Are you wondering how your sex life may change after baby? It’s typical to question whether sex will be the same again. All these emotions and questions are normal and expected as couples grow their families. Here are five keys to creating, protecting, and supporting a lasting relationship that can survive any situation you and your mate face.

1: The First of These is Love

Love is a verb; it’s how we show our care for another person. Love solidifies the intense bond you have with your partner, allowing you both to weather any storm or trial.

2: The Next Key is Respect

This means being considerate of the other person’s needs and wishes. Respect helps partners acknowledge each other’s differing views without hurting each other’s feelings. Parenting is stressful, and individuals may vary greatly in their parenting styles–and that’s OK! Learning to respect and support each other’s attempts at getting it right with the new baby can go a long way in helping to build each other’s confidence. And let’s face it: confidence is sexy!

3: The Third Key is Communication

Waiting six weeks after having a baby can feel awfully long. But even after much time, you may not feel ready for sex. Sometimes it takes a little longer to heal, while other times we can’t wait to get back to business. The key is keeping communication lines open and letting your partner know what you need. Whether you desperately miss being held and touched, or are afraid that penetration might be painful, it’s important to tell each other what’s going on. Meeting each other’s sexual needs is a relationship essential. You may find you both miss some aspects of that spontaneous and unscheduled routine you shared before parenthood.

4: The Fourth Key is Flexibility

Pre-baby, many couples go to bed together each night, allowing them to reconnect intimately and sexually. But after children are born, your old bedtime routine might be dictated by when that little bundle of joy finally falls asleep. If intimacy is impossible in the evenings, why not give a mid-day lovemaking session a try? Perhaps while the kids are down for an afternoon nap on a Saturday? You’ll have more energy in the afternoon anyway without having to battle that nighttime exhaustion!

5: The Fifth is Lubrication

Don’t be afraid to ask your partner to take it slow, especially the first time. If you’re feeling nervous, invest in a little extra foreplay to get the juices going. Even still, you may need a little lube. For best results, choose something water based and unscented (e.g., Good Clean Love).

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LaShea Haynes MEd, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, RNC, C-EFM, is Editor of Healthy Mom&Baby magazine, and a leader in obstetric nursing for more than 26 years. She is also a staff nurse, certified doula and founder & owner of her own nurse mentoring, education and consulting company.

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