After childbirth the body undergoes a healing process to return the mother’s body back to a state of normalcy, but the body is still working harder than it used to, with lactation, healing of tissues (especially from cesarean section) and the elasticity of the pelvic area returning to whatever normal or the new normal is for the mother.
While waking life is surely different, so are sleeping patterns. As a couple adjusts to the newborn being a priority, other things naturally adjust in the hierarchy of needs. In other cultures, a woman that gives birth transitions from a sexual being to strictly a mother. Sex in Japan between married couples happens less than any other country in the world (highest number of sexless marriages) meaning once per month or less. Here in America there is an expectation that sex and marital satisfaction will be consistent, but the reality is that marital satisfaction drops when a child is born and doesn’t go up again until the child is out of the home.
A couple must work hard to ensure that there is open communication about intimacy to keep that a priority. That burden is not only on the mother dealing with the physical and emotional transition of being pregnant to motherhood and co-parenting. The father can help ease a mother’s transition by being supportive and attentive to the mother.
Throwing out the typical gender roles and creating an egalitarian household will lessen the burdens on the mother, making her emotional state less stressed with the worries of the day. Happy wife, happy life. The father and mother need to make time to reconnect and the mother needs to know that she is still as attractive to the father as she was before. If the mother is feeling insecure, she should share that instead of holding it back.
Dr. Ethan Gregory
Written for SheKnows.com
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