Solution: Change your idea of what counts as “sex”—and when you do it
When you’re bleary-eyed from looking after your baby and the choice is a nap or some nookie, it’s no surprise that sleep beats sex every time. Fatigue is the biggest issue for new moms, says Vancouver couples and sex therapist Dr. David McKenzie.
“Women’s energies are all geared towards the baby. For the first six weeks at least, penetration is often out of the question.”
Couples need to focus on things that are going to make Mom feel nurtured, such as giving her a massage, says Calgary sexologist Trina Read. “If a woman’s needs are met and she feels like her partner is taking care of her, it creates a better dynamic for the couple.”
You may not want to have intercourse but there are lots of other ways to be close. “You can have ‘outercourse’—oral or manual sex, making out or just cuddling,” says Dr. McKenzie.
Be open with your partner about what is going to work for you. “When men are given specific details, they are usually more than happy to accommodate,” says Read.
If you crave more closeness but can’t stay awake long enough to get it, you might find you’re more energetic when you first wake up. “Many people who feel exhausted find they like sex better in the morning,” says Dr. McKenzie.