Sex After Baby

sex after babyCue bad (like, really bad!) 90’s dancing.

Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be….

And by this, we mean let’s talk specifically about sex AFTER baby. The good, the bad and the plain ol’ feeling ugly.

How long did you wait? Or for those currently pregnant, how long do you think you will wait after birth to have sex….?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a test. While most healthcare advisors recommend somewhere in the range of four weeks to six months postpartum, it’s not concrete. In truth, it might be earlier, or it might be a lot longer – it all depends on when you feel ready. Both physically and mentally.

When it comes to sex, the majority of us will opt to use humor to talk about it. Because it’s not easy to talk about sex seriously is it? We blush. We avoid. We conceal. We hold back.

Well not today!

We’re going to say what we’ve all thought or have been thinking- and say it out loud. THINKING ABOUT SEX AFTER HAVING A BABY CAN BE SCARY!

Post birth, while you KNOW your body is amazing, you also don’t really KNOW your body anymore. Not only does it feel different and look different, there’s that fear that anything ‘down there’ is reeeeally going to HURT! Let’s be honest, we’re still a little traumatized from the first bowel movement fears after birth, let alone thinking about letting anything in! And for those who experienced tearing and stitches, the anxiety about sex pains can be further heightened. Ladies – we hear you! All of you.

The truth is, it may well feel a little awkward and uncomfortable at first – one of the reasons is your estrogen levels drop right down after birth and remain low while nursing – this can lead to vaginal dryness. So first’s things first, don’t go in expecting perfection – ideally go in after a small glass of wine, loaded with giggles and lots of lubrication! Tell your partner about your fears– let him know that you are worried about discomfort, so that you can set the right pace for you.

Of course all of the above assumes that you are both ready and raring to give it a go. Many take longer to get to this point and that’s ok too. Did you know that the oxytocin that is released when you are nursing suppresses your libido? There’s that, and then there is the lack of sleep, the diapers, the nursing, the stretchmarks you are so paranoid about…. it can all culminate to a very unsexy cocktail called ‘Not tonight Sweetheart!’! This cocktail far from puts you in the mood.

If this is how you feel right now, then big hugs from us. Please believe us, this too shall pass. Just like you feel you may never sleep again, be able to 100% focus again, or get in to those old jeans again – eventually you do! You WILL have good sex again – it just takes time, patience and honesty with your partner. Keep him emotionally and physically updated to ensure he doesn’t just feel plain old rejected.  You WIILL find your confidence again. In fact, to end on a high, many moms actually say that they enjoy sex MORE after kids. Perhaps they feel more empowered by their bodies. Perhaps birth awakened something in their bodies. Perhaps it’s all the fun quickies that you have to weave in to your parenting routine, (because you have to take the moments when you can, and if it’s 1:20 in the afternoon, then so be it!). Whatever it is, know that post birth you will be desirable, you will be desired and you WILL feel your own desires return. Be patient with yourself, and most of all, be kind to yourself!

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Parenthood: A New Era Of Valentine’s Days

Valentine’s Day. A day of romance, indulgence, spontaneity, and if you’re lucky, a night of very little sleep (wink, wink!)

But now you’re parents. Granted, you are still getting very little sleep, but that’s all thanks to the adorable little sleep thief that you both made.

For new parents, the first Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming. After all, it’s the first time where you will have more than just one love of your life in front of you. Processing and balancing that amount of love is darn hard.

Life with a new baby is exhausting any time of the year (yes it’s amazing, but you’re tired, time-short, grumpy, worried, perhaps not feeling your most attractive – the perfect cocktail for arguments).  But at this time of year in particular, beyond the diapers and feeds, you also have added pressure from Cupid telling you to up your romance game too. It’s enough to shake even the most competent multi-tasker! And the truth is, it’s all too easy to become so engrossed in being parents that you forget to be a couple as well.

As parents who have been through this and come out the other side, we’re here to tell you not to fall for it. Don’t fall for the hard ‘perfect Valentine’s’ media sell. Don’t believe that you have to live up to the extravagance of your pre-baby life. Don’t believe that you have to spend lots. And don’t believe that you won’t be able to enjoy it with a little one in tow.

Here’s a few simple low-stress ways to treat yourselves on your first family Valentine’s:

Snooze – Nothing says I love you like letting your sleep deprived partner sleep in! Plan ahead (pump extra milk etc), pick a day and take turns to let each other recharge. There is NO better gift.

Stay in – Don’t feel pressurized to go out for Valentine’s Day. If you are not ready to leave your baby at home, then don’t force yourself to go out as you won’t enjoy your night. Couch cuddles, candles, dinner, wine, movie, pajamas – it’s a cliché, but a good one.

