me later.
Preparing for that time after the birth.
The book was fourth Trimester - A post partum guide to healing your body, balancing your emotions and restoring your vitality
By Kimberly Ann Johnson
So a big adjustment always straight after the birth and the following months
Something not many people also do not talk about is how do you rekindle intimacy after the birth of your baby or when this should happen.
And my answer is there are no dos or don’ts
You do it when you are ready!
But I like to remind a couple to remember to make some time for each other
And yup I hear you say well there isn’t enough time as baby takes up most or all of it
Well once you do find some time and you feel like your body is yours again, I always suggest
You find time to at least cuddle and show each other affection.
Yes I know it is much easier to show all your affection to your baby
But the way to keep connection through arrival of a baby is to maintain your affection for each other.
Often the first thing that goes as the baby is soooo cute
If you maintain a regular cuddle session, some form of massage or touch or kissing and hugging, it is way easier to get back into sexual intimacy when you both start feeling you would like this.
I always recommend some sort of regular time set in your diaries to meet up and talk honestly about how you are both feeling, what might have changed since baby arrived and how you are both handling this. This may sound like basic stuff but communication can really help to keep connection going and helps prioritise your relationship as something that can grow and thrive in spite of how ever many children you choose to have
Simple ways to connect - set a timer for 10 minutes and take turns to share what’s been going on for you mentally emotionally and maybe even physically ie tiredness, irritability or even feeling low or tired from lack of sleep.
Each of you is there is listen and not give advice unless you particularly want it
It is a way of witnessing each other and genuinely listening to each other and empathising with each other. It forms a deeper bond when you feel seen and heard.
When baby is old enough, get a babysitter in and go on a date night and try and talk about each other and how you are feeling and really enjoy the food and the ambience.Enquire about work rather than baby,
Babies can over take your lives so so seductively!
And when you are feeling like intimacy is something you want to move towards. It is a wonderful idea to set an intention of how this might look.
You might like to think about what you would like to experience
It could be a massage to start
Or just kissing and hugging and stroking or even oral sex
Or if you want penetrative sex, perhaps discussing if this feels ok for each of you.
Remember no humans are mind readers, so just because one of you says yes please, it never hurts to talk in a little bit more detail about what it is you actually are up for, then each of you feels more relaxed about moving into intimacy again, especially if it is has been a while
A helpful book for couples with a new baby is -
Baby Bomb - A relationship Survival Guide for new Parents by Kara Hoppe and Stan Tatkin