Early Birds – If you are up for getting out of the house (and good for you!) but like most new parents, you need matchsticks to stay awake past 9pm, then why not switch Valentine’s dinner for a lunch date? The restaurants will be less busy during the daytime too, so it’s win-win. If baby will be with you, plan it around nap time and go for a walk – a sling will let you be all cute and hold hands.

Change the day – Go a step further to changing the time and change the whole day. If Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday and your partner is working, then change it. Pick convenience over calendar and make it more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone.

Remember, it’s not about perfection, it’s about connection. Your main goal is to step away from the chaos of parenthood, recharge a little and be together, even if it’s only for an hour. And even if it’s at home.

Valentine’s Day with a baby will be like nothing you have ever known before – but like most family ‘firsts,’ it can be so memorable. You can and you will still enjoy it – just in a new kind of way!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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Forget All The “New Year, New You” Promises…

Just be you in 2017.  And love YOU. Because you are fabulous, just as you are.

Sorry to go all Bridget Jones on you there and quote Mark Darcy, but maybe you needed to hear that.

2016 threw a lot at us – there’s no denying it was a hard year. But ask yourself this, how hard were you on yourself?

Because we (parents) are really good at that aren’t we? Beating ourselves up. Doubting ourselves. Comparing ourselves. Guilt-tripping ourselves…over and over again.

So this year, instead of aiming for an all new ‘better’ you, how about promising to be a little kinder to the now you?

We’re not saying don’t be ambitious in 2017 – by all means set goals. We’re saying be unashamedly and unapologetically realistic.

As parents, we already have our hands full day to day, so when it comes to new year goals,  don’t set yourself up for failure by over promising. If you do, chances are, in less than three weeks, you will find yourself right back where you started – with added guilt, self-doubt and a big ol’ dollop of defeat.

When it comes to resolutions, maybe 2017 is the year where you will start saying ‘I will NOT’ instead of ‘I will‘? And best of all, feel good about saying it:

Like, I will NOT take on any more in 2017.  If you already feel overwhelmed, it’s ok to say no to the dealer. There is no shame in sticking with your current hand – it can still be a winner. You might want to drop a dress size or two, take on a new language, or simply find the time to do lots more crafting with the kids – but first, make sure you feel comfortable with what is already on your plate – or else all those other new spinning plates will come tumbling down like a circus act.

I will NOT feel guilty if I don’t get everything ticked off my list. Instead of focusing on what you don’t achieve, focus on what you do achieve each day – and give yourself a pat on the back. Remember to always leave some wiggle room in your ‘to do’ list – being flexible is good for the soul.

And last but not least, our favorite, I will NOT forget about myself in 2017. Say it. Now repeat it. Be selfish every now and then and take time for yourself, be it a book, a bath, a spa, or even a whole weekend away. There is no greater investment than an investment in yourself- a recharged you makes a happier you, a happier parent and a happier year!

So c’mon, 2017! We’re ready for you. Just as we are.

 

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No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

shutterstock_153205205It was ‘Ask a Stupid Question day’ this week. There really is a day for everything now isn’t there?

It did get us all thinking though. In particular about pregnancy and those early days of motherhood when you had SO many questions that you were just too afraid to ask other moms, family, friends, even doctors.

Like, what if I go to the bathroom when giving birth?

Will my vagina return to normal?

Why is my baby’s poop that color?

Am I holding my baby too much?

How long is it OK for a baby to cry?

Do I sterilize the pacifier after every use?

Can I have a glass of wine if I am breastfeeding?

The list is endless. The truth is, even if you have read all the books, you are never fully prepared for the real thing. Motherhood is a never ending learning path. With every new joyous milestone or phase comes new questions and concerns.

But for some reason, many moms will be too embarrassed to ask certain questions out loud. They will spend time furiously searching pages and pages of google searches instead, seeking both answers and reassurance there. Why? Maybe they feel that they should already know this. That it is too trivial or too obvious to ask out loud. Maybe they feel silly or embarrassed. Maybe they feel that it should all be instinctual now they are moms – they should know their child best after all. And if they don’t have that instinct, have they failed somehow? They can’t let anyone know….

It’s only later on, often when moms have found their confident stride, that they realise that a lot of other moms all had the exact same questions or worries at the same time. They all just kept quiet for fear of looking silly.

The truth is there is no such thing as a stupid question in motherhood, except the one that you choose not to ask. So ask it loud and ask it proud. Always. Keep learning, keep growing and most importantly, keep sending the elevator back down for new moms and moms-to-be. Share your experiences with them – and dads too – and tell them what your own silly questions and thoughts were once upon a time. It’s so important that we club together and encourage parents to open up to us, without any fear of judgement. Because the truth is, half the time, we all feel like we are winging this don’t we? There is always more to learn and certainly many, many more questions to come.

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